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etics are in sole possession of first place in the - Bellroll33 - 22-08-2019

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland Athletics are in sole possession of first place in the AL West for the first time in more than a month. Its just not that big of a deal to Josh Donaldson. Donaldson had three hits, including a two-run homer in the sixth inning, and the As beat the Houston Astros 7-5 on Friday night to jump ahead of Texas in the division. Jed Lowrie added two hits and two RBIs for Oakland, which has won six of eight. Yoenis Cespedes and Nate Freiman had two hits apiece. The As grabbed a half-game lead over the Rangers, who lost 6-5 at the Los Angeles Angels. But it was around this time last year that Oakland began its late push to overtake Texas for the division crown. "It doesnt matter until the end of the season, we know that too well," Donaldson said. "Were really not trying to focus on it right now. Were trying to take care of our business." A.J. Griffin (13-9) gave up four runs over six innings but matched his career high of nine strikeouts to win his third straight decision. Matt Dominguez drove in a pair of runs for Houston after sitting out the past three games with a sinus infection. The As trailed 3-1 and 4-3 before scoring twice in the fourth on Lowries RBI single and a groundout by Cespedes. Donaldson doubled and scored in the third, and then singled and scored in the fourth. But his big blow came in the sixth, a towering drive to centre against reliever Phil Humber that gave Oakland a 7-4 lead. Donaldson went 3 for 5 and is batting .349 with two homers and nine RBIs in 17 games this season against major league-worst Houston (47-94). Eight of the As nine starters had at least one hit, and five different players drove in runs. "That shows that we have multiple ways that we can score runs," Donaldson said. "Thats what it takes. If youre going to score seven, eight runs, its not all the time going to come by the long ball. Its going to come by guys manufacturing and having good approaches at the plate." Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook combined to retire six batters, and Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 37th save. The Astros, who had won three of the previous four games in the season series, got the tying run on base in the ninth after an error by second baseman Eric Sogard allowed Jonathan Villar to score. Balfour got Jason Castro to ground into a fielders choice, and then fanned Dominguez to end the game. "The at-bats were tremendous, especially in the ninth inning," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "I really felt like Dominguez was going to get a base hit there. Its unfortunate we came up short." It was an appropriate end to the back-and-forth contest. Houston scored three times in the third to open a 3-1 lead. Dominguez had a two-run single and Jose Altuve also drove in a run with a base hit. Oakland tied it in the bottom half when Lowrie doubled in Donaldson and scored on Freimans single. Villar drove in Brett Wallace with a bunt single in the fourth, putting the Astros back in front. The lead didnt last very long, with Oakland going in front for good in the bottom half. Houston starter Dallas Keuchel (5-9) struggled in his third start against the As this season, allowing 10 hits and five runs in just 3 2-3 innings. He was hurt by his defence. Left fielder Chris Carter dropped Brandon Moss routine fly ball in the sixth. First baseman Wallace later dropped a foul ball in the eighth for another error. NOTES: As CF Coco Crisp has an extra-base hit in seven consecutive games, the longest streak by an Oakland player since 2003. ... Villar finished with three hits. ... Houston CF Brandon Barnes was ejected in the sixth inning after arguing with home plate umpire Alan Porter from the Astros dugout. Barnes appeared to get hit by a pitch from Griffin earlier in the inning but Porter ruled otherwise. Barnes then struck out. ... Castro (right knee) was back in the Houston lineup as the DH after missing three games. Bo Porter did not know when Castro would be able to catch again. ... As RF Josh Reddick (right wrist) is expected to take batting practice on the field Tuesday in Minnesota. ... Brett Oberholtzer (4-1), coming off Houstons first shutout of the season, takes on Dan Straily (8-7) in the third game of the series. Mark McGwire Jersey . - For years William Gay kept quiet. Albert Pujols Jersey . -- Among the 31 players at the Montreal Canadiens rookie camp, none feels closer to cracking the NHL roster than right winger Aaron Palushaj. http://www.authenticcardinalspro.com/cardinals-steve-carlton-jersey/ .com) - Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar and New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo were named the NHLs players of the week on Monday. Marcell Ozuna Cardinals Jersey . Neither player was available Saturday for the Knicks 107-98 loss in Atlanta. "Were going in a different direction and weve got to figure out another spot or two for our ballclub," coach Mike Woodson said before the game. Matt Carpenter Cardinals Jersey . Jose Bautista homered for the fifth straight game in the sixth inning, following a two-out solo homer by Melky Cabrera. Edwin Encarnacion led off the seventh with