Boston’s David Ortiz hit the go-ahead single with two outs in the ninth inning, capping an impressive personal game and lifting the Red Sox to an 8-6 win over the Minnesota Twins in the American League on Monday.
Ortiz, a former Twin, hit a two-run homer in the sixth, finishing with four hits and three RBIs; only a triple shy of hitting the cycle.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a homer and two RBIs to help the Red Sox move one-and-a-half games ahead of the idle New York Yankees in the AL East.
Marco Scutaro chipped in with three hits, while Boston reliever Alfredo Aceves (8-1) gave up one run in an inning for the victory.
Glen Perkins (3-2) gave up two runs in 1-2/3 innings to take the loss for the Twins, who suffered their fifth straight defeat.
Rangers 9, Mariners 2
In Arlington, Texas, Matt Harrison pitched seven strong innings for his career-high 10th victory, guiding Texas past Seattle.
Harrison (10-8) allowed two runs with six strikeouts and no walks, surpassing his nine-win rookie season in 2008.
Nelson Cruz homered and had three hits. Mitch Moreland and Yorvit Torrealba also had three hits for the AL West-leading Rangers, who stretched their lead over the idle Los Angeles Angels to one-and-a-half games.
The Rangers scored twice in the second against rookie Charlie Furbush (1-1) with the help of the Mariners’ second error of the night. Furbush allowed seven runs over four-plus innings.
Rays 2, Royals 1
In St Petersburg, Florida, Casey Kotchman led off the ninth inning with a home run and also hit a run-scoring single to lift Tampa Bay over Kansas City.
Kotchman drove the first pitch from Blake Wood (5-1) over the center field fence.
Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win.
In other AL play, it was:
‧ White Sox 7, Orioles 6
AP, LOS ANGELES
Philadelphia pitcher Roy Halladay became the National League’s first 15-game winner, steering the Phillies to a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
Halladay (15-4) allowed one run over 6-1/3 innings as Philadelphia maintained a luxurious eight-and-a-half game lead atop the NL East.
Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins drove in two runs each for Philadelphia, while Shane Victorino — who played while awaiting the outcome of an appeal against a three-game suspension for his part in a fight in San Francisco last week — homered in the ninth.
Howard’s RBI was his NL-leading 89th, four more than Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder.
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda (7-14) gave up four runs through 6-1/3 innings.
Braves 8, Marlins 5
In Miami, Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 29 games as Atlanta beat hapless Florida.
Uggla hit a ground ball to shortstop for an infield single in the fifth inning, extending the longest active hitting streak in the majors. Chipper Jones followed with a single and Alex Gonzalez then hit a three-run homer off Brad Hand (1-4) to break the game open.
Uggla added a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Atlanta’s Michael Bourn drove in a run with his 30th infield hit, most in the NL. Freddie Freeman had a two-run single.
Braves starter Derek Lowe (7-10), who had lost his past three starts, allowed two runs in six innings and took the win. Craig Kimbrel struck out two batters for his 35th save of the season.
The Marlins are 0-5 in their current homestand.
Pirates 5, Giants 0