Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Thursday’s clash of American League divisional leaders.
Elsewhere, Texas took a series-clinching victory over Oakland to trim the A’s lead atop the AL West, while Pittsburgh also made up ground on Cincinnati.
Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria was in prime form to down the New York Yankees, St Louis’ Lance Lynn notched his 10th win of the season in beating the Chicago Cubs and Jordan Zimmerman also reached double figures in pitching Washington past Colorado.
Boston led 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, but Victor Martinez drew a leadoff walk off Andrew Bailey (3-1) and Peralta followed with a line drive over the fence in left field.
David Ortiz homered and drove in a tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single to put Boston up, but Drew Smyly (3-0) replaced Phil Coke for Detroit and prevented any further scoring by the Red Sox. He struck out four in two innings of relief.
Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer, bases-loaded double and single to drive in all of the Pirates runs in their 5-3 win over Cincinnati.
The Pirates remain a half-game behind second-placed Cincinnati after they split the four-game series.
Alvarez had an RBI single and his 16th homer off Homer Bailey. After Alfredo Simon (5-3) loaded the bases in the seventh, Alvarez doubled off Tony Cingrani to snap a 2-2 tie.
Texas’ Ian Kinsler put the Rangers ahead for the first time with a two-run single in the seventh and they held on for a series-clinching 4-3 victory over Oakland.
Texas pulled within a game of the AL West-leading Athletics by winning three times in the four-game series.
Kinsler came to the plate right after Leonys Martin’s hustling infield single, making it to first base ahead of pitcher Sean Doolittle (3-2), who had dashed over to the bag to take the toss from the first baseman. That loaded the bases with two outs, and Kinsler hit a full-count pitch through the middle of the infield.
Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria homered twice and drove in three runs to power the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Yankees.
Longoria reached 500 career RBIs with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. He homered leading off the sixth and connected again to open the eighth.
Rays starter Matt Moore (9-3) pitched into the seventh inning and gave up three runs, ending a personal three-game losing sequence.
St Louis’ Lance Lynn (10-1) reached double figures by steering the Cardinals to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs.
Lynn (10-1) allowed one run in six innings with six strikeouts and has reached 10 wins before the All-Star break both of his years in the rotation. He joined teammate Adam Wainwright and Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann for the league lead. Washington’s Zimmerman joined the 10-win club by guiding the Nationals past Colorado 5-1.
Zimmermann (10-3) went eight innings, allowing one unearned run on six hits. He retired 16 straight in one stretch, throwing 112 pitches — 85 for strikes — while fanning nine and walking only one.
Adam LaRoche had three hits including a two-run triple for Washington.
Rockies starter Roy Oswalt (0-1) went five innings in his Colorado debut, allowing nine hits. He struck out 11 and did not walk a batter.
New York’s David Wright hit two solo homers as the Mets edged Atlanta 4-3.