Chone Figgins and Troy Percival saved the Anaheim Angels, and gave them a little boost in the West race.
Figgins had RBI hits in the last two innings and scored the go-ahead run on an infield grounder. Percival then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth, and the Angels beat the Texas Rangers, 5-3, last night at Arlington, Texas, in the opener of a four-game series.
"It's still a three-team race," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We never had the perspective that all we had to do is beat Oakland. Texas is a legitimate contender. The challenge is still before us."
The Angels remain a game behind West-leading Oakland, which won the opener of its four-game series against Seattle. The Rangers are three games behind the Athletics.
Bartolo Colon (17-12) allowed just four hits in eight-plus innings, becoming the first pitcher to beat Texas six times in a season.
After Figgins tripled in the eighth to tie the game, 3-3, he raced home on Darin Erstad's grounder. First baseman Mark Teixeira fielded the ball cleanly and threw home, but Figgins slid around the sweeping tag of Ken Huckaby and was able to touch the back corner of home plate with his fingertips.
"On that type of slide, you're not able to get the whole plate," Figgins said. "As long as the umpire is in a good position where he can see you nick that plate, that's the best way you're going to do it."
Figgins took off as soon as Erstad, who had struck out his first three at-bats, hit the ball to the right side. Figgins added an RBI single off Ron Mahay in the ninth.
Athletics 6, Mariners 5 -- Bobby Crosby's sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth scored Erubiel Durazo with the winning run. Oakland held Ichiro Suzuki to one hit, leaving him five shy of George Sisler's 84-year-old record of 257. The Mariners have six games remaining.
Octavio Dotel (5-2) pitched a perfect ninth, getting two strikeouts and Mark Kotsay's clutch catch against the center-field wall on a hard-hit ball by Jose Lopez.
Durazo hit a bloop double off Ron Villone (7-6) leading off the bottom half, a ball between left fielder Raul Ibanez and Lopez, the shortstop. The two didn't communicate, and the ball went off Lopez's glove and fell to the ground in shallow left.
Jermaine Dye's groundout moved Durazo to third, then Scott Hatteberg drew an intentional walk to put runners on the corners for Marco Scutaro, who also walked. Crosby lined a 1-0 pitch to right to win it.
Elsewhere -- Gregg Zaun homered and Orlando Hudson had three hits and an RBI, leading the Toronto Blue Jays past the Orioles in Baltimore, 4-1 . . . Dmitri Young hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning to lift the host Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox . . . Casey Blake drove in three runs and Jake Westbrook pitched seven strong innings to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Royals in Kansas City, Mo., 6-1.