Ivan Nova won his 11th straight decision and Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning, lifting the New York Yankees to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays last night, and into first place in the American League East.
Nova (15-4) was nearly unhittable for seven innings after giving up two runs in the first and Brett Gardner’s two-run homer in the third.
Gardner, Andruw Jones, and Curtis Granderson all made impressive plays to help the Yankees improve to 12-0 in Nova’s last 12 starts.
Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 37th save in 42 chances.
Gardner lined a 3-and-1 pitch over the fence in right-center for the Yankees’ first hit, a two-run drive with one out in the third.
Tigers 8, White Sox 1 - Justin Verlander took a shutout into the eighth inning as host Detroit pushed Chicago 6 1/2 games back in the AL Central.
Austin Jackson had three hits, including a two-run homer, while Jhonny Peralta added a three-run double in a five-run fifth.
Verlander (21-5) improved to 19-2 since May 1, allowing one run on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out six in Jim Leyland’s 500th win as Tigers manager.
“Give credit where it is due: Justin Verlander has 104 of those wins, and he gave us another great performance tonight,’’ Leyland said. “So let’s forget about Jim Leyland and talk about Justin Verlander.’’
Phillies 5, Marlins 3 - In Miami, John Mayberry drove in three runs with a homer and a sacrifice fly as Philadelphia (88-46) won its fifth straight to climb 42 games above .500 for the first time.
After the game - in which the Marlins walked six, threw three wild pitches, and committed two errors - Florida manager Jack McKeon blasted his last-place team.
“I’m getting tired of looking at this stuff,’’ McKeon said. “We’re better than that. It’s time to wake up. The fans deserve better, the organization deserves better. On the other hand, maybe they can’t play. Maybe they’re not good enough.’’
Rockies 3, Padres 0 - Kevin Millwood, making his fifth start for visiting Colorado after being released by the Red Sox Aug. 10, pitched seven strong innings and Troy Tulowitzki drove in two runs to lead the Rockies over San Diego.
Millwood (2-1) allowed seven singles, including three infield singles, with eight strikeouts and no walks. He combined with two relievers to hand San Diego its majors-leading 18th shutout.
Dodgers 8, Braves 6 - James Loney’s three-run double was the key hit in a five-run seventh inning for visiting Los Angeles as the streaking Dodgers rallied after trailing by five runs to beat Atlanta.
Indians 5, Royals 4 - Justin Masterson (11-8) worked seven strong innings as visiting Cleveland equaled last year’s win total.
Orioles 3, Rays 2 - Zach Britton (9-9) had his third consecutive solid start and J.J. Hardy drove in two runs as visiting Baltimore beat Tampa Bay.
Mets 7, Nationals 3 - David Wright hit a three-run homer and R.A. Dickey pitched into the seventh inning on three days’ rest as New York won in Washington.
Brewers 8, Astros 2 - Prince Fielder had four hits, including a two-run homer in the ninth inning, as visiting Milwaukee won by scoring all of its runs in the last three innings.
Twins 13, Angels 5 - Carl Pavano won for the first time in 10 starts since the All-Star break, Trevor Plouffe homered, and visiting Minnesota received four bases-loaded walks in a victory over Los Angeles.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2 - Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead two-run home run among his four hits as host San Francisco snapped Arizona’s season-best nine-game winning streak.
Pirates 3, Cubs 1 - Brian Burres pitched into the sixth in his first start of the season and Alex Presley had two triples, helping visiting Pittsburgh snap a five-game losing streak.
Reds 11, Cardinals 8 - Juan Francisco hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs for visiting Cincinnati.
Athletics 9, Mariners 2 - Hideki Matsui and Cliff Pennington both drove in three runs to lead host Oakland.