A new opponent from a different league did nothing to interrupt Toronto’s winning run as the Blue Jays beat St Louis 3-1 on Friday to move six games clear atop the American League East division.
Toronto remained half a game behind Oakland for the overall AL lead, as the Athletics won an 11-innings game at Baltimore.
Other key contests saw majors-leading San Francisco pull out a tight win over the New York Mets and Pittsburgh rout Milwaukee thanks to an eight-run sixth inning.
Toronto notched a sixth straight win thanks to home runs from Jose Bautista in the third and Brett Lawrie in the fifth.
Blue Jays rookie pitcher Marcus Stroman (3-0) won his second straight start, allowing only one run and one walk in six innings while striking out seven.
The Cardinals had their first triple play in nine years, but still lost to Toronto for the fifth straight time.
Oakland pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt singled in the tiebreaking run in the 11th inning to give the Athletics a 4-3 win over Baltimore.
John Jaso led off the 11th with a double. With one out, Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy botched his fielding of a ground ball; his fourth error in two games. Jaso went to third on the play and scored when Vogt hit a liner to left field.
Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris hit homers for the A’s.
Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin had a solid outing for Balitimore, allowing two runs, both homers, on five hits. Chen retired 10 straight batters and was replaced with a one-run lead.
San Francisco became the first team to reach 40 wins when they beat the New York Mets 4-2, with Buster Posey hitting a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning.
The big shot capped a three-hit day for Posey, who entered with only four hits in his previous 42 at-bats at home.
The Mets lost their fourth straight, all blown by the bullpen. The New York relievers have a major league-worst 15 losses this season.
Pittsburgh’s Russell Martin had three hits, including a three-run double during an eight-run sixth inning that lifted the Pirates to a 15-5 rout of Milwaukee.
Martin’s double keyed an inning that increased Pittsburgh’s lead to 13-3 and included Jose Tabata hitting two RBI singles and reliever Tyler Thornburg issuing two bases-loaded walks. The Pirates sent 13 batters to the plate.
Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (7-2) had won seven consecutive decisions, the longest active streak in the majors, but was tagged for eight runs in five-plus innings. He had won his previous six decisions against the Pirates.
In other MLB games, it was:
‧ Angels 8, White Sox 4
‧ Rangers 6, Indians 4
‧ Yankees 4, Royals 2
‧ Dodgers 7, Rockies 2
‧ Tigers 6, Red Sox 2
‧ Nationals 6, Padres 0
‧ Braves 5, Diamondbacks 2
‧ Cubs 5, Marlins 3
‧ Rays 4, Seattle 0
‧ Astros 5, Twins 4
‧ Phillies 8, Reds 0
Additional reporting by staff writer