While Jake Peavy was getting knocked around, A.J. Pierzynski was stranding runners, and the Red Sox were getting blown out again in Seattle, there were competitive games taking place throughout most of baseball.
On an interleague-heavy night, seven of the nine games featuring American League teams were decided by two runs or less, including all three involving teams from the AL East, and on top of a 14-inning affair in Arizona there was a 16-inning fight that went down in Milwaukee.
Here are the details:
IN THE DIVISION
Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6: New York down six runs in the sixth, Derek Jeter homered an inning before the Yankees tied the game with a five-run rally — but the Jays still managed to pull out a win after Jose Reyes doubled to lead off the ninth, then came all the way around to score when third baseman Yangervis Solarte threw away Melky Cabrera‘s sacrifice bunt. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI in the New York, which left the Yanks as losers of four straight and 3.5 games behind the division-leading Jays.
Toronto is 8.5 games up on Boston; New York, 5 up.
White Sox 4, Orioles 2: Alexei Ramirez filled the box score with two hits, two runs, a double and a steal, helping the White Sox snap a five-game losing skid and pull a game ahead of the Red Sox — who are now sole owners of the AL’s third-worst record. The Orioles had their opportunities but went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and in turn dropped a game farther behind Toronto, now trailing by 2.5 in the division.
Chicago is 1 game up on Boston; Baltimore, 6 up.
Pirates 6, Rays 5: New Hampshire native Jeff Locke pitched into the eighth inning, and although former Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon had some difficulty in the ninth — allowing three hits, two runs and needing 25 pitches — he had enough wiggle room to secure his 13th save. Chris Archer started for the Rays, and was decent (four earned runs in seven innings), but that and Evan Longoria‘s 10th homer couldn’t help the Bucs from moving above .500 on the season.
Tampa Bay is 4.5 games behind Boston.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Tigers 8, Rangers 2: Batting second in the Detroit lineup, Ian Kinsler wasted no time in reacquainting himself with the Rangers, launching a 395-foot homer in the first inning, then later tacking on two more RBIs. Old friend Adrian Beltre went 4-for-4 in the loss, while newly promoted Haverhill product Carlos Pena played his first big-league game of the season, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the setback.
Detroit is 8.5 games up on Boston; Texas, 1 up.
Dodgers 2, Royals 0: Clayton Kershaw followed up his no-hitter by limiting the Royals to no runs and six hits over eight innings, whiffing eight before Kenley Jansen struck out a couple more en route to his 23rd save. Adrian Gonzalez knocked home his 47th run for the winners (on a first-inning ground out), though Hanley Ramirez was scratched from the LA lineup because of a sore right shoulder. Also before the game, the Royals sent Worcester’s Tim Collins, a lefty reliever, to Triple-A Omaha.
Kansas City is 5.5 games up on Boston.
Braves 3, Astros 2: The Upton brothers — BJ and Justin homered in the same game for the fourth time, equaling a major-league record, then neither side scored over the final five innings and Atlanta’s early offense held up. Craig Kimbrel completed a perfect ninth for his 22nd save as the Braves remained within two games of the first-place Nationals.
Houston is 2.5 games behind Boston.
Angels 8, Twins 6: Mike Trout continues asserting himself as the best player in the game, going 1-for-2 with two runs, two walks, his 17th home run, and his 10th steal, helping the Angels retake the lead after the Twins answered the Halos’ first-inning five spot with five runs in the top of the second. The victory marked the fourth straight win for the Angels, who remain four back of the A’s in the West, but who are 2.5 games clear of the third wild-card contender.
Los Angeles is 8.5 games up on Boston; Minnesota, 2.5 up.
Mets 10, Athletics 1: Scott Kazmir‘s all-star campaign took a hit, while yet another Bartolo Colon resurgence appears to be underway. The Mets pummeled Oakland’s lefty for seven runs (including three homers) over three ugly innings of work, while their burly righty was striking out eight and allowing just four hits over eight one-run innings. It was the seventh straight game in which the former Red Sox has allowed two earned runs or less, and the third straight time he did it while pitching into the eighth.
Oakland is 12.5 games up on Boston.
Diamondbacks 9, Indians 8: Command issues again cut short a Justin Masterson start, with the big righty lasting only four-plus innings after yielding a dozen baserunners — and making matters worse this time was that the Cleveland bullpen was then asked to pitch 9.1 more innings. Terry Francona used nine relievers by the end of a 5 hour, 32 minute affair, including John Axford, who blew a two-run lead in the 11th, and Mark Lowe, who surrendered Aaron Hill‘s walkoff single in the 14th. Further adding to the insult, it was the fourth straight defeat for the Tribe.
Cleveland is 2.5 games up on Boston.
NATIONAL LEAGUE NOTABLES
In an even longer game, the Nationals outlasted the Brewers in 16 innings, 4-2, with Ryan Zimmerman‘s blast proving the difference … Former Sox farmhand Anthony Rizzo blasted his 17th homer as part of the Cubs’ 7-3 win over Cincinnati. It was one of his three hits, bringing his average to .288 and his OBP to .404 on the season … Ex-Sox Marlon Byrd keyed a first-inning surge with his 13th homer, helping the Phillies to a 7-4 win over the Marlins that ended with Jonathan Papelbon‘s 18th save … Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a good night despite the defeat, going 2-for-2 with two walks in his four trips to the plate … Jorge De La Rosa, once traded by Boston in the deal that brought them Curt Schilling, picked up his seventh win by gutting his way through seven innings to beat the Cardinals, 10-5. He allowed five runs (four earned), but thanks largely to Justin Morneau‘s six RBIs it was enough to snap Colorado’s seven-game losing skid … Seth Smith had two hits, pushing his average to .294, as the Padres beat the Giants, 7-2.
10 YEARS AGO TODAY …
After losing four of five, the Sox came out with a vengeance against the Phillies. In a 12-1 win shortened to eight innings by mercy — OK, rain — Manny Ramirez went 3-for-5 with 5 RBIs and his 20th home run. David Ortiz slugged his 18th tater, while Kevin Youkilis added four RBIs, Jason Varitek had three hits, and Pedro Martinez yielded only two hits over seven innings of brilliance.