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Colon helps A’s stretch lead over Rangers in AL West

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Bartolo Colon scattered seven hits over eight impressive innings for the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics, who stretched their division lead over Texas to 5 ½ games with a 1-0 victory over the Rangers and Yu Darvish yesterday.

The A’s won for the seventh time in eight games, and clinched the key division series by beating Texas twice in less than 24 hours.

Colon (16-6) struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 2.73.

Darvish (12-9) struck out 10 over seven innings in his fourth 1-0 loss of the season. The right-hander from Japan has lost his last four starts, the last two by 1-0 scores, and is winless his last six.

Even though Darvish struck out the side in the first, Josh Donaldson drew a one-out walk and scored on a two-out double by Brandon Moss into the right field corner.

ROYALS 1, TIGERS 0

Prince Fielder was thrown out at home plate to end the game, preserving Ervin Santana’s impressive outing and leading the Royals to a victory over the Tigers.

Eric Hosmer had an RBI triple in the first for the Royals. He was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder to third base.

Santana (9-9) won for the first time since Aug. 4, outpitching Doug Fister (12-9). He allowed five hits in 6 2∕3 innings, walking one and striking out five.

Will Smith, Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland completed the seven-hitter.

Fielder walked to open the ninth. The Tigers’ burly first baseman then tried to score from first on Omar Infante’s two-out double but Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon made a strong throw from the left field corner to Alcides Escobar. The shortstop then made a perfect relay to catcher Salvador Perez, who tagged a sliding Fielder to end it.

INDIANS 8, WHITE SOX 1

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched 8 1∕3 strong innings and Asdrubal Cabrera and Lonnie Chisenhall homered to lead Cleveland over Chicago, helping the Indians keep pace in the AL wild-card race.

Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Chisenhall added a three-run shot in a five-run fourth inning that powered the Indians to their 11th straight win against Chicago and third in a row overall to improve to 80-68.

Cleveland’s Carlos Santana went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs with a single in the sixth.

Jimenez (12-9) scattered eight hits and struck out eight to win his third straight start.

Chicago starter Andre Rienzo (2-2) lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks.

BLUE JAYS 4, ORIOLES 3

Colby Rasmus hit a two-run home run, Jeremy Jefress won for the first time in more than two years and the Jays handed the slumping Orioles their fifth loss in seven games.

Rasmus erased Baltimore’s 3-2 lead with a drive off the facing of the second deck against Chris Tillman (16-6) in the seventh inning. For Rasmus, it was his 20th homer of the season and second in two days.

Jeffress (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning of relief to win for the first time since April 5, 2011, when he beat the Chicago White Sox while pitching for Kansas City.

Tillman allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings to lose for the first time since Aug. 19.

ANGELS 6, ASTROS 2

Jered Weaver pitched six solid innings, Chris Iannetta homered and the Angels stopped Houston’s four-game winning streak.

Weaver (10-8) joined Nolan Ryan as the only Angels pitchers to reach double-digits in wins for eight straight seasons.

Brett Wallace homered for Houston, which leads the majors with 97 losses. The Astros had their first four-game winning string since mid-June.

Rookie Brett Oberholtzer (4-3) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Reds 7, Brewers 3

Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo each hit two-run homers, and Cincinnati kept pace in the NL Central race.

Homer Bailey (11-10) allowed three runs over seven innings in winning his career-best sixth straight decision. Votto had three RBI, including the towering drive off the right field foul pole in the sixth.

The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth trailing by four, but All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy.

PIRATES 2, CUBS 1

Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and got home run help from Marlon Byrd and Jose Tabata, leading Pittsburgh past Chicago.

The Pirates have won five of six and tied St. Louis for the NL Central lead.

Cole (8-7) gave up one run and five hits. The rookie struck out seven and walked three.

MARINERS 4, CARDINALS 1

Rookie James Paxton gave up two hits in six shutout innings and Seattle ended a five-game losing streak, dropping St. Louis into a tie for the NL Central lead.

The Cardinals mustered only three hits, including Matt Carpenter’s league-leading 50th double.

Paxton (2-0) gave up a pair of singles. Danny Farquhar got his 14th save.

BRAVES 2, PADRES 1

Kris Medlen allowed four hits over 7 1∕3 scoreless innings to win his fourth straight start, leading Atlanta over San Diego.

The NL East-leading Braves led 2-0 before Chase Headley hit a ninth-inning homer off closer Craig Kimbrel, who then pitched around a two-out walk to Ronny Cedeno for his career-best 47th save.

PHILLIES 5, NATIONALS 4

Carlos Ruiz had two doubles and three RBI, John Mayberry homered and Philadelphia ended Washington’s seven-game winning streak.

The Nationals fell 5½ games behind Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.

Cole Hamels (8-13) won his fourth straight decision. Jonathan Papelbon worked around a leadoff double in the ninth for his 27th save.

MARLINS 3, METS 0 (1)

METS 3, MARLINS 1 (2)

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed two hits in seven innings for his first major league win in more than a year, and New York got back-to-back homers from Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda to beat Miami for a doubleheader split.

Matsuzaka (1-3) plunked Placido Polanco twice in the nightcap, but other than that the Japanese right-hander was in complete control. It was his first big league win since Aug. 27, 2012, with Boston against Kansas City. He entered 1-10 in his past 16 major league starts.

In the opener, Donovan Solano got some payback after he was hit by two pitches, launching a home run and making two terrific defensive plays that sent Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins past the Mets in the opener of a doubleheader.

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