Oakland remained on pace for their 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, while there were a couple of important intra-division fights, with American League (AL) Central leader Detroit routing second-placed Kansas City, while Pittsburgh tightened the National League (NL) 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.
The Tigers established a season-high for runs just two days after scoring 14 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and took a 5.5-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 on Wednesday and is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks.
Philadelphia completed a four-game road sweep at Milwaukee, piling on all their runs late to beat the Brewers 9-1.
Milwaukee pitcher Matt Garza (6-6) held the Phillies without a hit over the first six innings, before Jimmy Rollins finally got a single in the seventh.
It was Rollins who then sparked a seven-run eighth inning with a two-run single. The Phillies sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth and got RBI ground-rule doubles from Ryan Howard and Cody Asche.
The Brewers are still clinging to the NL Central lead despite losing nine of their past 10 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had his run of scoreless innings ended at 41, but still put in another strong performance that guided the hosts to a 2-1 win over San Diego.
Kershaw won his eighth straight start and came within 18 innings of the major league record set by fellow Dodgers Orel Hershiser, who threw 59 consecutive scoreless innings in 1988.
Chase Headley ended his streak with a homer in the sixth inning, leaving Kershaw tied with Luis Tiant for the fifth-longest scoreless streak in the expansion era (since 1961).
The Dodgers’ crosstown rivals, the Angels, won in contrasting style, piling on the runs to win 15-6 at Texas.
Atlanta avoided a four-game sweep at New York, beating the Mets 3-1, with Aaron Harang winning his fourth straight start.
Cleveland’s Roberto Perez hit a two-run homer in his major league debut and Carlos Santana also connected as the Indians scored nine runs in the final two innings and beat the New York Yankees 9-3.
Minnesota’s Kendrys Morales hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to help the Twins beat Seattle 4-2.
Chicago’s Luis Valbuena hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the 12th inning to give the Cubs a 6-4 win at Cincinnati, dodging a rare five-game series sweep.
Boston’s Mike Carp connect for a single in the 10th inning to give the Red Sox a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox and their second straight walk-off victory.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017