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Athletics win 6-1 to take series over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oakland remained on pace for its best-ever season and took bragging rights over Bay Area rival San Francisco by beating the Giants 6-1 on Thursday, thanks chiefly to All-Star pitcher Scott Kazmir striking out nine batters over seven scoreless innings.

The majors-leading Athletics took three out of four in the grudge series, while another clash of local rivals was played out in Baltimore, where the Orioles edged neighbor Washington to claim that series 2-1.

As well as those geographic rivalries, there were a couple of important intra-division fights, with American League Central leader Detroit routing second-placed Kansas City while Pittsburgh tightened the National League Central fight with a comfortable win at St. Louis.

Oakland starter Kazmir (11-3) continued his banner year. He has yielded one run or none in 11 of 19 starts this season for a 2.38 ERA.

Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Stephen Vogt drove in three runs for the A's, who have won seven of eight overall and matched the franchise record for the best win-loss ratio after 92 games, at 58-34.

The floundering Giants have lost 15 of their past 19 home games.

Baltimore's Steve Pearce homered and scored twice as the Orioles edged Washington 4-3.

Wei-Yin Chen earn his team-high ninth victory, and Baltimore beat Washington for its eighth win in 10 games.

Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz both drove in a run for the Orioles, who built a 4-0 lead in the third inning and held on.

Wei-Yin Chen (9-3) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings, improving to 6-1 in 12 starts since May 3. He was 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his previous two starts against the Nationals.

Detroit demolished Kansas City 16-4, with every batter in the lineup having at least one hit and scoring one run.

The Tigers established a season-high for runs just two days after scoring 14 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and took a 5 1/2-game lead over the second-place Royals in the AL Central.

Royals' starter Jeremy Guthrie (5-8) gave up a career-worst eight earned runs after completing only four innings. He has now allowed 16 earned runs covering his past two starts.

Pittsburgh's Edinson Volquez pitched a complete game to win his fourth straight start, steering the Pirates to a 9-1 win at St. Louis.

Volquez (8-6) has a 0.90 ERA in winning four consecutive starts for the first time in his career.

Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen all drove in two runs for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in the four-game series.

The Cardinals played without All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, who tore a ligament in his right thumb Wednesday and is expected to miss 8 to 12 weeks.

Philadelphia completed a four-game road sweep at Milwaukee, piling on all their runs late to beat the Brewers 9-1.

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San Diego Padres' Chase Headley watches his solo home run in front of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, July 10. (AP)

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