A's Blanton solves Angels

ANAHEIM -- Maybe Joe Blanton was just due against the Angels.

Blanton settled down after a rocky start and Mark Ellis hit a three-run homer, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 6-2 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday.

After entering the season with an 0-6 record against the Angels, Blanton has won all three of his decisions against them this year.

"It's always a close game with them, and as a pitcher it's fun," he said. "When you face a lineup like that, you really have to throw your A-game that day and really compete."

Blanton (12-9) threw 99 pitches, giving up six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in winning for the fourth time in five decisions. Huston Street struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

"I still felt good enough and I probably could have finished," Blanton said. "But Huston hadn't pitched in a couple of days and I was pushing 100 pitches."

Donnie Murphy had a career-high three hits and two RBIs for Oakland, including a homer leading off the seventh inning to chase Joe Saunders. Ellis also singled in a run.

After giving up two runs in the first, Blanton shut out the AL West leaders for the next seven innings.

"My slider was pretty good and it was really effective," he said.

The A's went ahead 3-2 on Ellis' homer off Saunders (7-3) with one out in the fourth -- his first home run in 21 games since Aug. 13. Ellis made it 5-2 in the seventh with an RBI single off Chris Bootcheck after Murphy hit his fifth homer.

Ellis' 17 homers this season are a record for an A's second baseman, topping the previous mark of 16 set by Jimmie Dykes in 1921 when the team was in Philadelphia, and matched by Davey Lopes in 1983.