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The Grand Slam: Bartolo Colon carries perfect game bid into seventh inning

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In what could possibly be his final start in a New York Mets uniform, Bartolo Colon gave interested teams plenty of motivation to make a deal for his services. The 41-year-old right-hander retired each of the first 20 Seattle Mariners he faced on Wednesday afternoon before Robinson Cano busted up the perfect game bid with a single. Colon ended up working into the eighth and allowed a pair of runs on three hits, but picked up the victory in New York's 3-2 win

''You're a little disappointed when they get a hit, but that's what they're trying to do,'' Colon said through an interpreter. ''They're trying to get a hit and break up the no-hitter.''

It would have been interesting how much Colon had left in the tank had he advanced beyond the seventh inning. His pitch count was still in the 80 range, seemingly leaving him in good shape. However, he did look a little tired in the eighth when Seattle broke through in the scoring column. With that in mind, manager Terry Collins contends that Colon would have completed the effort stricly on adrenaline.

''No doubt. There is no doubt in my mind that if he got by Cano he ramps it up. You see it a lot,'' Collins said. ''But you know, great game by him.''

We'll never know for sure. But we do know that Colon rasied his stock in the eyes of teams who could use a starter for the stretch run. 

RAYS SHUT OUT CARDS, EXTEND WIN STREAK TO 7: The Tampa Bay Rays are proving once again that it's foolish to ever count them out. On Wednesday, they continued their impressive post All-Star break run with a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, running their winning streak to seven games overall. 

With the win, Tampa Bay moved to within seven games of the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles. They're even closer in the wild-card race, sitting just 4 1/2 back of the Seattle Mariners, although there they'll have four teams to pass to claim a spot. A difficult task, but certainly achievable with two months of action left.

Especially if that two months is filled with pitching performances like that of Alex Cobb. In seven scoreless innings, Cobb allowed just five hits and struck out 10. It was his fourth scoreless outing this season of at least seven innings and his second with double digit strikeouts. He also picked up his first career hit and RBI with a double in the second inning, and survived being plunked on his pitching arm.

HUSTON STREET EARNS FIRST ANGELS SAVE:

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(AP)

(AP)

In his second appearance with the Los Angeles Angels, new closer Huston Street pitched a scoreless ninth to wrap up an exciting 3-2 win over the Orioles. Street went through the middle of Baltimore's order, getting Adam Jones on a fly out before walking Chris Davis as the tying run. He quickly recovered to strike out J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop to convert his first save chance.

Street's solid inning completed a well-pitched game by both teams Angels starter Jered Weaver pitched the first eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He was actually in line for the loss until Los Angeles rallied in the eighth. Erick Aybar doubled home Josh Hamilton with the tying run. With two outs, Kole Calhoun waited out a bases loaded walk that secured their league best 31st comeback win. 

Orioles starter Chris Tillman gave one run in six innings before relievers Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz coughed up the lead.

PIRATES USE FAST START TO TOP DODGERS: The Pittsburgh Pirates won the baseball lottery on Wednesday night by avoiding Dodgers' pitchers named Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and they took full advantage of the matchup, plating five early runs against Dan Haren on their way to a 6-1 victory.

Pittsburgh opened with a four-spot in the first inning, capped by All-Star Josh Harrison's two-run double. Travis Snider, who filled in for the DLed Starling Marte, tacked on a solo homer in the second inning. Snider finished the game with two hits, a walk and three runs scored. Left-hander Francisco Liriano picked up his second victory in 17 starts this season by completing seven innings of one-run ball. 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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