Pineda, Bard lift Mariners past A's
OAKLAND, Calif. — Josh Bard got his first chance to catch Michael Pineda since spring training and saw what the rest of baseball has been seeing from Seattle's overpowering rookie the first half of the year.
Pineda and three relievers combined on a three-hitter and Bard hit his first home run of the season to lead the Mariners to a 2-1 victory over the Athletics on Monday.
"He's really maturing," said Bard, who came up from the minors last week. "He's becoming that big horse, inning-eater guy that we need him to be. We talked to him hard today, making sure he came out ready to pitch in the first inning. Sometimes he gets caught pacing himself a little bit. He did a great job doing that."
Justin Smoak added a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning for the Mariners, who got their first back-to-back wins since June 2-3 against Tampa Bay.
The strong start by Pineda (8-5) helped spoil the return of Brandon McCarthy (1-5) from the disabled list for Oakland. McCarthy faced the minimum batters through 52/3 innings but ended up losing his fifth straight decision. He gave up two runs and four hits in 62/3 innings and is 0-5 in his last eight starts despite having six quality starts in that span.
This matchup between the two lowest scoring teams in the American League figured to be dominated by the pitching.
Pineda gave up one run that was aided by a popup lost in the sun, allowed just two hits and struck out seven in six innings. He allowed just one baserunner in his final four innings, retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced, to win for just the second time in his last eight starts.
"He looked like a very mature pitcher out there today," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's looked like that all year long. As the year has progressed, you've seen him do some things you love a pitcher to do."
Aaron Laffey, David Pauley and Brandon League each pitched one scoreless inning of relief with League getting his 23rd save in 26 chances.
Indians 6, Yankees 3
At Cleveland, Austin Kearns hit his first homer in 105 at-bats this season, a stunning three-run shot in the seventh inning off New York's A.J. Burnett, to send Cleveland past the Yankees to spoil Derek Jeter's return to the Yankees' lineup.
Jeter was back at shortstop and again atop the batting order for the first time since June 13, when he went on the disabled list with a calf injury. New York's captain went 0 for 4 and remained six shy of becoming the first Yankees player to reach 3,000 hits.
Josh Tomlin (10-4), who carried a no-hitter into the seventh, allowed two runs and three hits. The Indians' right-hander also became the first pitcher since 1919 to go at least five innings in each of his first 29 career appearances.
Twins 7, Rays 0
At Minneapolis, Brian Duensing overcame a shaky start to throw a six-hitter and Danny Valencia homered among his three hits and had three RBIs to help the Minnesota.
Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7
At Boston, Travis Snider had three doubles and drove in a pair of runs and Aaron Hill homered as Toronto became the latest team to rough up John Lackey.
White Sox 5, Royals 4
At Chicago, A.J. Pierzynski scored the winning run on a balk called on Aaron Crow in the ninth and the White Sox beat Kansas City after the Royals had tied it on a homer first ruled a triple in the top of the inning.
Rangers 13, Orioles 4
At Arlington, Texas, Endy Chavez had his first four-RBI game in more than eight years with a long home run and a double in Texas' victory over Baltimore and former manager Buck Showalter.
Angels 5, Tigers 1
At Los Angeles, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells homered, Joel Pineiro yielded five hits over seven solid innings and Los Angeles beat Detroit for its ninth win in 11 games.
Padres 5, Giants 3
At San Francisco, Will Venable hit his second home run of the season and San Diego pounced on Tim Lincecum in a victory over San Francisco.
Chase Headley, Orlando Hudson and Ryan Ludwick each had an RBI off Lincecum (6-7) to chase the Giants' ace after five innings. Nick Hundley added an RBI single in the eighth and Venable's solo shot came in the ninth.
Clayton Richard (5-9) struck out two and gave up two hits and three walks in five innings. After two separate four-game losing streaks this season, the lefty has won three straight.
Pirates 5, Astros 3
At Pittsburgh, rookie Alex Presley had three of Pittsburgh's 14 hits and the Pirates moved three games over .500 this late in the season for the first time in 12 years with a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Monday.
Nationals 5, Cubs 4, 10 innings
At Washington, Jayson Werth turned boos to cheers by scoring the winning run on a wild pitch in the 10th inning, and the Nationals snagged another one-run victory.
Phillies 1, Marlins 0
At Miami, Vance Worley pitched seven sharp innings and Philadelphia scored the only run on a close play in the seventh to beat Florida.
Cardinals 1, Reds 0
At St. Louis, Chris Carpenter outdueled Cincinnati Reds nemesis Johnny Cueto with eight impressive innings, then watched from the dugout as pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton drove in the lone run with an infield hit for St. Louis.
Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 6
At Milwaukee, Chris Young drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the ninth inning and Arizona overcame a grand slam by pitcher Shaun Marcum, rallying from a five-run deficit to beat slumping Milwaukee.
Braves 4, Rockies 1
At Atlanta, Freddie Freeman homered twice to drive in three runs, Tommy Hanson combined with two relievers on a four-hitter and Atlanta beat Colorado.
Mets 5, Dodgers 2
At Los Angeles, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy had RBI doubles in the sixth inning after the Mets were held hitless through five by Rubby De La Rosa, and New York went on to beat Los Angeles.