ANAHEIM -- In a season full of amazing A's stories, A.J. Griffin continues to author one of the most unlikely.
A 13th-round draft pick in 2010 who wasn't even invited to major league camp this spring, Griffin won his sixth straight decision to begin his big league career in the A's 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
Griffin threw eight shutout innings to bring the A's on the cusp of sweeping four games from the Angels, who had won 15 of 18 coming into the series.
The A's 12-game road winning streak is tied for the longest in Oakland history, and it's the longest by any team since Seattle won 13 straight in 2003.
Oakland has run three rookie starters to the mound this series, and they have limited the Angels to four runs over 212/3 innings.
A Los Angeles-based writer asked A's manager Bob Melvin where Griffin ranked on the depth chart in spring training.
"I didn't know who he was," Melvin responded.
Griffin hadn't pitched above Single-A before this season, but he's gone 6-0 since entering the rotation in late June, becoming the second pitcher in franchise history to win more than five consecutive decisions to start his major league career. Jim Nash went 7-0 over his first nine starts in 1966.
The laid-back San Diego native had 30 to 40 people in the crowd of 38,097 cheering him on.
"It's pretty much the same game up here, they just don't miss as much when you make a mistake,"
Griffin struck out six and walked none. He is the only major league pitcher since at least 1918 to allow three or fewer runs and walk two batters or fewer in each of his first 11 starts.
At 82-60, the A's have clinched their first winning record since 2006, the last year they made the postseason. They also maintained a two-game lead over Baltimore and the New York Yankees for the top wild card spot in the American League.
Griffin got some great defensive help from center fielder Coco Crisp.
Opponents have been running at will all season on Crisp, whose throwing arm is not his strong point. But when the Angels' Chris Iannetta tried to go first to third on Mike Trout's single to left-center in the third, Crisp delivered a one-hop throw to nail Iannetta and thwart a potential rally.
Two innings later, Crisp made a sensational diving catch in right-center to rob Iannetta of extra bases.
The A's took an early lead in the first, when Josh Reddick doubled and scored when Angels shortstop Erick Aybar booted Yoenis Cespedes' grounder.
Cespedes homered in the sixth -- his 18th of the season and second in as many days -- and the A's were on their way.
"It's getting embarrassing," Reddick admitted before the game. "But the team's winning so I'm not gonna be the negative guy in the clubhouse."
Even as Reddick has struggled with the bat, his defense remains top-notch.
Melvin said managers and coaches turned in their Gold Glove ballots last week. No one can vote for a player on his own team, but Melvin said he's heard Reddick got nice support around the league.
The A's right fielder has left his feet for three impressive catches on this trip.
He has 14 outfield assists, second-most in the majors entering Wednesday behind Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur (18).
As for Reddick's hitting, Melvin said he sees signs that maybe the outfielder will break out soon.
"He came out and asked for extra hitting (Tuesday)," Melvin said. "It looked like his balance was a little better."
The A's open with a home series against Seattle beginning April 1. Their road series include their first trip to Milwaukee (June 3-5) since interleague play began in 1997, plus interleague series at Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Reds (June 25-26) and St. Louis Cardinals (June 28-30) visit the Coliseum for interleague series.
The addition of the Houston Astros to the A.L. West next season has changed the dynamics of the schedule, and thus the Bay Bridge Series. Rather than the A's and Giants hosting stand-alone three-game series against each other, the teams will play just four games, with the Giants hosting games May 27-28 and the A's hosting games May 29-30.
A's 82 60 .577 --
Baltimore 80 62 .563 --
N.Y. Yankees 80 62 .563 --
Tampa Bay 77 65 .542 3
L.A. Angels 77 66 .538 3
Note: Top two teams earn wild-card berths