Angels beat Red Sox but lose Richards
BOSTON (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels beat Boston 8-3 on Wednesday to extend their lead in the American League West, and saw their nearest divisional rival beaten, yet still had cause for concern after losing pitcher Garrett Richards to a nasty knee injury.
The Angels opened up a 1-1/2 game advantage over Oakland, which was beaten at home by the non-contending New York Mets.
In the AL East, leader Baltimore stretched its dominant lead to nine games by edging the Chicago White Sox, while National League Central leader Milwaukee had its five-game winning streak broken at home by Toronto.
Angels’ slugger Josh Hamilton broke out of a 5-for-41 hitting slump by hitting two sacrifice flies and a single that brought home the final run in the ninth inning.
Howie Kendrick drove in two runs for the Angels, who have won seven of eight.
Richards sustained a patella injury in his left knee while running to cover first base in the second inning. He was 7-2 in his previous 11 starts and his expected absence will be a blow to Los Angeles’ rotation.
Oakland slipped further behind with an 8-5 home defeat by the Mets.
Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer and Eric Campbell also cleared the fences for New York, with both coming in a five-run third inning that effectively decided the game.
Mets’ starter Zack Wheeler (9-8) allowed two earned runs while working 5 2-3 solid innings. He is 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA over his nine outings since June 30.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run sixth inning which lifted the Blue Jays to a 9-5 win at Milwaukee.
Colby Rasmus also homered for Toronto, which had won only one of its previous seven games of a lengthy road trip.
The homers made a winner of R.A. Dickey (10-12), who gave up five runs in 5 2-3 choppy innings. Dickey left after Carlos Gomez’s two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth made it 7-5.
Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz took the major league home-run lead with his 33rd homer as the surging Orioles won 4-3 to complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox.
Adam Jones and Steve Pearce also homered for the Orioles, who posted their first sweep away to the White Sox since 1995.
Cruz’s homer was a two-run shot in the fourth off Hector Noesi (7-9) that gave Baltimore a 3-2 lead. Cruz is one ahead of White Sox rookie Jose Abreu and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for the homer lead.
Atlanta’s Justin Upton dropped a routine fly ball in the ninth inning which set the stage for Gaby Sanchez’s game-winning sacrifice fly, giving Pittsburgh a 3-2 win over the Braves.
The Pirates snapped a seven-game losing skid, and ended Atlanta’s five-game winning streak.
Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon (2-3) worked a perfect ninth inning to earn the win.
San Diego’s Alexi Amarista had two hits and drove in a run to help the Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1.
Padres’ starter Eric Stults (6-13) allowed one run in five innings, struck out five and walked one. The Dodgers came into the game with a 20-10 record against left-handed starters, but Stults did just enough against his former team.
Kevin Quackenbush pitched the ninth to earn his first major league save.
St. Louis’ Lance Lynn beat Cincinnati for the third straight time, guiding the Cardinals to a 7-3 win over the Reds to complete a three-game sweep.
Lynn (14-8) was set to pitch the eighth, leading 5-0, before a 58-minute rain delay ended his outing. The Reds scored three times in the ninth.
Jhonny Peralta hit a bases-clearing double for St. Louis, which has won eight of its past nine to close within 1-1/2 games of the NL Central lead.
Detroit’s Rick Porcello pitched his AL-leading third shutout of the season to guide the Tigers to a 6-0 win over Tampa Bay.
Porcello (14-8) moved into a tie for the AL lead in wins, retiring 20 straight batters after the first inning, and issuing no walks.
Victor Martinez hit his fourth career slam, connecting off Kirby Yates in the seventh, as the Rays went down to their fourth-straight loss.
Washington pinch-hitter Anthony Rendon’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the surging Nationals past Arizona 3-2 for their ninth-straight victory.
Philadelphia’s Wil Nieves doubled and had three hits in the Phillies’ 4-3 victory against Seattle.
San Francisco’s Jake Peavy pitched seven solid innings in his fifth start for the team, as the Giants rolled past the Chicago Cubs 8-3.
Colorado’s Matt McBride hit his first career grand slam to power the Rockies to a 5-2 win over Kansas City.
Cleveland rookie T.J. House pitched 5-1/3 scoreless innings to steer the Indians to a 5-0 win over Minnesota.
Houston’s Scott Feldman shut down the slumping New York Yankees again, leading the Astros to a 5-2 win.
Texas’ Nick Martinez allowed two runs in six innings against his home-town team, leading the Rangers to a 5-4 win.