Fielder homers, Tigers keep healthy hold on first
DETROIT (AP) — Prince Fielder homered for the first time in three weeks, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning to help the Detroit Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
Andy Dirks added two doubles and two singles for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who took the opener of this five-game series with third-place Kansas City.
Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (11-7) allowed a run and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. Bruce Rondon finished the eighth, and Joaquin Benoit pitched a hitless ninth for his 16th save in 16 chances.
Jeremy Guthrie (12-9) allowed four runs and 13 hits in seven innings.
Kansas City now trails the Tigers by 8½ games. Second-place Cleveland is 6½ back.
RAYS 7, MARINERS 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Alex Cobb pitched five strong innings in his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago and the Rays beat the Mariners.
Cobb (7-2) ended his night by striking out Nick Frankiln on a full-count pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. He received a standing ovation as he walked off the field. The right-hander gave up one run and three hits, striking out six and walking two,
Wil Myers, who had four RBIs, drove in two with a double and Evan Longoria added a two-run homer off Joe Saunders (10-12) that put the Rays up 5-1 in the fifth.
ANGELS 8, YANKEES 4
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Nelson hit his first two home runs of the season, including a grand slam against his former team, to send C.J. Wilson and the Angels past the Yankees.
Josh Hamilton and rookie J.B. Shuck each had an RBI single to help the struggling Angels prevent a four-game sweep. Wilson (13-6) won his fifth consecutive decision, keeping Alfonso Soriano in the ballpark after the streaking slugger piled up four homers and 13 RBIs the previous two nights.
Soriano extended his sensational tear, going 4 for 5 with an RBI single, but the Yankees managed little else until a three-run ninth.
Nelson hit a solo homer off Phil Hughes (4-12) to make it 3-1 in the fourth. He added his first career slam off Boone Logan in a five-run eighth.
ATHLETICS 5, ASTROS 0
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Gray struck out nine on the way to an impressive first major league victory, using Nate Freiman's two-run homer and four RBIs to lead the Athletics to a victory over Houston that averted a three-game sweep by the lowly Astros.
The 23-year-old Gray (1-1) allowed four hits and walked one over eight innings, throwing 118 pitches in his second career start and fourth big league appearance.
Oakland jumped on Erik Bedard (3-9) in a hurry. He dropped to 0-6 over eight starts since a win against St. Louis on June 26.
BLUE JAYS 2, RED SOX 1
TORONTO (AP) — Pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox.
Buehrle (9-7) came in 0-4 with a 4.97 ERA in his previous eight starts against the Red Sox, a team he hadn't beaten since Sept. 7, 2009, with the White Sox. The left-hander allowed one run and 10 hits, walked two and struck out four.
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy (9-5) allowed two runs and five hits in six-plus innings. He walked none and struck out four.
TWINS 4, WHITE SOX 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Chris Herrmann's pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch-runner Doug Bernier and lifted Minnesota to a victory over the White Sox.
The Twins trailed 3-2 heading into the eighth, but Joe Mauer doubled and scored on a base hit from Justin Morneau to tie it. Herrmann came through against Ramon Troncoso (1-4) in the ninth to complete the comeback.
Trevor Plouffe hit a solo homer and Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs and struck out four in 6 1-3 innings for the Twins.
Jared Burton (2-6) pitched the ninth for the win.