OAKLAND, Calif. – Gio Gonzalez has been on the right side of consecutive weather-impacted starts.
"With the weather, it's like hit or miss," said Gonzalez, who allowed seven runs at Texas in his last outing before the game was washed away in the fourth because of rain. "Both times it's been a big hit for me."
Gonzalez (5-2) struck out seven and allowed only a line-drive single to Howie Kendrick leading off the fifth. He also walked one and cruised the rest of the way behind a dominant breaking ball and an offense that had its best game of the season.
Mark Ellis had three hits and four RBIs and Coco Crisp finished with three hits and two RBIs to chase starter Tyler Chatwood (2-2) in the third, handing the rookie the worst loss of his career. Oakland had season highs in runs scored and hits to move into a tie with Texas for first place in the AL West.
"I think when everybody starts feeling good about themselves, feeling better about how their swinging, the hits just roll on," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Hitting is contagious. The opposite is true, too.
"You see a lot of Oh-fers on the bench it's hard to gain some momentum. But a game like this can definitely catapult guys into feeling good about themselves and driving their numbers up and, ultimately winning more games."
The only other hit for the Angels came on Jeff Mathis' single leading off the ninth against Trystan Magnuson, who was making his major league debut. Craig Breslow also pitched a perfect eighth to send Los Angeles tumbling to its third straight loss.
"This was one of our worst games of the season," Angels right fielder Torii Hunter said. "Gonzalez challenged us with the fastball. I don't know why he doesn't use that as much ... He should use it more. We just couldn't do nothing."
Gonzalez has timed his last two starts to perfection.
He allowed seven runs in just 2 2-3 innings at Texas in his last appearance. But with the Rangers leading 7-0 in the middle of the fourth, the game was called for rain and didn't count.
The start of the Angels game was delayed 42 minutes because of a rare May rainstorm in the Bay Area, and Gonzalez joked that once he got the lead he was just hoping to making it through five innings so the game would become official. With the clouds passing through in patches, the roughest of it never seemed to come with Gonzalez on the mound.
Instead, A's hitters came through the rain first four innings to give Gonzalez all the cover he would need.
Ellis and Kevin Kouzmanoff had back-to-back RBI doubles, and Coco Crisp had a run-scoring single in the second inning to give Oakland a 3-0 lead. The rain subsided briefly for Gonzalez to work a perfect inning before a huge downpour.
One from the skies.
Another from Oakland's bats.
Ellis added a two-run single and Crisp had another RBI single to highlight a four-run third that opened a 7-0 lead. Kurt Suzuki also hit an RBI double off reliever Trevor Bell to score Hideki Matsui in the fourth.
By the end of the fourth inning, every Oakland batter had reached base except for Daric Barton. Chatwood's final line: seven runs allowed on seven hits and two walks in 2 1-3 innings, by far the worst start of the rookie's career.
"We all just kind of came together at the right time," Crisp said.
Gonzalez retired the first 11 batters with relative ease until walking Maicer Izturis. That spoiled the chance of matching the perfect game that teammate and friend Dallas Braden — who had season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday, even texting Gonzalez from his hospital room after surgery to offer tips, per the usual — threw last May against Tampa Bay.
Kendrick took away the no-hitter with his single up the middle in the fifth. Gonzalez got him to ground into a double play, retiring the final seven batters he faced.
Gonzalez admitted he would've loved to have that fastball back, joking, "I'll get you Howie."
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game for Minnesota Twins slugger and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who died Tuesday at 74 after battling esophageal cancer. Killebrew was part of Oakland's TV broadcast in 1982, according to the team's media guide. ... Oakland closer Andrew Bailey allowed no hits in one inning of work in an extended spring training game in Arizona. The A's two-time All-Star could begin a rehab assignment in the minors next week. ... The A's previous season high in hits was 13 against Toronto on April 5, and their previous high in runs scored was nine on April 23 against Seattle.