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July 24, 2017

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Angels beat Marlins 6-1 to stay ahead of A's

ANAHEIM, California -- The Los Angeles Angels maintained their narrow lead atop the American League standings by beating Miami 6-1 on Wednesday, with Mike Trout hitting his 30th home run of the season to tie his career high.

The Angels remained a game ahead of Oakland, which needed a ninth-inning, two-run homer from Sam Fuld to beat Houston.

While the race in the AL West remains tight, Kansas City created a bit of breathing room in the Central by beating Minnesota, moving 2-1/2 games above Detroit, which lost to the New York Yankees.

The Yankees will likely need a wild-card to make the playoffs but they did close within six games of AL East leader Baltimore, which lost to Tampa Bay.

The Angels got a homer from new signing Gordon Beckham, but it was the efforts of starting pitcher Hector Santiago that contributed most to the win over the Marlins.

Santiago (4-7) was coming off a string of six consecutive no-decisions but got a belated win by striking out six in 5 2-3 innings. He did suffer the ignominy of giving up a third-inning homer to Adeiny Hechavarria — who had only cleared the fences twice before in his 1,100 career at-bats — but struck out his next five batters.

Tampa Bay's Drew Smyly allowed just two hits over seven innings in his second straight overpowering performance, leading the Rays to a 3-1 win over the Orioles.

Evan Longoria had three hits for the Rays, who scored all their runs in the first two innings.

Smyly (9-10) struck out six and walked one in his fifth start for the Rays since coming from Detroit in a trade involving David Price.

The heavily prized Price was, ironically, a loser on Thursday, giving up nine-straight hits in the third inning as the Tigers were beaten 8-4 by the Yankees.

The Yankees scored all eight of their runs in the third off Price (12-10), who had pitched a one-hitter in his previous start. Jacoby Ellsbury started the barrage, and New York went all the way through the batting order until Price was pulled after the ninth hit of the inning.

Detroit's slip was capitalized on by Kansas City, which beat Minnesota 6-1, with all its six runs coming in the eighth inning.

Nori Aoki drove in the go-ahead run and Billy Butler and Salvador Perez each drove in a pair of runs during the surge, which came after the Twins' Phil Hughes (14-9) had stymied the Royals for the first seven innings.

Royals' reliever Wade Davis (8-2) pitched a perfect eighth to earn his second straight win.

In the National League, Pittsburgh's Ike Davis hit a game-winning homer for the second-straight game as the Pirates beat St. Louis 3-1 in a clash of playoff-chasing divisional rivals.

In the second inning, Russell Martin was hit by an Adam Wainwright pitch and went to first base, then Davis hit a towering 433-foot shot which hit a speaker hung above the seats beyond right-center field.

Pirates' starter Jeff Locke (6-3) allowed one run in 7 1-3 innings, and also made a contribution at the plate, getting only the 11th hit of his career and scoring a run in the third inning.

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