MLB: Los Angeles Angels move five games clear at the top of American League West
Last Updated: 01/09/14 12:39pm
Josh Hamilton is congratulated by Mike Trout as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics
The streaking Los Angeles Angels inflicted a fourth straight defeat on the Oakland Athletics to open up further daylight at the top of American League West.
An 8-1 win completed a series sweep and took the Halos five games clear after their sixth straight win in total.
Matt Shoemaker pitched seven scoreless innings, in sharp contrast to opposing starter Scott Kazmir who shipped six runs in the second inning and was hooked from the game.
The Seattle Mariners enjoyed a 5-3 win over National League East leaders the Washington Nationals, Dustin Ackley driving in four runs, while the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 3-2.
Jose Bautista cleared the boards for the fifth straight game as the Toronto Blue Jays beat AL East rivals the New York Yankees 4-3, while division leaders the Baltimore Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 12-8 with homers from Nelson Cruz, Ryan Flaherty and JJ Hardy. The latter's grand slam was the centrepiece of a seven-run sixth inning.
The Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0.
The Cleveland Indians will have to wait for the opportunity to complete a sweep of the Kansas City Royals after their game was suspended in the middle of the 10th inning due to high winds.
Cleveland had won the previous two games to move into a three-way battle for the AL Central, led by the Royals, and were leading 4-2 this time around after Lonnie Chisenhall's two-run double. The match will be played to a finish before September 22's game in Cleveland.
The second-placed Detroit Tigers lost 6-2 to the Chicago White Sox after an error-strewn fielding display let down pitcher Rick Porcello.
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants' offense clicked into top gear in a 15-5 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers who lost the outright lead of the NL Central.
Pablo Sandoval had what was surprisingly the only home run, a two-run shot in the fifth inning, and went a double short of the cycle while Hunter Pence had four hits.
Milwaukee were caught at the division summit by the St Louis Cardinals, who beat the Chicago Cubs 9-6. Matt Holliday knocked in four runs and Johnny Peralta two.
Defeat to the Cincinnati Reds left the Pittsburgh Pirates two runs back. Chris Heisey's two home runs brought all Cincy's runs in a 3-2 win.
The Los Angeles Dodgers remained 2.5 games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West after a 7-1 win over the San Diego Padres. Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven innings of one-run ball and Darwin Barney's two-run single rounded off a four-run eighth for LA.
The Atlanta Braves edged out the Miami Marlins 1-0 to move six games behind Washington and only 1.5 back from the wild card places. Alex Wood struck out 12 over eight innings, meaning Evan Gattis' solo homer was enough.
The New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 while the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 6-2.