Jon Lester pitched into the ninth for his first victory in four starts this month as the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 7-0 on Monday night after flying cross-country earlier in the day.
Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit RBI doubles, while Shane Victorino added an RBI single and Will Middlebrooks had a sacrifice fly for Boston.
The Red Sox chose to travel first thing on Monday rather than late on Sunday night after a 9-6 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park in Boston.
Lester allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two in Boston’s seventh shutout. He outpitched two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (6-13) to end a three-start winless stretch since July 28.
In Baltimore, Maryland, Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce homered, while David Price grinded through the Orioles batting order three times to help the Tampa Bay Rays earn a 4-3 victory in a duel between American League contenders.
Joyce hit a two-run drive in the fourth to break a tie and push the Rays toward their fifth win in six games.
Tampa Bay moved within half a game of the first-placed Red Sox in the American League East, before Boston pulled ahead again with the late win in San Francisco.
Price (7-5) gave up 10 hits and two walks, but was effective when it counted. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner allowed only two runs, as Baltimore went two-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 against the left-hander.
“That’s why he’s one of the best pitchers in the game. He knows how to get out of jams like that,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. “When he needs a strikeout, he knows how to get it.”
Arlington was the venue for the biggest inning in the majors this season, with Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus each scoring twice in the third to power the Rangers to a 16-5 win over the Astros.
All nine Rangers scored in the third, when they sent 15 batters to the plate and had seven hits — six singles and a double — along with three walks, two Houston errors and a sacrifice bunt. Only five of the 11 runs were earned.
In California, Brandon Moss hit a solo home run over the center-field fence with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Oakland Athletics to a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners, while the Cleveland Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2.
The National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers suffered consecutive losses for the first time since June 21 after a 6-2 defeat to the Miami Marlins.
Jose Fernandez allowed only one earned run in six innings and Giancarlo Stanton hit his 15th homer for Miami.
The St Louis Cardinals had an 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cincinnati Reds had a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Colorado Rockies 5-4, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 with Pedro Alvarez hitting his National League-leading 31st home run and the Chicago Cubs thrashed the Washington Nationals 11-1, with Nate Schierholtz homering twice and driving in a career-high six runs.
In interleague play, the New York Mets beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1.
Additional reporting by staff writer