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Pirates' Liriano shuts down A's

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin returns to the dugout out after taking pitcher A.J. Griffin out of the game for tightness in his right
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin returns to the dugout out after taking pitcher A.J. Griffin out of the game for tightness in his right

(Reuters) - Francisco Liriano pitched Pittsburgh out of a four-game slump on Wednesday as the Pirates blanked Oakland 5-0.

Liriano allowed just four hits over seven innings, and Pedro Alvarez had two RBIs to lead the offense, as Pittsburgh chased Oakland starter Tommy Milone after just 2 2/3 innings to get the home win and avoid a three-game sweep.

Despite the loss, the Athletics (54-38) kept their half-game lead in the American League West after Texas (53-38) lost 6-1 at Baltimore.

That was only part of the bad news for the Rangers as they also announced they had put Japanese ace Yu Darvish on the 15-day disabled list with a strained back.

Darvish, who was named to the AL's All Star team, will not play in the game and will rest the ailment during the break.

He is 8-4 with a 3.02 ERA so far this season.

In Philadelphia, the Washington Nationals blasted four home runs off Cliff Lee in a 5-1 win over the Phillies.

Lee (10-3) had won his last eight decisions but ran into trouble in the fifth inning where Washington drilled two homers before adding two more in the sixth.

In Tampa Bay, the red-hot Rays scored a 4-3 over Minnesota in a 13-inning game that lasted nearly five hours.

Ben Zobrist delivered the game-winning single in the 13th inning to give Tampa Bay (52-40) their seventh straight victory.

The lengthy contest featured seven pitchers from each team and a total of 35 strikeouts.

The Twins (37-51) lost their fourth straight and have lost 10 of their last 11.

In Seattle, Boston's David Ortiz set a record for career hits by a designated-hitter in their 11-4 win over the Mariners.

Ortiz recorded his 1,689th hit in the second inning to pass the mark held by Harold Baines, then added a two-run homer an inning later and finished with three RBIs.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los AngelesEditing by Peter Rutherford)

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