Branyan Almost Ties It, But Angels Comeback Falls Short, 4-3

Newly signed Russell Branyan's first swing as an Angel almost got the Angels even, but his 2-out fly ball came a few feet short of clearing the centerfield fence and landed for an out in Coco Crisp's glove.  Mark Trumbo brought the Angels to within a run of tying the game with his 8th home run of the season.  The 3-run blast off A's reliever Grant Balfour were the first runs scored by the Angels in the game as they were held to 3 hits over 8 innings by starter Brett Anderson (3-4).

Angels' starter Joel Pineiro (2-1), making his 6th start of the season, gave up a season-high 11 hits in 6.1 innings.  Pineiro also allowed a season-high 4 runs while striking out 2 and walking none.

Oakland scored a run in the second when Hideki Matsui singled to lead-off the inning and scored 3 batters later when Andy LaRoche drove him in with a groundout to third.  The A's added 3 more in the 4th when LaRoche doubled in Josh Willingham and Mark Ellis, and Chad Pennington singled in LaRoche.

The Angels wasted a chance to get back into the game when Reggie Willits walked with one out and went to third on Macier Izturis' 15th double of the season.  However, both runners were stranded when Erick Aybar flied out to shallow left and Bobby Abreu grounded out to end the threat.

It wasn't until Anderson had left the game that the Angels were able to put runs on the board.  Aybar got the 9th inning started when he singled to right.  Both Abreu and Torii Hunter struck out and the game appeared all but over.  Following an Alberto Callaspo walk, Trumbo launched a high Balfour fastball into the bullpen in left field, drawing the Angels to within one.  Russell Branyan, who had just signed with the Angels Thursday morning after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks, pinch-hit for Peter Bourjos.  Branyan hit the first pitch he saw and belted a drive to deep center that fell just short of tying the game.

The Angels and A's split their 4-game series, while the Angels went 4-3 on their home stand.  The loss also drops the Angels to a game behind division leading Texas who were idle today.

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