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A’s beat Angels 5-3 to close West gap to 1 game

August 23, 2014

OAKLAND, California (AP) — Oakland beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Friday to slice the gap between the American League’s top two teams to just one game, with Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray ending a month-long losing streak to steer the hosts to an important victory.

The A’s-Angels showdown is among several key weekend series that will shape the playoff race.

In the National League, San Francisco ended Washington’s 10-game winning streak, Pittsburgh tightened the NL Central race by defeating leader Milwaukee, and the Los Angeles Dodgers maintained their lead in the NL West by downing the New York Mets.

Oakland’s Gray (13-7) allowed six hits over 8 1-3 innings to set up the victory, and Sean Doolittle recorded the final two outs to seal it, ending the game by striking out Chris Iannetta with the bases loaded.

Coco Crisp hit a leadoff home run for the 15th time in his career, and Stephen Vogt added a solo shot for Oakland in the opener of a three-game series. Sam Fuld hit a go-ahead triple in the sixth inning.

Washington was looking to establish a new franchise record with an 11th-straight win, but was never in the hunt against San Francisco, which cruised to a 10-3 victory.

Giants’ rookie Joe Panik hit his first major league home run — a three-run shot — and recorded four hits for the first time.

San Francisco starter Tim Hudson (9-9) allowed one earned run over 5 1-3 innings for his first win in over a month.

Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison homered and drove in a career-high five runs to power the Pirates to an 8-3 win at Milwaukee.

Andrew McCutchen also homered for Pittsburgh, which stayed within 2-1/2 games of the last wild-card berth.

Pirates’ starter Jeff Locke (5-3) pitched six strong innings, giving up two hits and leaving five runners on base.

Dodgers’ pitcher Dan Haren gave up a leadoff homer but recovered to steer the hosts to a 6-2 win over the Mets.

Haren (11-10) did not allow another run in his seven innings, striking out six and walking none. The pitcher was not put off by his two failed sacrifice bunt attempts at the plate, and notched his third win in four starts after a deserved 0-5 streak.

The Mets committed four errors, matching a season worst, including two by shortstop Wilmer Flores.

Chicago’s Jake Arrieta shut down his former team to steer the Cubs to a 4-1 win over AL East leader Baltimore.

Arrieta, who was traded last season, helding Baltimore to one run in seven innings, ending the Orioles’ four-game streak and trimming their comfortable division lead to eight games.

Javier Baez hit his sixth homer in his 18th game since getting called up from the minors, while Luis Valbuena also homered, and Logan Watkins and Arismendy Alcantara each drove in runs with singles for the Cubs.

Atlanta’s Justin Upton hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning, rallying the Braves to a 3-1 win over Cincinnati.

Upton’s 25th homer of the season, off Manny Parra (0-1), gave Atlanta its seventh victory in eight games, staying within one win of the wild-card spots.

Atlanta starter Mike Minor went 7-2/3 innings before he gave up a hit, sending the Reds to their seventh-successive loss.

Tampa Bay’s Drew Smyly pitched a shutout in the first complete game of his career, steering the Rays to an 8-0 win over struggling Toronto.

Smyly (8-10) gave up only two hits, and none after the third inning. He issued no walks, and retired his final 19 batters. He has an impressive 1.55 ERA in four starts since being joining the Rays in the trade that sent David Price to Detroit.

Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs, and Wil Myers also connected for the Rays.

Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard drove in a pair of runs as the Phillies edged St. Louis 5-4.

Ben Revere, who entered the day second in the National League in hitting, went 3 for 4 to raise his average to .315. Chase Utley and Marlon Byrd also drove in runs for Philadelphia.

Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick (6-11) overcame a three-run first inning to give up only one more in the remainder of his 6-1/3 innings.

Seattle’s Austin Jackson hit a bases-loaded double with two outs in the ninth inning to key a five-run rally that lifted the Mariners to a 5-3 win over Boston, sending the Red Sox to their sixth-straight loss.

Minnesota notched the biggest score of the season in routing Detroit 20-6, scoring 15 of those runs in just two innings.

New York’s Martin Prado hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Yankees to a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Kansas City rookie Yordano Ventura gave up one run in six innings to lead the Royals to a 5-3 win over Texas.

Houston’s Jon Singleton hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to lift the Astros to a 5-1 win over a sloppy Cleveland.

Miami’s Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam for his third homer in as many games, while Giancarlo Stanton had three hits and three RBIs to power the Marlins to a 13-5 win against Colorado.

San Diego’s Josh Collmenter held Arizona to one unearned run in his 8-1/3 innings to guide the Padres past the Diamondbacks 5-1.

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