ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Clay Buchholz allowed three hits over five innings in his first start since early June and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday.
Buchholz (10-0), sidelined by a strained neck, hadn't pitched in the majors since beating the Los Angeles Angels on June 8. The right-hander made three rehab starts in the minors.
Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both drove in a run for the Red Sox, who extended their lead over second-place Tampa Bay to 81/2; games. Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara finished a four-hitter.
Royals 6, Indians 3
At Cleveland, Jeremy Guthrie got a major assist from his defense in pitching six innings, Alcides Escobar hit a rare home run and Kansas City snapped a six-game losing streak in Cleveland to close on the Indians and two others in the cramped wild-card scramble.
Guthrie (14-10), an Ashland native, allowed just one run and nine hits, but was helped by three double plays.
Twins 4, Athletics 3
At Minneapolis, Josh Willingham hit two home runs, including a two-run shot in the eighth inning that put Minnesota in front for good against Oakland.
Oswaldo Arcia also homered for the Twins, who snapped Oakland's three-game winning streak and prevented the A's from stretching their two-game lead over Texas in the AL West. Minnesota also spoiled a solid outing by Jarrod Parker, who tossed six strong innings and stretched his unbeaten streak to 19 starts.
Astros 13, Mariners 2
At Seattle, Jonathan Villar homered on the first pitch of the game and Houston coasted to a lopsided victory over Seattle.
Villar connected off Joe Saunders (11-14) for his first career homer. The Astros scored six times in the first three innings to chase Saunders. The left-hander has lost six of his last eight decisions.
Rockies 9, Giants 8
At San Francisco, Michael Cuddyer hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the ninth inning to go with his three-run shot, and the Colorado Rockies rallied from an early six-run deficit to beat the San Francisco Giants.
Cuddyer sent a 3-2 pitch from Sergio Romo into the left-center seats for his 20th homer of the season, 10th career multihomer game and second this year. He also connected in Colorado's five-run fifth to spark the comeback. Hunter Pence produced some impressive slugging himself, hitting a three-run homer in the first, an RBI double in the fourth and a tying, two-run single in the eighth against winner Wilton Lopez (3-4).
Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 3,11 innings
At Los Angeles, pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke's two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Van Slyke lined the homer off Josh Collmenter (4-3) into the lower left field seats.