With a postseason berth within their sights, the Oakland A’s are leaving nothing to chance.
Marcus Semien had three hits and a career-high five RBIs, Stephen Piscotty homered and drove in four runs and the A’s hammered the Los Angeles Angels, 21-3, on Thursday.
The A’s reduced their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to five. Since June 15, Oakland is a major league-best 58-25.
Going into Thursday, the A’s trailed Houston by four games in the AL West, led Tampa Bay by 5 1⁄2 games for the second wild-card spot, and was 2 1⁄2 games behind the Yankees for the first wild card.
Catcher Francisco Arcia pitched the last two innings for the Angels, who were outscored 31-2 in the last two games of the series. He also homered in the ninth, becoming the first player in Major League history to catch, pitch and hit a home run in the same game, according to the Angels.
“Honestly, when I saw the score up there on the board, it looked like a football score,” Piscotty said. “It doesn’t happen all that often, but it’s a crazy game when you have position guys throwing.”
The A’s tied an Oakland record for runs, first set on June 18, 2000, against Kansas City.
Piscotty was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer. He’s 4-for-6 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last two games and has seven home runs and 22 RBIs this month.
Matt Chapman was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. He leads the majors with 24 doubles since the All-Star break and has 41 on the year. Oakland was 12-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Edwin Jackson (6-3) struck out seven, walked three and gave up two runs in 5 1⁄3 innings of three-hit ball.
“When you’re getting runs like that, it’s always fun,” Jackson said. “The main thing you want to do is continue to pitch and see how many shutout innings you can have to get them back in the dugout to continue to hit.”
Mike Trout hit his 36th home run for the Angels. They have lost five of their last seven.
Oakland’s Nick Martini hit his first career home run, a two-run shot off Arcia.
The A’s evened their season series with the Angels at 8-8. Oakland will look for its first winning season against the Angels since 2013 when it concludes its regular season with a three-game series in Los Angeles later this month.
The A’s are unbeaten in 14 straight home series (12-0-2), the longest such streak in franchise history since the 1931 Philadelphia A’s went 17-0-2 through their first 19 home series.