A's defeat Angels 5-3 to narrow West gap
AP Sunday, August 24, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
OAKLAND, California--Oakland beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Friday to slice the gap between the American League's top two teams to just one game, with Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray ending a month-long losing streak to steer the hosts to an important victory.
The A's-Angels showdown is among several key weekend series that will shape the playoff race.
In the National League, San Francisco ended Washington's 10-game winning streak, Pittsburgh tightened the NL Central race by defeating leader Milwaukee, and the Los Angeles Dodgers maintained their lead in the NL West by downing the New York Mets.
Oakland's Gray (13-7) allowed six hits over 8 1-3 innings to set up the victory, and Sean Doolittle recorded the final two outs to seal it, ending the game by striking out Chris Iannetta with the bases loaded.
Coco Crisp hit a leadoff home run for the 15th time in his career, and Stephen Vogt added a solo shot for Oakland in the opener of a three-game series. Sam Fuld hit a go-ahead triple in the sixth inning.
Washington was looking to establish a new franchise record with an 11th-straight win, but was never in the hunt against San Francisco, which cruised to a 10-3 victory.
Giants' rookie Joe Panik hit his first major league home run — a three-run shot — and recorded four hits for the first time.
San Francisco starter Tim Hudson (9-9) allowed one earned run over 5 1-3 innings for his first win in over a month.
Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison homered and drove in a career-high five runs to power the Pirates to an 8-3 win at Milwaukee.
Andrew McCutchen also homered for Pittsburgh, which stayed within 2-1/2 games of the last wild-card berth.
Pirates' starter Jeff Locke (5-3) pitched six strong innings, giving up two hits and leaving five runners on base.
Dodgers' pitcher Dan Haren gave up a leadoff homer but recovered to steer the hosts to a 6-2 win over the Mets.
Haren (11-10) did not allow another run in his seven innings, striking out six and walking none. The pitcher was not put off by his two failed sacrifice bunt attempts at the plate, and notched his third win in four starts after a deserved 0-5 streak.
The Mets committed four errors, matching a season worst, including two by shortstop Wilmer Flores.
Chicago's Jake Arrieta shut down his former team to steer the Cubs to a 4-1 win over AL East leader Baltimore.
Arrieta, who was traded last season, helping Baltimore to one run in seven innings, ending the Orioles' four-game streak and trimming their comfortable division lead to eight games.
Javier Baez hit his sixth homer in his 18th game since getting called up from the minors, while Luis Valbuena also homered, and Logan Watkins and Arismendy Alcantara each drove in runs with singles for the Cubs.
Atlanta's Justin Upton hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning, rallying the Braves to a 3-1 win over Cincinnati.
Upton's 25th homer of the season, off Manny Parra (0-1), gave Atlanta its seventh victory in eight games, staying within one win of the wild-card spots.
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