Texas’ Michael Choice singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning against his old team to lift the Rangers to a 5-4 win over Oakland on Tuesday, cutting the gap to the American League West leaders to half a game.
Among the day’s other games, San Diego won a 12-inning struggle at majors-leading Milwaukee and Jose Fernandez pitched Miami to a shutout victory over Atlanta, while Colorado also won a tight defensive contest against San Francisco.
Oakland closer Luke Gregerson (0-1) blew his third save opportunity of the season, giving up two runs on three hits. He appeared to have pitched out of trouble when he threw out Mitch Moreland at the plate on a safety squeeze by Leonys Martin for the second out.
However, Martin stole second and scored on a Josh Wilson double, and next batter Choice — who began his career with the Athletics — then immediately hit the winner.
Wilson’s double made up for his fielding error in the fourth inning, which cost the Rangers two runs.
San Diego’s Chase Headley homered in the top of the 12th inning to give the Padres a 2-1 win at Milwaukee.
Headley’s homer off Alfredo Figaro (0-1) was one of the few mistakes from the mound among teams with two of the best staff ERAs in baseball.
Padres’ starter Ian Kennedy labored through six innings, while Brewers counterpart Yovani Gallardo went seven strong innings before the bullpens took over and the San Diego relievers tossed six shutout innings.
Miami’s Jose Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings to guide the Marlins to a 1-0 win over Atlanta.
Fernandez (3-1) outpitched Atlanta’s Alex Wood (2-3), who also was dominant. Wood allowed one run with no walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts in eight innings.
Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth inning to secure the victory.
Colorado’s Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead homer leading off the fifth inning and that held up as the winner in the Rockies’ 2-1 victory over San Francisco.
Franklin Morales (2-1) was masterful on the mound as he went seven innings, allowing only a solo homer, and he outdueled the Giants’ starter Madison Bumgarner.
Troy Tulowitzki also added a solo shot for the Rockies, who have hit seven homers in two nights against the Giants.
St Louis’ Adam Wainwright threw seven neat innings before leaving with a knee injury, steering the Cardinals to a 3-0 win over the New York Mets.
Wainwright (4-1) faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings and outpitched Dillon Gee. It was the second consecutive scoreless start for Wainwright, who tossed a two-hit shutout on Thursday at Washington.
Jon Jay hit a two-run single for the Cardinals.
Philadelphia’s Domonic Brown doubled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning after a costly error by Los Angeles left-fielder Carl Crawford, giving the Phillies a 3-2 win at the Dodgers.
Carlos Ruiz reached second base when his flyball to short left field glanced off Crawford’s glove as he nearly collided with shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
Brown followed with a drive to the fence in left-centerfield off J.P. Howell (1-2).
There was better news for the Dodgers’ city rivals as the Angels grabbed a 7-2 win at Washington.
New York’s Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, tripled, drove in two runs and made a sliding catch in his return to Fenway Park, helping the Yankees beat his old team Boston 9-3.