Dan Haren limited baseball's hottest team to four singles in 6 2/3 innings and pushed Oakland higher in the AL wild-card standings as the visiting Athletics beat Cleveland, 2-0, last night, stopping the Indians' seven-game winning streak.
Haren (13-10) made sure the A's took the opener of a three-game series they can't afford to lose. Oakland, a major league-best 36-20 since the All-Star break, pulled within 1 1/2 games of the wild card-leading Indians.
Cleveland, 19-7 since Aug. 16, has a one-game edge over the idle New York Yankees, who open a three-game set tonight at Tampa Bay.
The A's made three errors but did just enough offensively to hand C.C. Sabathia (13-10) his first loss since July 30. Jason Kendall hit an RBI single in the third off the lefthander, and Mark Kotsay delivered a sacrifice fly in the seventh against reliever Scott Sauerbeck.
Sabathia had won his previous seven starts, but he wasn't as sharp and constantly had to work out of trouble because of five walks. Oakland manager Ken Macha treated the game as if it were already October. In the eighth inning, he used four pitchers as Kiko Calero, Ricardo Rincon, Justin Duchscherer, and Huston Street preserved the shutout.
Mariners 8, Angels 1 -- Joel Pineiro pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, Raul Ibanez homered and had four hits and Seattle beat visiting Los Angeles.
The loss cut the Angels' lead in the AL West to one game over Oakland.
Richie Sexson hit a two-run homer in the third, his 35th, to put the Mariners ahead 2-1. Ibanez stole home on a double steal in the fifth and hit his 18th homer in the seventh, a solo shot.
Pineiro (7-9), who entered with a 5.43 ERA, has turned a dismal season around this month. In three starts spanning 22 1/3 innings, he has allowed only four runs for a 1.61 ERA.
Twins 2, Tigers 1 -- Kyle Lohse won in his first start since a tirade that followed his early removal from a game, leading visiting Minnesota over Detroit.
Lohse (9-12) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings and stopped Minnesota's three-game losing streak. Last Tuesday, Lohse damaged the door to manager Ron Gardenhire's office with a bat after being pulled from a game after two innings. The pair met for about a half-hour Friday and said they settled their differences.
Orioles 4, Rangers 2 -- Daniel Cabrera struck out seven to win his second consecutive start since coming off the disabled list and Baltimore scored twice on a dropped fly ball in their victory in Arlington, Texas.