MLB: Hamilton hurts A's
Orioles lose, announce trade for Thome from the Phillies
Last Updated: 01/07/12 10:56am
Josh Hamilton: his three-run shot helped see off the Oakland Athletics
The Texas Rangers became the first team to 50 wins this season as Josh Hamilton's 25th homer helped them beat the Oakland Athletics 7-2.
Martin Perez got the win on his first start in the Major League, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was backed up by homers from Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, the former driving in four including his three-run shot.
Anthony Rizzo's first home run with the Chicago Cubs proved to be the game-winning hit in a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros.
Down 2-0 in the fifth, Starlin Castro drove in a run before Rizzo crushed a two-run shot which put the Cubs ahead for good.
Johan Santana hurled eight shut-out innings, allowing just three hits and two walks, to lead the New York Mets to a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The New York Yankees also had an impressive performance from their starting pitcher, getting seven scoreless innings from Hiroki Kuroda in a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Curtis Granderson hit his 23rd homer for the Yankees, while Robinson Cano and Dewayne Wise also hit pitches out of the yard.
Ryan Braun homered twice, taking his total for the season to a National League-leading 22, as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-2.
Mat Latos starred in the Cincinnati Reds' 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants while Rick Porcello hurled seven scoreless frames to help the Detroit Tigers to a 6-2 success over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Stephen Strasburg could only manage three innings in heat of 106 Fahrenheit as the Washington Nationals slipped to a 7-5 defeat at the Atlanta Braves.
The Minnesota Twins took two wins from their double-header with the Kansas City Royals, firstly with a 7-2 victory in the afternoon thanks to Scott Diamond's pitching and then doubling up with a 5-1 victory in the evening game.
Shin-Soo Choo had four hits as the Cleveland Indians claimed an 11-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles, who later announced they had traded for veteran Jim Thome from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Yasmani Grandal homered twice in his first Major League start to help the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 8-4.
The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Los Angeles Angels 11-2, the Pittsburgh Pirates were 7-3 winners over the St Louis Cardinals and the Seattle Mariners edged the Boston Red Sox 3-2.