Verlander shines as Tigers top Athletics: AL roundup
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera homered, Omar Infante drove in three runs and Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 6-2 on Wednesday night.
Verlander (15-8) allowed five hits and three walks while striking out five.
The Tigers have won two straight over the A's — and 28 of their last 36 games at home — in their chase to catch the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox.
Oakland, clinging to an AL wild-card spot, has dropped three straight and might have had a costly loss on the mound because Brett Anderson (4-2) left the game after two-plus innings with a strained right oblique.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Desmond Jennings hit a two-run triple during Tampa Bay's seven-run sixth-inning, and the Rays snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Boston Red Sox 13-3 on Wednesday night.
Despite the win, Tampa Bay fell 6 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees, who swept a day-night doubleheader against Toronto. The Rays started play six games back in the AL wild-card race.
Jennings also scored following his triple against reliever Alfredo Aceves when the throw from the outfield eluded third baseman Pedro Ciriaco.
Four Boston pitchers walked six in the sixth, including passes to Carlos Pena and Jose Molina with the bases loaded. Luke Scott had a sacrifice fly, and Jeff Keppinger added an RBI single.
Keppinger hit a solo homer and Pena added a two-shot off Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6) as Tampa Bay went up 5-3 in the fourth.
Chris Archer (1-3) allowed three runs and five hits over five innings for the Rays, who won for the second time in nine games. It was the rookie's first major league win.
CLEVELAND — Josh Willingham had four hits and four RBIs, Liam Hendriks finally got his first career win and the Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland 6-4 Wednesday night, dropping the Indians into last place in the AL Central.
Willingham belted a tiebreaking two-run homer off Zach McAllister (5-8) in the fifth inning, giving Minnesota a 4-2 lead. He also had three singles.
Hendriks (1-7) pitched six effective innings to get the win in his 18th career start. Glen Perkins worked the ninth for his 14th save.
Minnesota's Joe Mauer went 1 for 4 with a walk and had an RBI single taken away when the umpires reversed a call.
Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera homered, but left in the seventh with a sore right wrist.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bruce Chen pitched into the seventh inning, Alex Gordon hit a two-run double and the Kansas City Royals beat the AL Central-leading White Sox 3-0 on Wednesday night to snap Chicago's five-game winning streak.
Billy Butler hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning, but that was it until Gordon connected off Chris Sale (17-7) with two outs in the seventh. Left fielder Dayan Viciedo couldn't make the catch at the wall, allowing Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar to give Kansas City a cushion.
Chen (11-12) scattered five hits and three walks over 6 2-3 innings to win for just the second time in six starts. The crafty left-hander escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth and got some help from reliever Kelvin Herrera to get out of trouble in the seventh.
NEW YORK — Andy Pettitte pitched five sparkling innings in his return from a broken leg and his bullpen barely held on, keeping the New York Yankees atop the AL East with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader.
Pettitte (4-3) looked his old steely self in giving up four hits in his first September start since 2010. The 40-year-old left-hander, injured on June 27, boosted the Yankees into a half-game division lead over the pesky Baltimore Orioles.
Robinson Cano had an RBI double in a three-run first against Henderson Alvarez (9-13) that also included Alex Rodriguez's run-scoring groundout and Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly.
Alfonso Soriano escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth after Toronto closed to 3-2, and New York extended a winning streak to three for the first time since Aug. 13-15.
NEW YORK — Ichiro Suzuki had a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, his seventh hit of the day, to help the New York Yankees complete a doubleheader sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 2-1 win Wednesday night that ensured they remained atop the AL East.
Suzuki made a difficult catch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the opener to preserve a lead for Andy Pettitte in a 4-2 victory.
New York will end the night with at least a half-game division lead, pending on the outcome of Baltimore's game against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.
The wily outfielder had three hits in the opener batting leadoff in place of Derek Jeter, who rested his sore ankle in the first game of the day-night doubleheader. Jeter started at shortstop for the first time in a week and got his 200th hit on Ricky Romero's first pitch.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Derek Holland pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, Geovany Soto hit a late two-run homer and the Texas Rangers hurt the Los Angeles Angels' wild-card chances with a 6-2 victory.
Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and Mike Napoli had run-scoring extra-base hits in the third inning as the Rangers chased former teammate C.J. Wilson, who flopped in his second-shortest start for Los Angeles.
Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run homer for the Angels (81-68), who had won 15 of 20.
Wilson and his teammates blew a chance to pull within 2½ games of slumping Oakland (84-64) for the second AL wild-card slot with 13 games to go.
SEATTLE — Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning and the Baltimore Orioles won their 15th straight extra-innings game with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Jones' turned on a 3-2 pitch from Seattle's Josh Kinney (0-3) and sent his 30th homer into the Baltimore bullpen in left field.
Jim Johnson pitched the bottom of the 11th for his major league-leading 45th save.