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A’s Braden wins with perfect game

OAKLAND, Calif. — Dallas Braden definitely owns the mound now.

Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history on Sunday, shutting down the majors’ hottest team and leading the Oakland Athletics to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Braden threw his arms in the air after Gabe Kapler grounded out to shortstop for the final out, his simmering feud with Yankees star Alex Rodriguez merely a footnote to the first perfect game for Oakland in 42 years.

The closest the Rays got to a hit was Jason Bartlett’s liner to third leading off the game. Evan Longoria tried to bunt leading off the fifth, drawing boos from the small crowd.

“Pretty cool,” Braden said. “I don’t know what to think about it just yet. There’s definitely a select group. I’d like to have a career more than today.”

Before this gem, Braden was best known for his enraged reaction to Rodriguez walking across the mound on April 22. Still angry after the game, he told the slugger “to go do laps in the bullpen” if he wanted to traipse across a mound.

The squabble was still simmering last week. On Friday in Boston, Rodriguez said he didn’t want to extend Braden’s “extra 15 minutes of fame.”

A-Rod struck a far more conciliatory tone Sunday.

“I’ve learned in my career that it’s always better to be remembered for some of the good things you do on the field, and good for him,” Rodriguez said before facing Boston. “He threw a perfect game. And, even better, he beat the Rays.”