Jose Quintana pitched effectively into the eighth inning, while Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski hit back-to-back homers in the sixth as the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 6-1 on Monday night to increase their American League Central lead to three games.
The White Sox, who had lost seven straight to Detroit, managed just two hits against Rick Porcello (9-12) and were none-for-10 with runners in scoring position when an error on second baseman Omar Infante gave them an opening.
Infante muffed Dewayne Wise’s easy, one-out grounder in the sixth. Paul Konerko singled to left to put runners at the corners and Rios lined a pitch over the wall in left-center for his 23rd homer.
Pierzynski followed with his 26th to center field for a 4-1 lead, ending Porcello’s night and sending him to his sixth straight loss. Gordon Beckham added a two-run shot in the eighth off Octavio Dotel.
Quintana (6-4), who was 1-3 in his previous 10 starts, allowed one run and seven hits in 7-2/3 innings.
ATHLETICS 3, ANGELS 1
In Anaheim, California, Jarrod Parker pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, while Brandon Moss and Cliff Pennington homered as Oakland snapped Los Angeles’ six-game winning streak.
Coco Crisp hit a leadoff triple and scored for the A’s, who opened a key four-game series against their California rivals with a measure of revenge for the Angels’ three-game sweep in Oakland last week. Those are the only losses since Aug. 23 for the A’s, who have won 13 of 16.
With his second straight impressive start against Los Angeles after a hard-luck loss last week, Parker (10-8) and his bullpen held the Angels’ surging lineup to four hits. Ryan Cook worked the eighth and Grant Balfour got his 17th save.
Dan Haren (10-11) pitched into the seventh inning, allowing four hits in his first loss since Aug. 16. The Angels had won 11 of 12 and 15 of 18 in their desperate late surge to join the playoff race.
Oakland (80-60), who are in the first wild-card slot, are 20 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2006 season — also the year of the team’s last post-season appearance.
The A’s pulled within three games of idle Texas atop the American League West.
TWINS 7, INDIANS 2
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Samuel Deduno struck out six in seven innings, while Pedro Florimon made two stellar defensive plays to go with a double and a triple, lifting the Twins to the victory.
Deduno (6-3) gave up just three hits and walked three, Ryan Doumit homered and Justin Morneau drove in two runs for the Twins, who took the final three games of the four-game series.
Lonnie Chisenhall homered for the stumbling Indians, who are an American League-worst 15-41 since the All-Star break to fall into a tie with the Twins for last place in the Central Division.
Justin Masterson (11-13) gave up six runs and seven hits in 6-2/3 innings.
Joe Mauer had two hits and an RBI to raise his average to .319 and Alexi Casilla added two more highlight-reel plays at second base for the Twins.
AP, NEW YORK
Gio Gonzalez earned his major league-leading 19th victory as the Washington Nationals backed him by scoring three home runs to beat the listless New York Mets 5-1 on Monday night.
Kurt Suzuki put the Nationals ahead with a home run right after catcher Kelly Shoppach dropped his foul pop-up for an error. Ryan Zimmerman launched a two-run shot later in the third inning and Ian Desmond added a two-run drive in the fourth.