a homer to tie the game 3-3 and, with two out in the seventh, Munenori Kawasaki came through with the two-out single to score pinch-runner Steve Tolleson with what proved to be the winning run.DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jonathan Diaz, taking off from second base, beat a throw to the plate to complete a 10th-inning Toronto comeback as the Blue Jays rallied to defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 in Grapefruit League play Sunday. Toronto needed a run in the ninth and two in the 10th to stave off the Orioles, who led 2-1 going into the bottom off the ninth and then went ahead 3-2 in the 10th thanks to Dariel Alvarezs solo homer off reliever Arik Sikula. Toronto pinch-hitter Erik Kratz doubled with one out in the 10th and moved to third on a wild pitch. Diaz walked and Dan Johnson singled in Kratz to tie it at 3-3. Josh Thole, who was three-for-17 at the plate, then grounded out to Buck Britton at second base but Diaz beat the throw to home from first baseman Michael Almanzar. Diaz said third base coach Luis Perez deserved kudos for the play "It was 3-1 (count) and we were just going on the pitch," said Diaz, a slick-fielding shortstop who had come on earlier as an outfield replacement. "I give all the credit to Luis. Hes the one that saw the play and sent me. "And I just put my head down and ran as hard as I could. Luckily I was the winning run. Thats exciting." The win snapped a four-game spring losing streak for the Jays (7-10), who had looked poised to end that slide in the ninth inning. Toronto outhit Baltimore 15-10 in a game that started slow but ramped up at the end. While hardly a classic -- the two teams combined to leave 20 men for base -- it had its moments. The game, played on a 26-degree day at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with a stiff wind blowing in from right field, drew a crowd of 4,605. Sikula, a 23-year-old minor-leaguer, ended up with the win after looking like he was going to take the loss. Toronto sent it to extra innings with a run in the ninth after loading the bases with no outs off reliever Ryan Webb through singles from Johnson, Dioner Navarro and Chris Getz. Munenori Kawasaki then hit an RBI single to tie it at 2-2. But the promising rally ended all too quickly. Baltimore (10-6) brought in left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz, who retired Moises Sierra via a sharp lineout. Kevin Pillar then hit a double-play ball back to the pitcher to end the uprising. And the Orioles made the Jays pay -- at least briefly -- in the 10th with the homer. De La Cruz took the loss while Webb was tagged with a blown save. The Orioles went ahead 2-0 in the fourth on RBI doubles by Steve Clevenger and Ryan Flaherty after Adam Jones got on booard on an infield hit and moved to second on a Todd Redmond wild pitch.dddddddddddd. Toronto pulled one back in the bottom of the fourth. On the plus side, the Jays continued to display good defence with Brett Lawrie handling hot shots at third in the second and fourth innings and Colby Rasmus tracking down a high ball in the wind in the third. Melky Cabrera gunned down Almanzar from left field in the seventh as he tried to come home from second on a single. Chunky catcher Navarro, however, was thrown out at the plate to snuff out a Jays rally in the seventh. Redmond, the Jays starter, scattered four hits over five innings, giving up two runs. He struck out four and walked one. He gave way to 2010 first-round draft choice Aaron Sanchez, whose fastball hit 97 m.p.h. on the speed gun during a Houdini-like appearance that saw the 21-year-old live dangerously but somehow survive. Sanchez loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth but escaped with a double play that removed the lead runner and a groundout. In the seventh, he kept the Orioles from scoring after putting two men on base. Redmond came into the game having given up seven earned runs and 11 hits in four spring outings for an ERA of 7.00. The 28-year-old right-hander is out of options, meaning another club could pick him up if the Jays sent his down. Redmond had 1-2-3 innings in the first, third and fifth but had traffic on the bases in the second and fourth. "My last two outings (have been) definitely in the right direction," said Redmond, hoping to stick with the big league team. Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, who went 11-8 last season with a 3.78 ERA, retired 10 straight between first and fourth inning before running into some trouble. He exited after four innings, yielding one run on five hits with three strikeouts. Singles by Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Cabrera with two outs in the fourth produced a Jays run, with Jones throw from centre making it close at the plate. Lawrie made it four singles in a row to load the bases but the five-foot-nine 205-pound Navarro grounded out to end the rally. The Jays looked to do it again with two singles in the fifth against reliever Alfredo Aceves but second baseman Jemile Weeks snuffed out the charge with an acrobatic catch of an Encarnacion broken bat hit. The Jays have an off-day Monday before travelling to Lakeland to face a Detroit Tigers split squad on Tuesday. Ricky Romero is slated to start in his continued bid to win back a place in the Jays rotation. ' ' '