OAKLAND, Calif. — Sean Manaea carried a perfect game into the sixth inning en route to winning his fourth straight start, Matt Olson hit a two-run homer and the Oakland Athletics beat the stumbling Houston Astros 3-1 on Thursday.

The division-leading A’s (27-15) moved 6 1/2 games ahead of second-place Houston in the AL West. The teams split Tuesday’s doubleheader that was forced by an Aug. 30 postponement at Houston because of Oakland pitcher Daniel Mengden’s positive coronavirus test result.

Oakland had four games postponed and is 5-3 since resuming play last Friday against the Padres. Houston (22-23), which won a majors-best 107 games last season and the past three AL West titles, lost for the eighth time in nine games.

The A’s have their largest division lead since they were 6 games up on Sept. 25, 2013.

Manaea (4-2) struck out four and didn’t walk a batter over seven innings. The lefty has surged since going 0-2 over his initial five outings. He didn’t allow a runner until Josh Reddick doubled leading off the sixth.

BRAVES 7, NATIONALS 6: Freddie Freeman homered twice, Dansby Swanson hit a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning and Atlanta  rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win at Washington.

ANGELS 6, RANGERS 2: Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 16th home run, a 449-foot drive into the left-field second deck, and visiting Los Angeles beat Texas to avoid being swept in six games this season at new Globe Life Field.

Trout, a three-time AL MVP, homered in the fifth inning against Kyle Gibson (1-5) for a 4-1 lead. He has 38 homers against Texas, his second-most against any team behind the 46 he has hit against Seattle.

CARDINALS, TIGERS SPLIT: Jeimer Candelario capped off a two-homer day with a two-run, bases-loaded single in the seventh inning to help visiting Detroit beat St. Louis 6-3 for a doubleheader split.

The Cardinals won the opener 12-2 behind a five-homer attack.

In the first game, Yadier Molina, wearing uniform No. 21 in honor of Roberto Clemente, hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the second inning for the Cardinals.

Candelario hit a two-run homer in the first game and added a solo shot in the nightcap.

ROYALS 11, INDIANS 1: Kansas City rookie Brady Singer allowed just one hit – a two-out single through an infield shift in the eighth inning – and flirted with baseball history while leading the Royals to a win at Cleveland.

Making just his ninth career start, the 24-year-old right-hander was four outs from becoming the 36th rookie to throw a no-hitter when Cleveland catcher Austin Hedges, who came in batting .148, bounced a single through a wide-open right side.

MARLINS 7, PHILLIES 6: Starling Marte hit a tying, three-run double off Brandon Workman in the eighth inning, Jorge Alfaro singled home the winning run in the ninth and Miami beat visiting Philadelphia in the opener of a seven-game series.

NOTES

BRAVES: The Atlanta Braves’ banged-up starting rotation suffered another setback when left-hander Tommy Milone was placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation.

Milone, acquired from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline, has a 14.90 ERA in three starts for NL East-leading Atlanta. He allowed eight runs in 3 1/3 innings in the Braves’ 29-9 victory over Miami on Wednesday night.

The Braves recalled right-hander Huascar Ynoa to the active roster and outrighted utilityman Charlie Culberson to the team’s alternate training site.

Atlanta has six pitchers on the IL, including ace Max Fried, and the team has used 11 starters in its 43 games. Robbie Erlin was Thursday night’s starter against the Washington Nationals after he worked three innings out of the bullpen on Monday.

GIANTS: The San Francisco Giants released Pablo Sandoval, parting ways for a second time with the former fan favorite and 2012 World Series MVP.

Sandoval ends a second stint with the club after he rejoined the Giants following parts of three seasons away with the Boston Red Sox after winning a third World Series in five years with the Giants in 2014.

The Giants posted a thank you to the Kung Fu Panda on their Twitter page. A switch-hitter, the 34-year-old Sandoval was batting .220 with one home run and six RBIs in 33 games. He had a prorated salary of $740,741.

He came back this spring from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last September, after retired manager Bruce Bochy – a father figure to the Venezuelan slugger – gave him one final at-bat. But Sandoval arrived at summer training in July noticeably heavier. He recently shared how his wife and children healed from the coronavirus, and Manager Gabe Kapler gave him time off to monitor the situation from afar.

Newly acquired infielder Justin Smoak was added to the major league roster.

In addition, left-hander Drew Smyly was activated from the 10-day injured list after dealing with a sprained index finger on his pitching hand. Right-hander Rico Garcia was optioned to the team’s Sacramento alternate site.

DIAMONDBACKS: Former All-Star infielder Jake Lamb has been designated for assignment after struggling for nearly three straight seasons.

The 29-year-old Lamb looked like a future star at third base just a few years ago. He hit 29 homers in 2016 and then made the NL All-Star team in 2017 while setting career-highs with 30 homers and 105 RBI. Since then, he’s battled injuries and inconsistency and hit just 12 homers over the past three seasons.

DODGERS: Mookie Betts made his first start at second base since 2014 when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The 27-year-old Betts, who signed a $365 million, 12-year deal with the Dodgers that starts next year, has been one of the best players in the big leagues this season, batting .307 with 14 homers, 33 RBI and six stolen bases. Now he’s showing off his defensive versatility after making his previous 37 starts of the season in right field.

Betts isn’t a total stranger to the infield, playing second base some in the minors with the Portland Sea Dogs and starting 14 games at the position during his rookie season with the Red Sox. He also played a six-inning stretch at second base in 2018.

The move is mildly surprising considering the Dodgers have other options at second base, including Kike Hernandez, Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor.


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