Athletics score late to beat Angels

ANAHEIM, California (Reuters) - The Oakland Athletics scored eight runs in the final three innings to beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 on Sunday.

Oakland (5-2) trailed 3-1 through six innings before scoring three times in the seventh, three more in the eighth and twice in the ninth.

Starter Dallas Braden surrendered two runs to the Angels (2-5) in the first inning but settled to pick up his first win of the season after pitching six innings and allowing three runs.

"If we can continue to do what we've done so far, which is win the series, we'll be okay.

"It's a great way to start the month and obviously a great way to start the season."

Athletics' reliever Tyson Ross took over from Braden in the seventh and got the save despite allowing a solo home run to Juan Rivera in the ninth.

Oakland had been slow to get going, but they exploded in the seventh when Mark Ellis sparked things with an RBI double. He also added an RBI single in the ninth and scored twice.

The Angels bullpen suffered at the hands of the Athletics' bats, after starter Joe Saunders left having allowed four runs in six innings.

Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu both had two hits and a RBI each for Los Angeles, who are off to a difficult start to the season having won just two of their first seven games.

Hideki Matsui, the 2009 World Series MVP who left the New York Yankees to join the Angels, finished 0-for-3.

"Right now, from the offensive side, we're not getting to a point often enough where we put pressure on (other teams)," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said.

"I think when we start to hit our stride, especially offensively, we'll be able to define some roles."

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, Editing by Greg Stutchbury)