Seldom-used Henry Blanco hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin as the Seattle Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Sunday behind left-hander Joe Saunders.
Batting ninth in the lineup, the 41-year-old Blanco sent an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats to erase a 2-1 deficit. The backup catcher was playing in his 32nd game of the season, the 17th with Seattle after being signed as a free agent.
Saunders (10-10) worked out of trouble in almost every inning, but improved to 7-0 lifetime against Baltimore after allowing two runs, eight hits and two walks in six innings.
Chen (6-4) gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings in his first loss since May 1.
In Oakland, California, Derek Holland gave up four hits in eight stellar innings, while Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland each hit a home run as Texas blanked the Oakland Athletics 4-0 to make Ron Washington the most successful manager in Rangers’ history.
Adrian Beltre had two hits and drove in a run for the Rangers, who have won six of seven to move within 2.5 games of the American League West-leading Athletics.
Nate Freiman had two hits for the A’s, who have lost four of five.
Boston’s Felix Doubront pitched seven shutout innings to continue his run of strong starts and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two runs to lift the Red Sox over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 in interleague play.
It was Boston’s seventh win in nine games, completing a 5-2 homestand. The American League East leaders play 16 of the next 19 away from Fenway Park, beginning last night in Houston, Texas.
Doubront (8-5) allowed five singles, struck out five, did not walk a batter and allowed just one runner to reach second base in holding his opponents to three runs or fewer for the 15th straight start. It is the most by a Red Sox left-hander since at least 1920.
In an another interleague game, Ian Kennedy won his San Diego debut, his first victory in more than two months, while Everth Cabrera, facing a 50-game suspension in baseball’s latest drug scandal, had two hits and two RBIS as the Padres beat the New York Yankees 6-3.
Kennedy (8-4), acquired from Arizona on Wednesday last week, had not won since June 1 at the Cubs. He allowed two runs and four hits in 5-2/3 innings, struck out six and walked four.
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 22 chances.
In the American League, Torii Hunter hit an RBI single in the 12th inning as the Detroit Tigers edged the White Sox 3-2 to extend Chicago’s losing streak to 10 games.
The Toronto Blue Jays edged the Los Angeles Angels 6-5 and the Minnesota Twins were 3-2 winners over the Houston Astros.
In the National League, Chris Johnson drove in a pair of runs and Alex Wood pitched six strong innings to lead the Atlanta Braves to their 10th straight victory, 4-1 over the slumping Philadelphia Phillies.
Wood (2-2) allowed one run on two hits in his fourth major league start. The unorthodox 22-year-old rookie left-hander, who configures his body in an unusual way during his delivery, struck out three and walked two.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, A.J. Burnett allowed eight hits and Russell Martin provided some rare run support for the right-hander with a three-run homer as the Pirates downed the Colorado Rockies 5-1.
Burnett (5-7) struck out nine and walked one in his first complete game of the season and the 23rd of his 15-year career. He threw 110 pitches, 83 for strikes.
The Los Angeles Dodgers shut the Chicago Cubs out 1-0, the St Louis Cardinals trounced the Cincinnati Reds 15-2 and the Milwaukee Brewers downed the Washington Nationals 8-5.
In interleague games, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3, the Cleveland Indians blanked the Florida Marlins 2-0 and the Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Mets 6-2.