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Athletics defeat Bay rivals Giants 5-0 in series opener; A's still ahead of LA

OAKLAND, California -- Oakland's Jesse Chavez matched a career high with nine strikeouts to steer the majors-leading Athletics to a 5-0 win over San Francisco in Friday's opening game of the grudge series between the Bay Area rivals.

The win kept the A's 3-1/2 games clear of the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in the majors. The Angels maintained that gap by beating Toronto despite losing ace pitcher Jered Weaver to injury.

Among other games, Baltimore emphatically broke open a tight game in the 11th inning to win at nearby Washington, and St. Louis scored in the bottom of the ninth to end a scoreless stalemate and edge Pittsburgh.

Oakland's Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run double, and three others drove in a run to power the A's to their fifth-straight win in front of a sellout crowd at The Coliseum.

Chavez (7-5) pitched six scoreless innings, giving up only two walks. He and the bullpen restricted the Giants to only five hits for the game.

Los Angeles' Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had run-scoring hits in the fifth inning to power the Angels to a 5-2 win over Toronto.

L.A. extended its home winning streak to 11 games, one shy of the franchise record set in 1967.

Weaver departed after two perfect innings and 24 pitches because of tightness in his lower back.

Baltimore's Chris Davis snapped a lengthy slump with a tiebreaking homer in the 11th inning, part of a six-run outbreak that carried the Orioles past Washington 8-2.

Nelson Cruz hit his 28th home run to help the AL East-leading Orioles earn their seventh win in eight games.

Cruz also got the O's started in the 11th, leading off the inning with a broken-bat single off Craig Stammen (0-4), Davis worked the count full before launching a drive into the center-field seats. J.J. Hardy followed with a solo shot, Nick Markakis chased Stammen with an RBI double and Manny Machado added a two-run drive for a career-best fifth hit of the game.

St. Louis' Matt Adams hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to finally get the scoreboard ticking, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh in the opener of their four-game series.

With one out and one on, Adams connected off Justin Wilson (2-1) for his first career game-winning homer. It was the Cardinals' first game-winning homer since 2011.

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Lightning strikes in the background during the seventh inning of a baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres in Denver, Colorado, on Monday, July 7. (AP)

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