The Boston Red Sox returned to the top of the American League East standings in emphatic style on Wednesday by crushing the West division-leading Texas Rangers 13-2.
David Ortiz had an RBI single on the first pitch he saw in 10 days and scored twice in his return from bursitis in his right heel.
Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez hit two-run homers in consecutive innings for the Red Sox. Crawford matched a career high with his five RBIs.
Boston starter Josh Beckett (11-5) allowed one run over six innings.
Rays 3, Tigers 2
In St Petersburg, Elliot Johnson got the game-ending hit on a fielder’s choice in the 10th inning, giving Tampa Bay victory over Detroit.
Evan Longoria opened the 10th with an infield single off Rangers reliever Duane Below (0-2), but was forced out at second on Ben Zobrist’s grounder.
After a second out, Casey Kotchman was hit by a pitch and Sean Rodriguez walked to load the bases.
Johnson then hit a grounder to third baseman Brandon Inge, who elected to throw to second rather than home, but second baseman Ramon Santiago was late getting to the bag.
Rays reliever Joel Peralta (3-4) pitched a perfect 10th to take the win.
Longoria earlier hit a solo homer for the Rays, who won for the first time against Detroit this season after five losses.
Athletics 6, Yankees 4
In New York, Coco Crisp homered twice and drove in five runs, including a three-run homer in the 10th inning that lifted Oakland over New York.
Crisp and No. 9 batter Scott Sizemore both went four-for-four. Sizemore got the tying double off C.C. Sabathia in the eighth as the Athletics claimed a series win at Yankee Stadium, ending a woeful run of 10 consecutive series defeats by the pinstripes.
Angels 8, White Sox 0
In Anaheim, Jered Weaver pitched seven scoreless innings in his first start since signing an US$85 million contract extension, directing Los Angeles’ win over Chicago.
Erick Aybar drove in three runs, Torii Hunter homered and Jeff Mathis had a two-run double for the Angels, who have won six straight to move within 2.5 games of Texas as the AL West rivals prepared for a weekend series at Rangers Ballpark.
White Sox starter Zach Stewart (1-3) allowed seven runs while pitching into the seventh inning.
Blue Jays 4, Royals 3
In Toronto, Brett Lawrie hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning and Toronto held on to edge Kansas City.
Lawrie broke a 3-3 tie with a leadoff blast over left field. The rookie third baseman also hit an RBI triple in the fourth.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista added his major league-leading 37th homer of the season.
Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch (5-3) pitched one scoreless inning of relief for the win. Frank Francisco worked the ninth for a save.
Louis Coleman (1-3) took the loss for the Royals.
Mariners 9, Indians 2
In Cleveland, Felix Hernandez struck out 10 batters to steer Seattle past Cleveland.
Hernandez (12-11) allowed two runs in six innings as the last-place Mariners took three of four from the fading-fast Indians. Cleveland dropped below .500 for the first time since April 3, and are 6.5 games behind AL Central-leading Detroit.
Wily Mo Pena hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and his two-run double in the fifth knocked out Indians starter Josh Tomlin (12-7), who did not get through the fifth for the first time in 37 career starts.