Jered Weaver kept the Los Angeles Angels firmly in the playoff hunt by shutting down the Chicago White Sox in a 4-1 triumph on Sunday that gave the pitching ace his American League-leading 19th win of the season.
Weaver allowed just one run in 6-1/3 innings to keep the Angels 2-1/2 games behind Oakland for the second American League wild-card spot with nine games remaining.
“We just have to go out there and keep winning,” Weaver told reporters. “Obviously, there’s a little bit of scoreboard watching, [but] we can’t worry about what other teams are doing.”
The Angels’ big right-hander won his third consecutive start to break a tie with fellow Cy Young hopeful David Price of Tampa Bay for the league’s lead in wins.
The visiting White Sox missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the American League Central. The White Sox (81-71) have a one-game advantage over Detroit, who were swept in a doubleheader with Minnesota.
The Tigers lost 10-4 in the opener, before falling 2-1 in 10 innings behind a game-winning RBI single from Twins infielder Jamey Carroll.
Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera had an RBI in each game, giving him a major league-leading 133. The slugger is still pursuing baseball’s elusive triple crown as he leads the league in batting average (.331) and runs batted in, and is tied for the top spot in home runs with 42.
In Seattle, the Texas Rangers avoided being swept by the Mariners with a 3-2 victory. The first-placed Rangers (90-62) have a four-game lead in the American League West.
In Boston, Baltimore’s Ryan Flaherty struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to halt the Orioles’ late-inning magic as they lost 2-1 to the Red Sox to remain a game behind New York in the tight American League East race.
Baltimore had rallied on Saturday for their 16th consecutive extra-inning victory, but their latest charge fell just short and they missed a chance to catch the first-placed Yankees, who lost to Oakland.
New York (88-64) were beaten 5-4 by the Athletics, ending the Yankees’ run of seven consecutive wins.
Oakland (86-66) now lead the race for the second American League wild-card spot by three games.
In the National League, Atlanta beat Philadelphia 2-1 as they stretched their hold on the top wild-card spot.
The Milwaukee Brewers topped Washington 6-2 to stay within 2-1/2 games of the second wild-card spot held by St Louis. The Cardinals stayed in position with a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to stay three games out of a playoff spot by beating Cincinnati 5-3.
The San Francisco Giants clinched their second National League West title in three years on Saturday night with an 8-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.
The Giants, winners of the 2010 World Series, claimed the pennant despite losing All-Star closer Brian Wilson to a season-ending injury and leading hitter Melky Cabrera to a 50-game doping suspension.