Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, who leads the major leagues in losses, provided an overdue reminder of his quality by pitching seven strong innings and leading the Phillies to a 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Thursday’s Fourth of July action.
Hamels (3-11) gave up one earned run, striking out eight without a walk. The former World Series Most Valuable Player won for the first time in a month.
Among other games, Boston handed San Diego their season-worst sixth straight loss, the Los Angeles Angels scored three runs in the ninth to edge St Louis and Detroit routed struggling Toronto. Texas avoided a series sweep by Seattle, Kansas City rallied past Cleveland and a passed ball accounted for the only run as Oakland beat the Chicago Cubs.
Boston’s Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double and David Ortiz had a two-run single as the Red Sox beat the San Diego Padres 8-2.
Boston won eight of nine to match their best homestand in three years. The Padres have scored just seven runs over their six consecutive defeats.
Los Angeles’ Josh Hamilton hit a tying two-run homer in the Angels’ three-run ninth inning, leading the hosts to a 6-5 win over the St Louis Cardinals.
St Louis ace Adam Wainwright took a 5-3 lead into the ninth before giving up a leadoff single by Albert Pujols, who was one for 11 in his first series against his former team.
Cardinals boss Mike Matheny then brought in Edward Mujica and Hamilton drove the right-hander’s second pitch into the center field trees for his 11th homer.
Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo followed with singles, then Mujica (0-1) retired his next two batters before Erick Aybar drove in the winning run with single to left.
Detroit’s Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to lead the Tigers to an 11-1 thrashing of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Verlander (9-5) won for the first time in a month and made his first start in Toronto since he pitched a no-hitter there in 2011.
Austin Jackson hit a two-run homer, went four for five with a walk and scored four times as the Tigers pounded out 16 hits, despite resting Miguel Cabrera.
Texas’ Adrian Beltre homered twice and the Rangers used a four-run seventh inning to edge the Seattle Mariners 5-4.
Beltre finished with three hits and two RBIs. With Texas trailing 3-1, Beltre led off the seventh with a drive against Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4). A.J. Pierzynski then singled and Lance Berkman walked, before Mitch Moreland bounced a tying single up the middle.
Elvis Andrus hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and Ian Kinsler capped the big inning with an RBI single.
Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain hit his first career grand slam to help the Royals record a comeback 10-7 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Kansas City trailed 5-0 before Cain’s slam and a solo shot by George Kottaras tied it in the sixth. The Indians regained the lead on Carlos Santana’s two-run double in the seventh, but the Royals answered in the bottom half on a two-run homer by Eric Hosmer.
Three straight walks to start the eighth loaded the Royals bases and pinch-hitter Salvador Perez hit a double down the left-field line to drive in three runs.
Oakland’s Derek Norris scored on a passed ball with two outs and that was enough for the Athletics to beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0.
Dan Straily (5-2) pitched seven scoreless innings for the A’s after being recalled from the minor leagues to give a sore Jarrod Parker two extra days of rest.