Texas’ Nelson Cruz snapped a ninth-inning tie with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield to give the Rangers a 6-4 win over the St Louis Cardinals in Friday’s rematch of the teams that clashed in the 2011 World Series.
In other key games, Shane Victorino drove in five runs to power Boston past Detroit, Paul Goldschmidt homered twice to lead Arizona past Cincinnati, and Toronto notched a ninth straight win and got back to .500 by downing Baltimore.
New York’s Zoilo Almonte made a splash in his debut to power the Yankees past Tampa Bay, rookie Gerrit Cole pitched Pittsburgh past the Los Angeles Angels, and Yoenis Cespedes powered Oakland past Seattle.
Texas’ Derek Holland went seven innings after a shaky start and Neal Cotts (4-1) earned the win after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the eighth when Jon Jay tapped out on a full-count pitch.
The game drew a sellout crowd of 45,228 to Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals closed out the 2011 Series with wins in Games 6 and 7.
Texas stayed within one game of American League West-leading Oakland while the Cardinals lead the majors.
Boston’s Victorino homered and hit three singles, driving in five runs to lead the Red Sox to a 10-6 win over Detroit.
Detroit nearly rallied from a 6-1 deficit but could not come through against the Boston bullpen.
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt homered twice to help the Diamondbacks defeat Cincinnati 11-5.
Goldschmidt drove in three runs to raise his NL-leading RBI total to 65. He has four homers in four games and with 19 homers, he is already only one short of his total last year.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto (4-1) went just 4 1-3 innings and allowed seven runs, his most since 2010. The 11 hits off him matched his career worst.
Toronto’s Rajai Davis singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Blue Jays a 7-6 win over Baltimore.
Munenori Kawasaki hit his first career home run, a tying two-run shot in the seventh. Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion also connected for the Blue Jays, who remain last in the AL East despite nine straight wins.
New York’s Almonte provided much-needed pop in his first major league start, homering and adding two singles to help the Yankees to a 6-2 win over Tampa Bay.
Almonte started in place of slumping left fielder Vernon Wells and quickly delivered, a day after getting a pinch single for his first hit.
The Rays have never won three-straight games in the month of June, and fell short again.
Pittsburgh’s Cole held Los Angeles scoreless into the seventh inning, earning his third straight victory to open his major league career as the Pirates beat the Angels 5-2.
Cole (3-0) dazzled the Angels in his first career road start, repeatedly hitting 100mph (161kph) on Angel Stadium’s radar gun. He struck out five and retired 11 straight at one point.
It was Pittsburgh’s first win in Anaheim since 2007.
Oakland’s Cespedes hit a pair of two-run homers as the Athletics downed Seattle 6-3.
Cespedes homered in the first inning and again in the ninth for his third career multihomer game — all this month.
A’s starter Bartolo Colon (10-2) gave up seven hits over eight innings, tying unbeaten Max Scherzer of Detroit for most wins in the American League.
The Mariners have lost five of six.
Washington’s Stephen Strasburg struck out nine over seven innings to steer the Nationals to a 2-1 win over slumping Colorado.
Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Brewers past Atlanta for their second shutout of the season.
Cleveland’s Scott Kazmir allowed one run in seven strong innings as the Indians beat Minnesota 5-1.
San Diego’s Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley each had two RBIs as the Padres touched up Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw and beat the Dodgers 5-2.
New York’s Juan Lagares hit a go-ahead double as the Mets edged Philadelphia 4-3.
Chicago’s Hector Santiago shut down the Royals’ punchless offense for a career-best eight innings, pitching the White Sox to a 9-1 win over Kansas City.
Miami notched their ninth-straight win at San Franciso by beating the Giants 6-3, with Marcell Ozuna hitting a go-ahead single in the eighth inning after tying it with an RBI single in the sixth.
Chicago’s Matt Garza pitched into the ninth inning to steer the Cubs to a 3-1 win over Houston.