Tampa Bay’s pitchers shut down Baltimore to win 8-0 on Saturday, giving their Rays their fifth straight win over the Orioles and moving above them in the American League East division.
In other key games, Cincinnati broke out of their slump to beat league-leading St Louis, San Francisco piled on six runs in the fourth inning to beat Arizona and Atlanta’s dominant pitching was again to the fore in a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Boston and the Los Angeles Angels won a game each in their double-header, the struggling Chicago White Sox came good with a win over in-form Oakland and Detroit hung on to beat Cleveland, widening their division lead.
Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson (4-2) pitched six scoreless innings and combined with his bullpen to retire the last 15 Baltimore batters.
Taking up where they left off in allowing just two hits in a 2-1 victory in the opener of the three-game series, the Rays pitchers limited the Orioles to four singles.
Tampa Bay broke the game open with five runs in the fifth inning — three on Luke Scott’s bases-loaded double.
Cincinnati’s Mat Latos turned in seven solid innings as the Reds beat the St Louis Cardinals 4-2 to end a run of three straight losses.
Latos (6-0), who also got the decision in Cincinnati’s last win over St Louis, allowed two runs with no walks and five strikeouts against a Cardinals team that went into the game leading the National League in hitting.
Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in two runs, while Jay Bruce also homered as the Reds scored more than two runs against St Louis for the first time in seven games between the teams.
San Francisco’s Buster Posey capped a six-run fourth inning with a homer and had three RBIs as the Giants pounded the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-5.
Madison Bumgarner (5-4) pitched five effective innings to end a run of four straight losses and added a sacrifice bunt in the fourth.
The Giants gave him some rare run support, too, scoring two more runs than in the previous six games combined.
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt matched Luis Gonzalez’s 2002 team record with an RBI in his eighth straight game.
Atlanta’s Kris Medlen pitched 6-2/3 scoreless innings and hit his first major league home run in the Braves’ 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Medlen (3-6) struck out six and allowed only one runner as far as third.
Dan Uggla also homered for the Braves.
Boston’s David Ortiz rebounded from a rough first game with a two-run homer and three RBIs to earn the Red Sox a split of the double-headers against Los Angeles, winning 7-2 after the Angels took the opener 9-5.
The victory snapped Boston’s nine-game losing streak against Los Angeles.
In the night game, Boston starter Clay Buchholz (9-0) gave up two runs and one walk more than 6-2/3 innings to match Arizona’s Patrick Corbin as the majors’ only unbeaten pitcher with at least nine wins, but he left in the seventh with what the team called “neck tightness.”
In the first game, Mark Trumbo and Erick Aybar each drove in two runs as the Angels set a team-record sixth straight win at Fenway Park.
Mike Trout added a pair of doubles high off the Green Monster and collected three hits for the Angels.
Chicago’s John Danks pitched three-hit ball over eight innings for his first victory in more than a year, guiding the White Sox to a 4-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.