Stephen Drew singled in the winning run in the 15th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners and back into first place in the AL East on Wednesday night.
Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk and took second on a groundout by David Ortiz. Mike Napoli was walked intentionally and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out. Jonny Gomes then walked, loading the bases, and Drew hit a liner just inside the right-field line as Pedroia scored the decisive run.
Boston moved a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay in the division.
Drew Britton (1-0) pitched two innings for his first major league win. Lucas Luetge (0-2) took the loss.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager had tied the game at four in the eighth with his 17th homer of the year, a solo shot off Junichi Tazawa.
Pedroia had given the Red Sox a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer in the seventh, his eighth.
ROYALS 4, TWINS 3
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Alex Gordon hit a two-out triple in the seventh inning and then scored the go-ahead run on an error as Kansas City won their eighth straight game by beating Minnesota.
The Royals were above .500 at the end of July for the first time since 2003. At 53-51, they are two games over the break-even mark for the first time since May 17. They remained seven games behind Detroit in the AL Central race and 4.5 games back of second-place Cleveland, the current holder of the second wild card spot.
Jeremy Guthrie (11-7) won his third start in a row with his seventh consecutive appearance of at least six innings. Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 30 tries.
Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar (1-1) took the loss.
The Royals, who have the league’s second-best team ERA, have relied on their rotation for this midsummer surge. The starters have allowed 11 earned runs in 72 innings during the streak.
Kansas City is 9-3 against the Twins this season and 26-19 against the division.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Blue Jays 5, Athletics 2, 10 inns
‧ Rangers 2, Angels 1
‧ Indians 6, White Sox 5, 10 inns
AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania
Russell Martin drove home Neal Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Martin’s sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The Pirates’ fourth straight win over the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 2.5 game lead in the NL Central.
St Louis left 11 runners on base and dropped their seventh consecutive game. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2.
Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
Matt Holliday had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Cardinals’ struggling offense put together 13 hits.
BRAVES 9, ROCKIES 0
In Atlanta, Georgia, Mike Minor allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings, while Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in a seven-run third as Atlanta beat Colorado for their sixth straight win.
Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with four hits as the Braves continued their offensive surge with 15 hits. The Braves have scored 29 runs while winning the first three games of the four-game series.
The Braves lead second-place Washington by 11 games in the NL East, their biggest advantage in nine years.
Minor (11-5) did not walk a batter and did not allow a Colorado baserunner to reach second base.
Tyler Chatwood (7-4) allowed a career-high seven earned runs on 10 hits, one walk and one hit batter in only 2-1/3 innings.
Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez left the game in the fourth inning after aggravating his sprained right middle finger.
GIANTS 9, PHILLIES 2
In Philadelphia, Chad Gaudin threw seven sharp innings, while Brett Pill and Brandon Crawford hit homers as San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over Philadelphia.
The defending World Series champion Giants are last in the NL West. The Phillies entered 11.5 games out of first place and fell to nine back in the wild-card standings.
Gaudin (5-2) allowed one run and four hits, striking out five. He also got his first career RBI on a single that was just his second hit in 59 at-bats.
Roger Kieschnick had RBI singles in his first two major league at-bats for the Giants, who snapped a nine-game homerless drought when Pill went deep. Pill had three hits and four RBIs.
Kyle Kendrick (9-8) gave up eight hits and seven runs in two-plus innings.
In other NL action, it was:
‧ Reds 4, Padres 1
‧ Marlins 3, Mets 2
‧ Cubs 6, Brewers 1
In interleague play, it was:
‧ Yankees 3, Dodgers 0
‧ Tigers 11, Nationals 1
‧ Diamondbacks 7, Rays 0