Boston’s Dustin Pedroia hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning that gave the Red Sox a 4-2 win over Oakland on Friday in a clash of the American League’s two top teams.
The win moved the Red Sox 4-1/2 games clear atop the AL East division while Oakland missed a chance to increase their AL West lead over Texas, who lost to Detroit.
In other key games, Bronson Arroyo pitched superbly to steer Cincinnati past Atlanta, while Carlos Beltran proved the difference as St Louis edged the Chicago Cubs.
Baltimore’s Chris Davis notched homer No. 35 for the season as the Orioles beat Toronto, and Pittsburgh needed 11 innings to beat the New York Mets.
Boston’s John Lackey (7-6) overcame a season-high four walks in seven innings to carry the Red Sox to their fourth straight win, allowing three hits while striking out five.
Athletics’ reliever Sean Doolittle (3-3) allowed one hit and hit a batter to take the loss when Ryan Cook gave up Pedroia’s two-out single.
Cincinnati’s Arroyo pitched seven sparkling innings to guide the Reds to a 4-2 win over Atlanta.
Arroyo (8-7) allowed three hits and walked one.
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run single in Cincinnati’s three-run first inning which set up the win.
Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run double in a five-run first inning which gave the Tigers a 7-2 victory over Texas.
The Tigers scored four runs before the first out.
Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double in the second that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead. Miguel Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly for his 95th RBI of the year.
St Louis’ Beltran had three hits and drove in a run to help the Cardinals edge the Chicago Cubs 3-2.
St Louis starter Joe Kelly (1-3) earned his first win of the season, allowing one run in 5-1/3 innings.
Baltimore’s Davis hit his 35th homer while Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy each had a three-run shot as the Orioles defeated Toronto 8-5.
Davis upped his major league-leading home run total with a two-run drive in the second inning.
Jones connected in the third to put the Orioles up 5-3, and Hardy went deep in the sixth for a five-run cushion. All three home runs came off Mark Buehrle (5-6).
Pittsburgh’s Jordy Mercer came up with the game-winning hit with two outs in the 11th inning, sending a single up the middle off Gonzalez Germen to drive home Andrew McCutchen and give the Pirates a 3-2 win over the New York Mets.
McCutchen led off with a walk, stole second and then beat the throw home from center field to end the Mets’ four-game winning streak.
Vin Mazzaro (5-2) retired all three batters he faced to earn the victory. Starling Marte had two of Pittsburgh’s six hits, and Pedro Alvarez added his 24th home run.
Cleveland’s Corey Kluber pitched into the eighth inning to steer the Indians to a 3-0 win over Kansas City.
Colorado’s Juan Nicasio pitched seven scoreless innings to outduel Clayton Kershaw and set up the Rockies’ 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, while New York’s Hiroki Kuroda pitched five innings as the Yankees beat Minnesota 2-0.
Houston’s Jarred Cosart took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his major league debut, helping the Astros beat Tampa Bay 2-1.
Arizona’s Patrick Corbin matched a career high with 10 strikeouts for the second straight start, as the Diamondbacks beat Milwaukee 2-1.