AmericanBrian Roberts led off the game with a home run, and Nick Markakis and Fernando Tatis also connected to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 12-2 rout on Thursday that left the New York Yankees staggering a bit heading into their big weekend series in Boston.
New York's American League East lead over second-place Boston was cut to 1-1/2 games heading into a five-game series at Fenway Park that started with a day-night doubleheader yesterday. The Yankees lost two of three to the Orioles and have dropped seven of their last 12.
Baltimore drew five walks, four from Jaret Wright (9-7), and turned all of them into runs. Wright (9-7) lasted just three-plus innings and allowed only two hits.
Rodrigo Lopez (9-12), who entered leading the AL in runs (106) and hits (188) allowed, handcuffed New York on six hits through seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
Roberts opened the game by connecting against Wright, who had gone 10 starts and 223 batters without allowing a home run.
Robinson Cano and Johnny Damon homered for the Yankees.
White Sox 5, Royals 4
At Chicago, Bobby Jenks got Mike Sweeney to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded, and Chicago edged Kansas City to increase its AL wild-card lead.
Mark Buehrle (10-10), 0-6 in his previous eight starts, allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to get the win. Jenks got four outs for his 34th save in 36 chances.
Chicago took a two-game lead in the wild card over Minnesota, which lost to Cleveland 3-2.
For the first time in major league history, both teams hit leadoff home runs in the first two innings, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
DeJesus hit Buehrle's first pitch of the game for a homer. In the bottom of the first, Pablo Ozuna led off with a homer against Odalis Perez (0-1).
Emil Brown homered for Kansas City to start the second inning. Jermaine Dye homered to open the White Sox second.
Angels 5, Mariners 2
At Anaheim, California, Kelvim Escobar pitched seven strong innings, Vladimir Guerrero hit a three-run double and short-handed Los Angeles handed Seattle its eighth straight loss.
The Angels played without second baseman Adam Kennedy and reliever Kevin Gregg as each began a four-game suspension for their roles in Wednesday night's bench-clearing brawl at Texas. Manager Mike Scioscia started serving a three-game suspension. Brendan Donnelly appealed his four-game suspension but didn't pitch in the game.
Rookie Kevin Frandsen hit his first homer and Pedro Feliz also connected to lead the San Francisco Giants to an 8-4 win over the sputtering San Diego Padres on Thursday and a four-game sweep.
San Francisco is 9-1 against the Padres since July 1. San Diego (60-61) has lost eight of 10 overall, dropping from the NL West lead to third and falling below .500 for the first time since May 6. The Padres trail first-place Los Angeles by four games and the last-place Giants are six back of the Dodgers.
Giants rookie Matt Cain (9-9) allowed one hit, struck out eight and walked six in 5-1/3 innings. Josh Barfield hit a pinch grand slam off Jack Taschner in the ninth.