Jeremy Hellickson retired Yankees newcomer Alfonso Soriano with the bases loaded to preserve an early lead and the streaking Tampa Bay Rays tagged C.C. Sabathia once again, beating New York 10-6 on Friday night.
The Rays have won 20 of 23 and took sole possession of the AL East lead for the first time since June 10 last year. Tampa Bay moved a half-game ahead of Boston.
Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar and Evan Longoria doubled during a six-run burst in the second inning, and James Loney later homered and drove in four runs.
Well supported all season, Hellickson (10-3) won his sixth straight decision. Fernando Rodney, the Rays’ fourth pitcher in a three-run ninth, got the last out for his 25th save.
Sabathia (9-9) was booed early and was hit hard for the third straight start, allowing 22 runs over 14 innings in that span.
INDIANS 11, RANGERS 8, 11 INNS
In Cleveland, Ohio, Ryan Raburn’s three-run homer in the 11th inning off Jason Frasor gave Cleveland a wild and sloppy win over Texas.
After Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana singled off Frasor (0-2), Raburn pulled a 2-1 pitch onto the home-run porch in left to rescue the Indians, who blew a 7-1 lead and nearly lost to a Texas team that committed three errors and had three wild pitches.
As he neared home plate, Raburn flipped his helmet high into the air and was pummeled by his teammates, who doused him with water. It was the seventh walk-off win this season for the Indians, who began a stretch of 14 of 17 games at home.
Bryan Shaw (1-2), Cleveland’s fifth reliever, stranded the go-ahead run at third in the 11th, and the Indians stayed within three games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
ORIOLES 6, RED SOX 0
In Baltimore, Maryland, Chris Tillman pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, Adam Jones homered twice and Baltimore ended a three-game skid.
The loss dropped the Red Sox behind Tampa Bay in the AL East. Boston, who have dropped six of nine, had been alone atop the division since May 27.
Tillman (13-3) tied a career high with eight strikeouts in becoming the Orioles’ first 13-game winner since Erik Bedard in 2007. In his past three starts against Boston, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA.
Jones hit a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the fifth to help Baltimore bounce back from three successive losses in Kansas City. It was the third multi-homer game of his career.
Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy also homered for the Orioles, who improved to 6-2 against Boston this season.
John Lackey (7-8), who yielded a season-high tying five runs in 6-1/3 innings, gave up three of the homers.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Blue Jays 12, Astros 6
‧ Royals 5, White Sox 1
‧ Athletics 6, Angels 4
‧ Twins 3, Mariners 2, 13 inns
AP, ATLANTA, Georgia
Mike Minor allowed only one run to give Atlanta’s depleted rotation a lift, while Jason Heyward homered as the Braves beat Adam Wainwright and the St Louis Cardinals 4-1 in a matchup of division leaders on Friday night.
Minor (10-5) gave up four hits with no walks in seven innings. His sharp performance came two days after Tim Hudson was lost for the season with a broken right ankle.
The Atlanta rotation also is without left-hander Paul Maholm, who is expected to miss at least one start because of a bruised left wrist.
Wainwright (13-6), the NL leader in wins, took his first loss since a 2-1 decision to Texas on June 23.