Ramon Laureano drove in four runs and the Oakland Athletics survived seven solo home runs by the Los Angeles Angels — two by Shohei Ohtani — to win 8-7 in Anaheim, Calif. on Thursday.
The teams combined for nine homers, but the Athletics got two-run bombs from Seth Brown and Laureano and also capitalized on eight walks from Angels pitching.
The Angels became the first team in MLB history to score seven or more runs in a game all on solo homers, according to STATS.
Oakland, which scored six runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth, won for the ninth time in its last 13 games in the rubber match of this three-game series. Los Angeles has lost five of seven.
Oakland starter Paul Blackburn (7-6) ended a seven-game winless drought, during which his ERA was 8.05, by surviving five innings. He gave up four runs on six hits — five for extra bases — and walked one. He struck out three.
In the ninth inning, Zach Jackson, the Athletics’ fourth reliever, gave up Mickey Moniak’s first hit with the Angels, a solo homer to right, to make it 8-7. Jackson then walked Max Stassi, and he gave way to left-hander A.J. Puk to face the lefty-hitting Ohtani.
Ohtani popped out to shortstop on the first pitch as Puk picked up his third save.
The Angels launched solo shots in each of the first four innings, by Ohtani, Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward and Jo Adell, respectively, but the Athletics bunched up their runs.
Angels rookie starter Janson Junk (1-1), who had not allowed a run in six innings in his two appearances this season, took a 2-0 lead into the top of the third but wasn’t around to finish it.
The Athletics loaded the bases with one out, and Laureano tied the game when his bouncing ball hit third base and bounded into left field for a double. Sean Murphy then doubled for two more runs. Brown’s long homer to right field ended Junk’s day.
In 2 1/3 innings, Junk allowed six runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out two. Touki Toussaint walked two batters but got the final two outs.
After Ward’s 14th homer cut the Angels’ deficit to 6-3, Toussaint gave up Laureano’s 12th homer of the season, which followed a bunt single by Tony Kemp, in the fourth.
Jared Walsh’s solo shot in the sixth off Sam Moll pulled the Angels within 8-5, and Ohtani’s second homer, this one against Kirby Snead, made it 8-6 in the seventh. It was his 24th homer and fifth multi-homer game of the season.
Ohtani had three of the Angels’ nine hits, and Brown and Laureano each contributed two of Oakland’s eight. Kemp scored twice.