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A’s increase their division lead over the Rangers

Sep 9, 2013, 8:35 PM PDT

A's players were probably giving congratulory fist bumps at the team hotel on Monday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The Oakland Athletics further distanced themselves from the Texas Rangers on Monday and they didn’t even have to pick up a bat or throw a ball. The Pittsburgh Pirates did all the work for them by defeating the Rangers 1-0 in Texas.

The A’s now hold a two-game lead in the American League West.

With the road victory, the Pirates clinched their first winning season since 1992. Rookie right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole tossed seven scoreless innings and stuck out a career-high nine hitters to defeat Yu Darvish, who hasn’t won a game in his last five starts.

Only one Rangers’ runner was able to reach second base against Cole as they were held scoreless for the ninth time this season.

The A’s open a three-game series in Minnesota against the Twins on Tuesday. Seven of the A’s final 19 games are against the Twins.┬áThe A’s are a season-high 23 games over .500, while the Twins have a 62-80 record and are in fourth place in the American League Central.

Pitching Probables: (All three games are on Comcast SportNet California)

— RHP Jarrod Parker (11-6, 3.57) vs. RHP Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.28)
— RHP Sonny Gray (2-3, 2.51) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-11, 4.97)
— RHP A.J. Griffin (13-9, 3.91) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (9-11, 4.30)

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