The Texas Rangers beat Los Angeles 11-7 on Friday to increase their lead over the Angels in the American League West Division to three games.
Slumping Nelson Cruz, who had been demoted to No. 7 in the batting order for the first time this season, had two long homers among his four hits and six RBIs.
He put the Rangers ahead for good with a two-run double in the second. Cruz then opened the fourth with a 452 foot (137.8m) drive to center field off Angels starter Dan Haren (13-7).
Rangers starter Derek Holland (12-5) allowed one run over 6-2/3 innings with six strikeouts to improve to 6-1 in his past 10 starts.
Athletics 15, Red Sox 5
In Boston, Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham each hit two-run homers during a six-run fourth inning that powered Oakland over Boston.
The defeat denied veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield his 200th career win, and prevented Boston improving their one-game lead over New York in the AL East Division.
Wakefield (6-6), making his sixth try to become the 108th pitcher to reach 200 wins, gave up eight runs. He is 0-3 with a 4.97 ERA during the six games in which he has tried to reach 200.
Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez (11-11) gave up seven hits, striking out five in 5-2/3 innings.
Rays 6, Blue Jays 1
In Toronto, James Shields pitched his major league-leading 10th complete game of the season, steering Tampa Bay to victory over Toronto.
Shields (12-10) allowed just one run and one walk while striking out 12, and snapped a personal four-game road losing streak.
Evan Longoria hit a pair of solo home runs, while Desmond Jennings added a two-run shot and John Jaso also went deep for the Rays, who crept within 7.5 games of New York, who hold the playoff wild card.
All three Rays homers came off Toronto rookie Henderson Alvarez (0-2), who allowed four runs in six innings.
Orioles 12, Yankees 5
In Baltimore, the hosts marked the death of former pitching great Mike Flanagan by beating New York.
It was Baltimore’s first home game since Flanagan took his own life on Wednesday. Moments before the first pitch, there was a moment of silence in honor of the 1979 Cy Young winner, who died at age 59.
Flanagan’s No. 46 was displayed on the scoreboard throughout the game.
For the rest of the season, the Orioles will wear a black circular patch on their jersey sleeves with the word “FLANNY” written in white.
Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy homered in a six-run second inning against struggling Yankees starter A.J. Burnett.
Matt Wieters also connected for the last-place Orioles, whose five-game winning run matches a season high.
In other AL play, it was:
‧ Tigers 8, Twins 1
‧ White Sox 4, Mariners 2
‧ Indians 2, Royals 1
Florida’s John Buck hit a Grand Slam to lift the Marlins to a 6-5 win over the National League-leading Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.
Greg Dobbs added four hits, including two doubles, to give the Marlins their first win in Philadelphia in six attempts.
Florida starter Clay Hensley (2-5) allowed three hits in 5-2/3 innings to take the win.
Phillies starter Roy Oswalt (6-8) matched his career worst by allowing 12 hits while striking out only two over 5-2/3 innings.
Mets 6, Braves 0
In New York, Chris Capuano pitched the game of his life, tossing a shutout and striking out a career-high 13 as New York beat Atlanta.