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Series-opening win gives A's breathing room over Angels

The SportsXchange

The A's were swept by the Los Angeles Angels in three games at Oakland last week.

Hanging tenuously to the AL's top wild-card spot, the A's arrived at Anaheim for a four-game series that opened Monday, and Oakland smoothly took the first game 3-1 to move a season-high 20 games over .500.

The A's now hold a 3 1/2-game lead on the Angels. The Baltimore Orioles, who are in the second wild-card position, are two games behind Oakland, and the Tampa Bay Rays are a game behind the Orioles.

Jarrod Parker went seven innings and allowed three hits and one run in earning his 10th victory of the season. The A's have two rookies, Parker and Milone, with double-digit wins for just the second time in Oakland history; Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill also did that in 2009.

The A's have won 10 in a row on the road, their longest streak since also reeling off 10 in a row in 2006.

Pitching has been a major key in all of the A's success. Oakland pitchers have a 2.68 ERA over the past 24 games, and the starters have issued no more than three walks in any of the past 39 games.

Ryan Cook, who pitched the eighth inning Monday, hasn't allowed a run in 11 of his past 12 appearances, and Grant Balfour earned his 10th save in as many chances since returning to the closer role on Aug. 11.
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