OAKLAND, Calif. — Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer while playing with a sore right wrist, and the AL wild card-leading Athletics beat Baltimore 3-2 on Friday to prevent the Orioles from moving into sole possession of first place in the AL East.
Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth to back A's rookie Tommy Milone (13-10) in the opener of a key series between playoff contenders. Oakland (83-61) received a clubhouse visit before the game from pitcher Brandon McCarthy, more than a week after he was struck in the head with a line drive and underwent surgery.
The Orioles (81-63) remained tied atop the division with the New York Yankees, who lost 6-4 at home to Tampa Bay.
Rangers 9, Mariners 3
At Arlington, Texas, Yu Darvish surpassed 200 strikeouts in his rookie season while getting his 15th victory and Josh Hamilton hit his 42nd home run for AL West-leading Texas.
Darvish (15-9) struck out nine in seven innings, often complementing his mid-90s fastball with a breaking pitch about 30 mph slower.
Rays 6, Yankees 4
At New York, David Price earned his league-leading 18th win with another superb performance against the New York Yankees, and the Tampa Bay Rays opened a key series against their AL East rival by taking advantage of a fading CC Sabathia.
The Rays began the day four games behind division co-leaders Baltimore and New York.
White Sox 6, Twins 0
At Minneapolis, Chris Sale threw six scoreless innings for his 17th victory after being rained out the night before, helping Chicago keep its one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central.
Tigers 4, Indians 0
At Cleveland, Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to lead the Tigers past Cleveland.
Coming through the way he almost always does, Verlander (14-8) allowed six hits. He escaped jams in the fifth and sixth innings with help from Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, big men best known for their powerful bats, who made stellar defensive plays.
Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 5
At Toronto, Mauro Gomez hit a tiebreaking triple in the ninth inning and Boston beat Toronto, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Blue Jays.
Angels 9, Royals 7
At Kansas City, Mo., pinch hitter Kendrys Morales had two-run homer during an eighth-inning rally that sent Los Angeles past Kansas City.
Jordan Walden (3-2), the fourth of six Angels pitchers, picked up the victory, although he threw only two pitches. Ernesto Frieri got his 19th save in 21 opportunities.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2
At Phoenix, Hunter Pence hit a grand slam, Matt Cain dodged trouble for five-plus innings and the Giants beat the Diamondbacks.
Cain (14-5) walked three in the first and stranded five runners over the first two innings. He failed to make it through six innings for the second time in his last three starts.
The right-hander allowed four hits, walked a season-high five and also hit a batter. He was charged with one run and struck out two.
Buster Posey and reliever Santiago Casilla each drove in a run for the NL West-leading Giants, who won for the third time in four games and are 11-5 in their past 16.
Chris Johnson drove in both runs for the Diamondbacks.
Braves 2, Nationals 1
At Atlanta, Kris Medlen struck out a career-high 13 and the Atlanta Braves pulled out a victory over the Washington Nationals when Andrelton Simmons scored on a throwing error in the ninth inning.
Marlins 4, Reds 0
At Miami, Jacob Turner allowed only two hits in a career-high seven innings for his first National League victory, and Miami beat the NL Central-leading Cincinnati.
Cubs 7, Pirates 4
At Chicago, Pittsburgh lost its seventh straight game and kept fading in the NL wild-card race, falling to Chicago as Starlin Castro hit a three-run homer.
Phillies 12, Astros 6
At Houston, Jimmy Rollins hit a leadoff homer, Domonic Brown had a two-run shot and John Mayberry and Ryan Howard each had three RBIs to help Philadelphia beat Houston.
Mets 7, Brewers 3
At Milwaukee, Lucas Duda homered and doubled, Jonathon Niese pitched six strong innings and New York snapped a six-game losing streak, beating surging Milwaukee.
Daniel Murphy also homered for New York.
Dodgers 8, Cardinals 5
At Los Angeles, Luis Cruz greeted St. Louis reliever Edwin Mujica with a first-pitch, three-run homer in the sixth inning and the Dodgers tightened up the NL wild card race with a victory over the Cardinals.
Rockies 7, Padres 4
At San Diego, rookies Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco had consecutive two-run doubles in the first inning to lead the Rockies to a win over the Padres.
Chris Nelson and rookie Charlie Blackmon each hit solo homers as the Rockies won for just the third time in 11 games. Carlos Gonzalez tied his career high with four hits.