Around the Bases: A's, Pirates take sole possession of 1st place

Thearon W. Henderson

Coco Crisp's foul pole-skimming homer and Neil Walker's three-run blast helped the A's and Pirates take control of the top spot in their respective divisions.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Coco Crisp hit a two-run home run off of the foul pole in the bottom of the fifth inning to lead Oakland to a first-place tie in the American League West. The play was reviewed and stood as it was originally called.

Yoenis Cespedes also homered, his 21st, in support of Dan Straily, who allowed two runs on three hits in five innings en route to the win. David Murphy accounted for both of the Rangers' runs with a two-run homer in the fifth.

Alex Rios had three hits for Texas in the loss.

Reds 7, Cardinals 2: Mat Latos tossed a complete game to help Cincinnati pull to within two and a half games of St. Louis, which dropped a game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central. Latos allowed two runs on four hits and got through nine innings on 100 pitches.

Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto went deep for the Reds against Adam Wainwright, who surrendered six runs on 10 hits in six innings.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: Jose Tabata had three hits from the leadoff spot and Neil Walker hit a three-run home run to give the Pirates sole possession of first place. Walker's blast gave Charlie Morton plenty of breathing room. Morton allowed two runs -- one earned -- and racked up six strikeouts in seven innings.

Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: Doug Fister worked around four walks by allowing just four hits in seven scoreless innings in Boston. Detroit ensured his performance wouldn't go wasted when Andy Dirks tripled in Victor Martinez in the top of the seventh.

John Lackey struck out five in 7 ⅓ innings but was saddled with the loss. Austin Jackson led the Tigers with two hits atop the order. Boston outfielder Tony Nava paced all players with three hits and a walk.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: Los Angeles softened the blow of the loss of Yasiel Puig in the sixth by scoring three times that inning and adding two more runs in the ninth to pull away from Colorado. Puig was injured after reaching on an error to start the sixth and was later diagnosed with a left knee strain.

Clayton Kershaw allowed a season-high five runs in five innings but walked away with the win anyway. His ERA sits at 1.89. Andre Ethier had three hits, including a home run, and Juan Uribe added a trio of knocks to help the Dodgers accomplish yet another impressive feat:

Orioles 7, Indians 2: Bud Norris had his best outing since being acquired by Baltimore, holding the Tribe to a run on four hits in seven innings. Norris struck out eight and walked only one. Matt Wieters went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer, and Nate McLouth added a pair of hits and a two-run blast.

The O's moved to within two games of the final wildcard spot in the AL as a result of their win coupled with ...

Angels 11, Rays 2: The Rays' west coast woes continued on Monday as they fell to 0-9 in games played in the Pacific time zone and Arizona. Erick Aybar homered and drove in four and Mike Trout became the youngest player in MLB history to post consecutive seasons with at least 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

Ben Zobrist homered and drove in both of the Rays' runs. Tampa Bay left 11 runners on base and failed to take advantage of seven walks issued by Angels starter Garrett Richards.

Rays outfielder Sam Fuld made his big-league pitching debut with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and got J.B. Shuck to fly out to end the inning.

Braves 13, Mets 5: Freddie Freeman homered and drove in five and Andrelton Simmons added a pair of hits and three runs batted in to lead Atlanta to a rout over New York. The Braves scored six runs on seven hits against Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka and saved some punishment for the bullpen as well.

Jordan Schafer had four hits and scored a pair of runs from the leadoff spot for the Braves while starter Paul Maholm earned the victory with five innings of three-run ball.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Every Yankees starter had at least one hit with the exception of Curtis Granderson. Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner had two knocks apiece as the Yankees scored eight runs off of White Sox reliever Dylan Axelrod.

David Huff entered the game after a 1:53 rain delay and pitched 5 ⅔ innings, allowing a run on five hits while striking out three.

Royals 3, Mariners 1: Will Smith struck out eight batters and gave up just one hit in 4 ⅓ scoreless innings of relief to help the Royals get past Felix Hernandez, who lost his fourth straight start despite surpassing 200 strikeouts for the season. Hernandez allowed three runs on six hits in 6 ⅔ innings.

Blue Jays 4, Diamondbacks 1: Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy tossed a complete game but allowed four runs, including a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion in the ninth inning, en route to the loss.

Jays hurler Esmil Rogers struck out six and allowed just one hit in 6 ⅓ scoreless innings. The two teams combined for nine hits.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Stephen Strasburg and Cole Hamels were dominant but both were not a factor in the decision because of Philadelphia's two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jimmy Rollins hit an RBI double and Carlos Ruiz added a go-ahead single off of Nats reliever Tyler Clippard to lift Philly to the victory.

Strasburg struck out 10 batters and didn't allow an earned run in six innings. Hamels lasted seven frames, striking out eight and allowing just a run on two hits.

Padres 4, Giants 1: Chris Denorfia drove in a pair of runs and Nick Hundley homered off of Giants starter Barry Zito to help Ian Kennedy secure his third win since joining the Padres. Kennedy surrendered one run in six innings, allowing just five hits and notching seven strikeouts.

Barry Zito's road ERA, which was 9.25 entering the game, actually improved after he gave up four runs in four innings of work.

Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Miami pitcher Henderson Alvarez did it all himself on Monday, tossing six innings of three-run ball and going 2-for-2 at the plate with a three-run homer in the second inning. Christian Yelich added three hits and a home run for the Marlins.

Twins 10, Astros 6: Chris Colabello homered twice, including a tie-breaking grand slam in the top of the ninth inning off of Houston reliever Chia-Jen Lo, to power Minnesota to its third win of its current six-game Texas road swing.

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