Rangers losing playoff ground

Wild-card hopes dimmed by A’s

Oakland first baseman Daric Barton tags out the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus on a groundout to short on a night Texas would like to forget. Oakland first baseman Daric Barton tags out the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus on a groundout to short on a night Texas would like to forget. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)
Associated Press / September 15, 2009

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Brett Tomko earned his 100th major league victory in style.

The righthander pitched a five-hitter for his milestone win and the Oakland Athletics dealt a blow to Texas’s playoff hopes, routing the Rangers, 9-0, last night in Arlington, Texas.

“If you’re going to do it, do it the right way,’’ said Tomko, who threw 114 pitches in his second career shutout. “That makes it more memorable.’’

Released by the Yankees July 29, Tomko (5-3) struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in his 13th career complete game. He outpitched Scott Feldman, snapping the righthander’s seven-game winning streak.

Tomko retired the first two batters in the ninth inning before Julio Borbon singled to left. The 36-year-old journeyman finished things off by retiring Elvis Andrus on a grounder to shortstop.

“We were going to let him go,’’ Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “Obviously, his pitch count wasn’t high. We were going to give him every opportunity to finish as long as the game wasn’t in jeopardy.’’

The Rangers have lost three of their first four on a nine-game homestand, falling 4 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL wild-card race. It’s the farthest Texas has been out of a playoff spot all season.

“It’s frustrating,’’ Ian Kinsler said. “We didn’t have a good night. We’ve had a rough couple games.’’

Giants 9, Rockies 1 - Tim Lincecum pitched seven strong innings in his return from a balky back, Eugenio Velez drove in four runs as host San Francisco gained ground on the NL wild card-leading Colorado.

Bengie Molina homered and scored three runs and Aaron Rowand drove in two runs for the Giants, who moved within 3 1/2 games of the Rockies in the wild-card race. Juan Uribe and Fred Lewis also drove in runs for San Francisco.

Lincecum, who missed his last start with back spasms, threw 116 pitches and had only one clean inning. He stranded nine runners.

Yankees 5, Angels 3 - Mark Teixeira hit a two-run triple on a play that caused Angels center fielder Torii Hunter to lose a shoe, then doubled to start the go-ahead rally in the eighth inning that led host New York over Los Angeles in a possible playoff preview.

New York broke a 3-all tie when pinch runner Brett Gardner took third as part of a double steal and came home as catcher Mike Napoli bounced the throw past third baseman Chone Figgins for an error. Robinson Cano added a run-scoring single, and Mariano Rivera finished to reach 40 saves for the first time in four years and the seventh time in his career.

The Yankee Stadium record for home runs in a season was broken with eight games to spare. Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero hit the 216th home run in 73 games at the new $1.5 billion ballpark, one more than the high set at the previous stadium in 2004.

Cardinals 11, Marlins 6 - Matt Holliday drove in three runs to top 100 RBIs for the third time in his career and the bullpen rescued struggling Todd Wellemeyer for host St. Louis.

Albert Pujols had two hits plus the go-ahead sacrifice fly in a three-run fourth inning and Skip Schumaker had three hits, a walk, and scored three times.

The Cardinals bounced back from a three-game sweep by the Braves and reduced their magic number for clinching the NL Central to 10.

Tigers 6, Blue Jays 5 - Marco Scutaro’s second error of the game allowed Brandon Inge to score from second in the bottom of the 10th inning as Detroit rallied to beat Toronto.

Pinch hitter Aubrey Huff belted a tying three-run homer in the ninth and Ryan Raburn also went deep for the AL Central-leading Tigers.

Rays 8, Orioles 4 - Tampa Bay ended its 11-game losing streak, using a 15-hit attack and an effective pitching performance by David Price to beat host Baltimore.

The Rays avoided becoming the first World Series team in history to lose 12 in a row the following year. Rookie Reid Brignac had a career-high four hits - his first big league homer, two doubles, and a single.

Reds 3, Astros 1 - Jay Bruce hit a go-ahead single in his return from the disabled list and Brandon Phillips homered to help host Cincinnati beat Houston.

Bronson Arroyo (13-12) allowed six hits and one run with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.

Dodgers 6, Pirates 2 - Andre Ethier hit a tiebreaking homer, Manny Ramirez had an early RBI double and host Los Angeles opened its penultimate regular-season homestand by troucing Pittsburgh.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2 - Brandon Allen singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, lifting visiting Arizona over San Diego.

Cubs 2, Brewers 0 - Ryan Dempster pitched eight shutout innings and Derrek Lee homered for the seventh time in 10 games as host Chicago shut out Milwaukee.

Twins 6, Indians 3 - Michael Cuddyer’s tying three-run homer rescued host Minnesota in the eighth inning, ruining a fine start for Cleveland by Jeremy Sowers.

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