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December, 5, 2016

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Gray steers Athletics to 4-1 win over Blue Jays

OAKLAND, California -- Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray bounced back from his worst start of the season to steer the major league-leading Athletics to a 4-1 home win over Toronto on Thursday.

The A's maintained a 3-1/2 game lead in the American League East division over the Los Angeles Angels, who won the opener of a four-game series against Houston.

There was a changing of the order in the National League West as the Los Angeles Dodgers took over top spot with a tight win at Colorado, moving above struggling San Francisco, which was beaten at home by St. Louis.

Oakland's Gray (8-3) restricted the Blue Jays to four hits over the first seven innings, and got some help from the field as the A's turned three double-plays.

The most important came in the eighth when Jose Reyes hit a fly to deep right field where Brandon Moss took the catch and made a strong throw to first base, beating Josh Thole who was scrambling to get back to the bag.

Stephen Vogt scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the second inning.

St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer to help the Cardinals win 7-2 at San Francisco.

Cards pitcher Carlos Martinez (2-3) earned only his second win as a starter, allowing one hit and one walk with six strikeouts over five innings. He also drove in a run.

The Giants have lost 17 of 22 to give up what was a very strong lead in the NL West.

They were replaced at the top of the division by the Dodgers, who won 3-2 at Colorado with Juan Uribe coming up with the go-ahead single in the top of the ninth inning.

Matt Kemp worked a leadoff walk off LaTroy Hawkins (2-2), went to second on a groundout and scored when Uribe singled under the glove of second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Uribe had half of the Dodgers' six hits for the game.

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