Athletics rout Rangers, inch closer in AL West

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Oakland Athletics may be able to do better than just get into the playoffs as a wild card.

They might sneak away with a division title if they keep playing like this against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

Oakland led for good only three batters into the game and chased Texas starter Martin Perez before the end of the first inning in a 9-3 victory Wednesday night to pull within three games with seven to play, four against the Rangers.

"To come out there and get these guys was the biggest series of the road trip. These are the guys we are trying to catch," Josh Reddick said. "A lot of people want to say we can get the wild card. We're trying to still win this division. ... It's definitely possible."

The Athletics (88-67) have taken two of the first three games in the series that ends with a day game today. That will also wrap up a stretch of six series in six cities before ending the regular season with six games at home.

Oakland, which had played five consecutive one-run games, led 5-0 only eight batters into the game. The A's chased Perez (1-3) before the rookie left-hander got all the way through the batting order one time.

Tigers 5, Royals 4

At Detroit, Jhonny Peralta brought home the go-ahead run when Andy Dirks' hard slide broke up a potential inning-ending double play in the eighth inning and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals.

Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera was robbed of a tiebreaking homer in the fifth inning by Alex Gordon's catch above the left-field wall.

Orioles 12, Blue Jays 2

At Baltimore, Chris Davis and Manny Machado each connected twice and the Baltimore Orioles tied a team record with seven home runs and stayed within 11/2; games of the AL East lead.

Indians 6, White Sox 4

At Chicago, the slumping Chicago White Sox fell out of the AL Central lead for the first time in two months, walking 12 batters in a loss to Cleveland.

Chicago, which has lost seven of eight, had been in sole possession or tied at the top every day since July 24. But Detroit moved ahead by a game, beating Kansas City 5-4 with a week left in the regular season.

Rays 4, Red Sox 2

At Boston, Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back, tape-measure homers in the fifth inning on Wednesday night to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their seventh consecutive victory, 4-2 over the Boston Red Sox.

Yankees 8, Twins 2

At Minneapolis, CC Sabathia struck out 10 batters over eight innings and New York maintained its slim lead in the AL East.

Angels 4, Mariners 3

At Anaheim, Calif., Torii Hunter's RBI singles tied it in the seventh inning and ended it in the ninth, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied to keep pace in the AL wild-card race with their fifth consecutive victory.

Erick Aybar had an early two-run double before Hunter ended it for the Angels (86-69), who remained two games behind Oakland (88-67) after the other three teams in the AL wild-card race all won earlier in the day.

Giants 6, Diamondbacks 0

At San Francisco, Matt Cain pitched seven innings and had two hits and an RBI to lead the San Francisco Giants over Arizona.

Brandon Belt added three hits, Pablo Sandoval singled twice and drove in two runs, and Marco Scutaro extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games while helping Cain to his career-best 16th win.

It's San Francisco's first victory since clinching the NL West division for the second time in three years.

The Giants were the fifth NL team to pitch a shutout Wednesday. The last time there were at least five shutouts in the same league on the same day was Sept. 18, 2003, in the NL, according to STATS LLC.

Brewers 8, Reds 1

At Cincinnati, Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 41st home run on Wednesday night, and Milwaukee kept its wild-card chances flickering with a victory over Cincinnati.

Milwaukee moved within 3 1/2 games of St. Louis for the final NL wild-card spot, a long shot that left them with no margin for error. The Cardinals lost 2-0 to Houston.

Braves 3, Marlins 0

At Atlanta, Martin Prado homered and Paul Maholm combined with three relievers on a six-hitter as Atlanta showed no hangover from their champagne celebration after clinching an NL wild-card spot the night before.

The Braves remained four games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.

Nationals 8, Phillies 4

At Philadelphia, Bryce Harper hit his 20th homer, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki also connected and Washington moved closer toward winning its first division title since moving to Washington.

Dodgers 8, Padres 2

At San Diego, Matt Kemp had four hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle, and four RBIs as Los Angeles used a rare offensive outburst to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

Mets 6, Pirates 0

At New York, David Wright broke the Mets' record for hits and Jeremy Hefner bounced back from a horrendous start in a victory that eliminated Pittsburgh from playoff contention.

Astros 2, Cardinals 0

At Houston, Bud Norris pitched into the eighth inning for his first win since May 21, and Jose Altuve homered as Houston avoided a sweep.

Rockies 6, Cubs 0

At Denver, Drew Pomeranz tossed five scoreless innings for his first win in more than two months and the Colorado Rockies beat Chicago. The game was delayed by rain in the seventh inning for 1 hour, 24 minutes.

Charlie Blackmon homered and Chris Nelson had two hits and two RBIs in the Rockies' third straight win.

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