The Boston Red Sox fell half a game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East division race after splitting a double-header against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, winning the day game 3-1, but losing the nightcap 6-2.
Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer and Jon Lester struck out eight batters in the opener. Lester (12-6) outdueled fellow All-Star James Shields, who pitched nearly as well and deeper into the game, but received little offensive support.
Shields (11-10) retired the last 15 batters he faced and struck out six. He only allowed three hits, but still took the loss.
Ellsbury has 21 homers this season; more than he hit over his first three seasons combined.
In the second game, Tampa Bay rookie Desmond Jennings hit a homer and Jeff Niemann struck out 10, as the Rays won despite the Red Sox turning their first triple play in 17 years.
Niemann (8-4) pitched his first complete game of the season and won his seventh straight decision.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Rangers 7, Angels 3
‧ Blue Jays 13, Mariners 7
‧ Yankees 9, Royals 7
‧ White Sox 8, Indians 7 (14)
‧ Tigers 7, Twins 1
‧ Athletics 8, Orioles 4
Lyle Overbay lined a two-RBI double off Roy Halladay in the ninth inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
Overbay knocked in all three runs as Arizona won their seventh straight game.
Halladay (15-5) had retired 12 straight batters into the ninth. Halladay allowed consecutive singles to open the inning. Overbay hit a one-out double to right that helped Arizona win the opener of the three-game series between NL division leaders.
Halladay equaled a career high with 14 strikeouts and tossed his seventh complete game.
Bryan Shaw (1-0) tossed a scoreless eighth and J.J. Putz worked the ninth for his 30th save. Putz fanned Jimmy Rollins with the tying run on second.
In other NL action, it was:
‧ Braves 2, Giants 1 (11)
‧ Brewers 2, Dodgers 1
‧ Pirates 5, Cardinals 4 (11)
‧ Astros 6, Cubs 5
‧ Marlins 6, Rockies 5
‧ Nationals 6, Reds 4
‧ San Diego 6, Mets 1