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Samardzija has victorious debut with Athletics

AP, Kyodo

Jeff Samardzija arrived at the ballpark nearly five hours before making his first start with his new ballclub.

The right-hander left having secured a four-game sweep for Oakland with a performance that showed exactly why the Athletics were so eager to get him in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

Samardzija pitched seven strong innings to win his Oakland debut and the A’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Sunday.

“First impressions are always important,” said Samardzija after lowering his overall ERA to 2.74.

“Like I said yesterday, they didn’t need me here. They were doing just fine without me. I don’t want to come in and change anything and change the atmosphere. I just want to come in and add and do my part,” he said.

He did just that, giving up four hits and one run with five strikeouts and one walk while earning his first win since June 7.

With the Cubs, Samardzija was 2-7 despite a 2.83 ERA. He was voted to the NL All-Star team but won’t pitch and will spend the game in the AL dugout. Major League Baseball said he is ineligible to play because of the league switch.

Munenori Kawasaki was 2-for-3 for Toronto in the loss.

Yankees 9, Twins 7

In Minneapolis, Hiroki Kuroda battled poor control but survived into the sixth inning and collected his sixth victory. Kuroda (6-6) allowed four runs, all earned, in 5⅔ innings.

Earlier in the day, the Yankees made two moves to shore up their pitching, bringing up a reliever and designating outfielder Alfonso Soriano, Kuroda’s former Hiroshima Carp teammate, for assignment in order to bring up a reliever, and trading for right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy.

“The team is making moves in order to win,” said Kuroda, who went to the mound in the first inning with a two-run lead and led 9-0 after four. “We won because of those early runs.”

Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki each had three hits for the Yankees, who have won 14 of 18 overall at Target Field.

White Sox 1, Mariners 0

In Chicago, Hector Noesi pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning for his first win in a month, leading the White Sox past Seattle.

Rays 7, Tigers 3

In Detroit, All-Star David Price came within an out of a complete game in helping Tampa Bay climb out of last place in the AL East.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6 (12)

In Boston, David Lough tripled to lead off the 12th inning and scored off J.J. Hardy’s single as Baltimore recovered after blowing a five-run lead.

Indians 4, Royals 1

In Cleveland, Corey Kluber allowed four hits and struck out 10 in 8⅓ innings, as Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes homered.

Angels 6, Astros 1

In Anaheim, Garrett Richards won his sixth decision in seven starts, striking out a career-high 11 to lead surging Los Angeles to a four-game sweep.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Diamondbacks 3, Braves 1

In Atlanta, Wade Miley earned his first win since early May.

Giants 5, Padres 3

In San Diego, Tim Lincecum continued his mastery of the Padres, taking a shutout into the seventh inning 11 days after no-hitting the same opposition.

Nationals 2, Cubs 1

In Washington, Ryan Zimmerman’s eighth-inning single drove in the go-ahead run for the surging Nationals.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 2

In Denver, Matt Kemp had four hits and drove in two runs, and Adrian Gonzalez had three RBIs.

Marlins 8, Cardinals 4

In St. Louis, Henderson Alvarez worked seven stingy innings and started the key rally with the first of his career-best three hits.

Casey McGehee extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with an RBI single in the first.

Pirates 6, Phillies 2

In Pittsburgh, Jeff Locke gave up three hits and a walk in eight innings as the Pirates completed their first series sweep of the season.

Reds 4, Brewers 2

In Cincinnati, Jay Bruce emerged from the deepest slump of his career — 0-for-26 — with a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning.

INTERLEAGUE

Mets 8, Rangers 4

In New York, Zack Wheeler breezed into the seventh inning and Anthony Recker hit a three-run homer in a five-run first as the Mets beat Texas for a series win.