Curtis Granderson came off the bench to hit his 35th homer and drive in five runs as the New York Yankees downed the Baltimore Orioles 13-3 on Sunday to regain sole possession of first place in the American League East.
Derek Jeter also homered for the Yankees, who lead the Orioles by one game with 22 left. Each team won twice in a four-game series. New York finished with nine wins and nine losses against Baltimore this season.
If the teams are level at the end of the regular season, records within the division will serve as the tiebreaker. Wilson Betemit had two RBIs for the Orioles, who were seeking to win the season series from New York for the first time since 1997.
Orioles starter Zach Britton (5-2) allowed five runs, five hits and five walks in 3-1/3 innings. Barry Zito later came through in one of the most important outings in his San Francisco tenure to pitch the National League West-leading Giants past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 to extend their division lead to five games.
Hunter Pence hit a two-run double in the first inning that held up and Buster Posey homered in San Francisco’s fifth win in the last six meetings of the rivalry. Marco Scutaro added a sacrifice fly to back an impressive performance by Zito (11-8), who allowed four hits in 6-1/3 scoreless innings to win his third straight decision. He combined with five relievers on the five-hit shutout
Miami’s Ricky Nolasco allowed just four hits to shut out Washington for the second time in two weeks and Giancarlo Stanton homered for the third straight day to lead the Marlins to an 8-0 win over the NL East-leading Nationals. Nolasco also doubled in two runs at Washington when Bryce Harper lost his fly ball in the sun, and Greg Dobbs added three singles for Miami, which pounded out 14 hits.
The Marlins won two of three games in the weekend series against the NL East-leading Nationals (86-54), whose division lead slipped to 5 games over Atlanta after the Braves beat the New York Mets 3-2 in 10 innings. Nolasco (12-12), who won his third straight and notched his fourth career shutout, also shut out the Nationals 9-0 on Aug. 28 against Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander struck out six and walked one, stifling a team that had scored 43 runs in its five previous games.
In other NL games, Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer and Tyler Greene added a solo shot for Houston as the Astros beat the Reds 5-1 to slow Cincinnati’s run to the NL Central title, the St Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 over 10 innings and the Philadelphia Phillies swept their doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies 2-1 and 7-4. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Chicago Cubs complete a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 4-2 win and the San Diego Padres trounced the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-2.
In the AL, B.J. Upton hit three home runs and James Shields threw a two-hitter to lead Tampa Bay past Texas 6-0, the Kansas City Royals edged the Chicago White Sox over 10 innings, the Los Angeles Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2, the Oakland Athletics downed the Seattle Mariners 4-2. The Toronto Blue Jays overtook the Red Sox in the AL East with a 4-3 win at Boston and the Minnesota Twins rallied in the ninth innings to beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7.