Stephen Drew singled in the winning run in the 15th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners and back into first place in the AL East on Wednesday night.
Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk and took second on a groundout by David Ortiz. Mike Napoli was walked intentionally and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out. Jonny Gomes then walked, loading the bases, and Drew hit a liner just inside the right-field line as Pedroia scored the decisive run.
Boston moved a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay in the division.
Drew Britton (1-0) pitched two innings for his first major league win. Lucas Luetge (0-2) took the loss.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager had tied the game at four in the eighth with his 17th homer of the year, a solo shot off Junichi Tazawa.
Pedroia had given the Red Sox a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer in the seventh, his eighth.
ROYALS 4, TWINS 3
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Alex Gordon hit a two-out triple in the seventh inning and then scored the go-ahead run on an error as Kansas City won their eighth straight game by beating Minnesota.
The Royals were above .500 at the end of July for the first time since 2003. At 53-51, they are two games over the break-even mark for the first time since May 17. They remained seven games behind Detroit in the AL Central race and 4.5 games back of second-place Cleveland, the current holder of the second wild card spot.
Jeremy Guthrie (11-7) won his third start in a row with his seventh consecutive appearance of at least six innings. Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 30 tries.
Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar (1-1) took the loss.
The Royals, who have the league’s second-best team ERA, have relied on their rotation for this midsummer surge. The starters have allowed 11 earned runs in 72 innings during the streak.
Kansas City is 9-3 against the Twins this season and 26-19 against the division.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Blue Jays 5, Athletics 2, 10 inns
‧ Rangers 2, Angels 1
‧ Indians 6, White Sox 5, 10 inns
AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania
Russell Martin drove home Neal Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Martin’s sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The Pirates’ fourth straight win over the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 2.5 game lead in the NL Central.
St Louis left 11 runners on base and dropped their seventh consecutive game. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2.
Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
Matt Holliday had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Cardinals’ struggling offense put together 13 hits.
BRAVES 9, ROCKIES 0
In Atlanta, Georgia, Mike Minor allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings, while Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in a seven-run third as Atlanta beat Colorado for their sixth straight win.
Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with four hits as the Braves continued their offensive surge with 15 hits. The Braves have scored 29 runs while winning the first three games of the four-game series.
The Braves lead second-place Washington by 11 games in the NL East, their biggest advantage in nine years.