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Rockies lay waste to Rangers 12-1, Arenado extends streak

DENVER -- Colorado piled on a season-high 21 hits as they routed Texas 12-1 on Tuesday, as Nolan Arenado closed in on the Rockies team-record hitting streak.

Elsewhere, Clayton Kershaw made his first start since opening day and guided the Los Angeles Dodgers past Washington, Atlanta ended its seven-game skid by edging St. Louis, and Seattle won at Oakland to slice the Athletics' lead in the American League West.

Colorado's Arenado had to wait until his final at-bat in the seventh inning to keep his hitting streak going. His double just inside the left-field line meant he had now hit safely in 26 consecutive games, one short of the team record set by Michael Cuddyer last year.

Arenado also made several slick plays at third base, while Carlos Gonzalez had five hits for the Rockies, who closed within one game of National League West leader San Francisco.

Colorado starter Juan Nicasio (4-1) got through five innings without his best command, giving up one run.

The Dodgers won 8-3 at Washington and were buoyed by Kershaw's strong return to action.

Kershaw (2-0) was stubborn in his return after missing 32 games, allowing nine hits but striking out nine without a walk.

The two-time NL Cy Young winner had been on the disabled list for the first time in his career, sidelined by a strained back muscle after winning March 22 in the major league opener in Australia.

Hanley Ramirez and Drew Butera homered for L.A., which did not miss Yasiel Puig as the outfielder sat out for the second straight game since crashing into an outfield wall on Sunday at Miami.

Atlanta's Justin Upton homered and also scored the tiebreaking run on Chris Johnson's eighth-inning single as the Braves beat St. Louis 2-1.

Braves pitcher Gavin Floyd was impressive in his season debut, allowing one run in seven innings. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery last year when he was with the Chicago White Sox.

Reliever David Carpenter (2-0) had two strikeouts in a perfect eighth inning which earned him the win.

Seattle rookie Roenis Elias struck out six while pitching into the seventh to win consecutive starts for the first time, helping the Mariners defeat Oakland 8-3.

Elias (3-2) followed up a 10-strikeout gem at Yankee Stadium his last time out with another impressive start as the Mariners moved within two games of the division-leading A's.

Justin Smoak drove in three runs as Seattle won four-straight games for the first time this season.

Pittsburgh benefited from a replay review that awarded the winning run, beating San Francisco 2-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the scored tied 1-1, Sterling Marte hit a triple off Tim Hudson. The throw got past Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval so Marte jumped up and sprinted for home plate.

Sandoval recovered and threw to home where the umpire ruled Marte was tagged out by San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, but a replay review showed the Pirates player got his hand on the plate before being tagged.

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 Durant named NBA Most Valuable for 4  top scoring seasons 
After a play at the plate, Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte, right, turns to umpire Quinn Wolcott, who makes the out call in the ninth inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 6. (AP)

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