Orioles rookie Miguel Gonzalez struck out a career-high nine over seven shutout innings in a masterful pitching performance and Mark Reynolds homered twice as Baltimore tightened the AL East race on Friday night with a 6-1 victory over the skidding New York Yankees.
J.J. Hardy added a solo shot for the surprising Orioles, who moved within two games of first-placed New York by winning the opener of their big three-game series.
Reynolds made two spectacular plays at first base and Chris Davis had a sacrifice fly in Baltimore’s three-run second inning against Hiroki Kuroda (12-10).
Gonzalez (6-3) yielded only four harmless singles to win for the fourth time in five decisions.
In other AL play, it was:
‧ Athletics 20, Red Sox 2
‧ Rangers 5, Indians 3
‧ Tigers 7, White Sox 4
‧ Blue Jays 2, Rays 1
‧ Angels 9, Mariners 1
‧ Minnesota at Kansas City: postponed
R.A. Dickey pitched a five-hit shutout for his 17th win, Ike Davis backed him with a home run and the New York Mets beat the Miami Marlins 3-0 on Friday night.
Dickey (17-4) struck out seven and walked three in his NL-leading fifth complete game. The knuckleballer has three shutouts this year and six in his career.
Davis hit his 25th homer, a two-run shot off Nathan Eovaldi (4-10) in the seventh inning. Davis also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
CUBS 6, GIANTS 4
In Chicago, Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer that landed on Waveland Avenue and Anthony Rizzo added a solo shot, helping Chris Volstad and the Cubs beat the weary Giants.
Soriano also had a two-out RBI single in the first as Chicago earned its first win of the season against the NL West leaders in five tries.
Volstad (2-9) allowed two runs and five hits in 5-2/3 innings for his second consecutive victory after a 24-start winless streak.
Buster Posey went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for San Francisco, which had won a season-high six consecutive road games.
The Giants only arrived in Chicago at about 3am from Houston.
In other NL play, it was:
‧ Nationals 10, Cardinals 0
‧ Phillies 8, Braves 5, 10 inns
‧ Reds 9, Astros 3
‧ Padres 5, Rockies 4
‧ Brewers 9, Pirates 3
‧ Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3, 11 innings