Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 20 News List

A’s lose wild-card slot as Cards edge closer to title

AP, OAKLAND, California

Tony Cruz of the St Louis Cardinals hits a walkoff single against the Milwaukee Brewers in their National League game in St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP


Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics fell out of the top American League wild-card spot with a 7-2 loss to Texas on Thursday that gave the Rangers a three-game sweep.

The latest loss to the team with the worst record in the majors dropped the A’s half a game behind the idle Kansas City Royals for the first wild-spot slot. Oakland owned the best record in the big leagues as recently as Aug. 15.

Gray saw his winless stretch reach five starts. The right-hander in his first full major league season has only one victory in 10 starts since his 5-0 July that earned him American League Pitcher of the Month honors.

Leonys Martin hit an RBI double and the Rangers came out swinging for 15 hits.

In St Louis, Missouri, Tony Cruz singled in the winning run in the 13th inning as the St Louis Cardinals moved closer to their second straight National League Central title with a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The defending National League champions took two of three in a tight series that featured only 12 runs and another game that lasted 12 innings.

St Louis lead the division by 2.5 games with nine games to go.

Seattle slugger Logan Morrison hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning as the Mariners boosted their wild-card hopes with a 3-1 victory over American League West champions the Los Angeles Angels.

With just their third win in nine games, the Mariners pulled within one game of slumping Oakland for the second American League wild-card spot.

In New York, Derek Jeter began his final homestand with one more stroll around the bases, hitting a home run deep into the left-field seats in the sixth innings of the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

After Jose Bautista’s tying, two-run homer off Shawn Kelley with two outs in the eighth inning, Chase Headley sent the winning run home in the ninth with a one-out grounder through the legs of first baseman Adam Lind for an error.

Jeter earned a standing ovation from his adoring fans for just the fourth home run of his 20th and final major league season.

Hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates got a lucky break when Boston pinch-runner Jemile Weeks was hit by a batted ball in the ninth inning in a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.

The Pirates won their fourth in a row and maintained their lead over Milwaukee for the second National League wild-card spot.

In other games, Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs in seven innings and Bryce Harper had three hits as the Washington Nationals kept up their push for home-field advantage in the National League playoffs by beating the Miami Marlins 6-2, the Los Angeles Dodgers downed the Chicago Cubs 8-4, the Colorado Rockies edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6, the Cleveland Indians beat the Houston Astros 2-1 in the 13th inning and the San Diego Padres were 7-3 winners over the Philadelphia Phillies.

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