Garrett Richards allowed five hits over seven innings to extend his personal winning streak to seven decisions as the Los Angeles Angels handed the Texas Rangers their sixth consecutive loss, 3-0 on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.
Mike Trout provided Richards all the run support he needed with a solo home run in the fourth inning, his 22nd of the season.
Richards (11-2) is unbeaten with a 1.27 ERA in his last eight starts.
Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar had two hits each for Los Angeles, and Alex Rios had two for Texas.
Texas right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-5) retired the first 10 batters he faced before Trout sent a 1-0 sinker 418 feet to center field for the game’s first run. Tepesch allowed two runs in the seventh.
The Rangers left eight men on base, including runners in scoring position in six innings.
MARINERS 3, ATHLETICS 2
Felix Hernandez outpitched Jeff Samardzija and Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead double to propel Seattle past Oakland in Seattle.
Fernando Rodney got his 27th save, getting Nick Punto on a called strike three to end it with a runner on third. Punto slammed his batting helmet to the ground with both hands and argued with plate umpire James Hoye, and A’s manager Bob Melvin joined in, saying the full-count pitch missed the strike zone.
Hernandez (11-2) threw eight strong innings. He reached 11 victories before the All-Star break for the first time in his career, getting nicked for two early runs and then shutting down the A’s for the rest of the night.
Hernandez made his 11th straight start going at least seven innings and giving up two earned runs or less.
GIANTS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 0
In San Francisco, Tim Lincecum and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, and Lincecum drove in a run with a safety squeeze, helping San Francisco shut out Arizona.
Pablo Sandoval homered and drove in three runs to break out of a slump that started in late June. The Giants third baseman, hitting just .222 over his previous 16 games, also had an RBI-double and an infield single.
Lincecum (9-5) allowed three hits over seven innings and fanned Gerado Parra to end a two-on, two-out jam in the seventh. The two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked two.
Even longtime nemesis Paul Goldschmidt struggled against Lincecum. The Arizona first baseman went hitless in three plate appearances against the right-hander.
CARDINALS 7, BREWERS 6
In Milwaukee, Matt Holliday hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning off Milwaukee closer Francisco Rodriguez, completing St Louis’ comeback from a six-run deficit.
Milwaukee has lost six straight and 10 of 11 games.
Holliday sent the first-pitch change-up from Rodriguez (3-3) into the left-field seats to break the tie. The Cardinals hit four homers and cut the sliding Brewers’ lead in the NL Central to one game.
Trevor Rosenthal wrapped up six shutout innings for the St Louis bullpen with his 28th save, getting two strikeouts after allowing a leadoff single to Aramis Ramirez in the bottom of the ninth. All-Star setup man Pat Neshek (4-0) tossed 1-1/3 scoreless innings for the win.
RED SOX 8, ASTROS 3
In Houston, rookie Christian Vazquez got his first three major league hits and drove in three runs, while David Ortiz had three RBIs to break open the game in the sixth inning for Boston.
Vasquez, who was playing in his second Major League game, singled in the third inning, had an RBI double in the fourth and drove home two more with a double in Boston’s five-run sixth.