The Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game winning streak was ended and their lead in the American League West division cut to the minimum as they lost 5-2 to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Mat Latos gave up only one run in 7 2-3 innings while Cincinnati got home runs from Jay Bruce and Xavier Paul.
In other key games, St Louis pitcher Lance Lynn was in commanding form to set up a win over Philadelphia and New York’s Hiroki Kuroda too dominated from the mound to pitch the Yankees past Texas.
Washington arrested a six-game losing sequence by defeating Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Angels high-powered batting lineup clicked in a win over Oakland and Kansas City dealt another blow to Baltimore’s AL East division ambitions.
Cincinnati starter Latos (10-3) belatedly notched his first victory at Dodger Stadium after losing all five of his previous starts there.
Latos is 24-7 in 54 starts since Cincinnati acquired him from San Diego.
St Louis’ Lance Lynn allowed one run in seven innings to steer the Cardinals to a 3-1 win over Philadelphia.
Lynn (12-5) was 3-4 with a 6.32 ERA in his past eight starts, but returned to his best.
St Louis scored three times in the third in a win which lifted them 25 games over .500; a season high.
Philadelphia have lost five in a row, tying their season worst.
New York’s Hiroki Kuroda (10-6) pitched seven scoreless innings as the Yankees downed Texas 2-0, splitting the four-game series.
Kuroda did not issue a walk and improved to 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four starts this month.
Washington’s Bryce Harper hit the first game-ending homer of his career, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth which secured a 9-7 win over Pittsburgh.
Harper drove a hanging slider over the wall a center field with two outs off Bryan Morris (4-4).
It was an eventful afternoon that included three errors by Pittsburgh infielders in the first inning and the ejections of Washington manager Davey Johnson and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
Los Angeles’ Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each drove in two runs to power the Angels past Oakland 8-3.
It was a reversal of fortune for a batting lineup which had scored just seven runs across their previous four games.
In other games it was:
‧ Royals 7, Orioles1
‧ Mets 7, Braves 4
‧ Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 1
‧ White Sox 7, Tigers 4
‧ Mariners 8, Twins 2
‧ Padres 10, Brewers 8
‧ Marlins 5, Rockies 3
‧ Blue Jays 4, Astros 0