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OAK@LAA: Griffin hurls eight frames of one-run ball

ANAHEIM -- After completing his career-high-tying eighth inning against the Angels on Thursday night, A.J. Griffin knew he was done.

The A's right-hander was at 110 pitches in his second start of the season and his team was ahead by five at the time, so he didn't hesitate asking the bullpen to finish the job.

"You don't want to get too greedy in this game," Griffin said.

Oh, no?

The A's are wearing the look quite well these days, having taken home a Major League-leading 66 runs this season, including eight in an 8-1, series-sweeping victory over the Angels on Thursday night to extend their winning streak to eight.

Being greedy is outscoring your opponents by 41 runs (65-24) in that span -- 13 Major League teams have yet to even score that many on the season -- and picking up 16 hits for a second straight night to bring your season total to 103, most in the Majors.

At least 10 have come in each of their eight wins, marking just the second time in A's history they've collected as many hits in as many consecutive games, the last time coming in August 2002.

Being greedy, it turns out, isn't always a bad thing.

"We really just go out there to play one game at a time," Griffin said. "We've been fortunate to put them together like this. It's really cool to be a part of something so awesome with this group and have the type of success we've had so far."

The eight consecutive wins mark the club's longest winning streak in April since 1981, when the A's won 11 straight. Six came on the road, and it's just the third time in Oakland history that the A's have gone undefeated on a road trip of six or more games.

"That's pretty remarkable," manager Bob Melvin said. "I don't come up with those things, but I do hear about them from time to time. You go on the road and you hope to play over .500. You expect to win every game but to actually go 6-0 is terrific."

Particularly when three are played on the turf of the division-favorite Angels, who just so happen to be at the bottom of the division at 2-7, their second worst start in team history.

"Those guys are red-hot," the Angels' Mark Trumbo said. "I mean, they have six, seven guys that are swinging the bat well, and that's a tough task to try to go up against. They definitely have all the momentum. We don't have hardly any, and you just kind of have to wear it sometimes."

Both teams managed just one run apiece through the first five innings, before Oakland broke open the game in the sixth with four runs.

Josh Donaldson's one-out, two-run homer off lefty Jason Vargas busted the tie, and Seth Smith, who finished with four hits, followed with a double. One out later, Vargas intentionally walked Coco Crisp as the Angels prepared to bring in righty reliever Kevin Jepsen to face Chris Young.

Young had just one hit in the series, yet the way his team's rolling, it was no surprise when he laced a two-run double to left field to bring in another pair of runs.

The A's continued to bully the Angels' bullpen in the seventh, with Yoenis Cespedes collecting his third home run of the season off lefty Sean Burnett, giving Oakland six runs for the eighth consecutive game. Just for fun, the A's added two in the ninth.

"Any time you come in here, you know you have your work cut out for you," Melvin said. "You have to focus on each game and play your best baseball and we did. Our offense has continued to flourish, and that takes some pressure off the rest of your game.

"But we really played a full game today, where the pitching was good, the defense was good, baserunning, clutch hitting, all of the above. This was probably our best game all the way around."

By night's end, Griffin had limited the Angels to one run on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

"Going through that lineup three or four times like he did, that's pretty impressive," Donaldson said. "I thought he did a fantastic job.

"They're a good ball team over there but we came in here and had a mission and accomplished it."

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