MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Alex Gordon hit a two-out triple in the seventh inning and then scored the go-ahead run on an error, and Kansas City won its eighth straight game by beating Minnesota, 4-3.
The Royals are above .500 at the end of July for the first time since 2003. At 53-51, they are two games over the break-even mark for the first time since May 17. They remained seven games behind Detroit in the AL Central race and 41⁄2 games back of second-place Cleveland, the current holder of the second wild card spot.
Jeremy Guthrie (11-7) won his third start in a row with his seventh consecutive appearance of at least six innings. Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 30 tries.
Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar (1-1) took the loss.
The Royals, who have the league’s second-best team ERA, have relied on their rotation for this midsummer surge. The starters have allowed 11 earned runs in 72 innings during the streak.
Kansas City is 9-3 against the Twins this season and 26-19 against the division.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 4
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Russell Martin drove home Neal Walker with the go- ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 Wednesday night.
Martin’s sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The
Pirates’ fourth straight win over the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 21⁄2-game lead in the NL Central.
St. Louis left 11 runners on base and dropped its seventh consecutive game. The Cardinals led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2.
Tony Watson (3-1) worked two shutout innings in relief. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
Red Sox 5, Mariners 4
BOSTON (AP) — Stephen Drew singled in the winning run in the 15th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners and back into first place in the AL East on Wednesday night.
Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk and took second on a groundout by David Ortiz. Mike Napoli was walked intentionally and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out. Jonny Gomes then walked, loading the bases, and Drew hit a liner just inside the right-field line as Pedroia scored the decisive run.
Boston moved a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay in the division.
Drew Britton (1-0) pitched two innings for his first major league win. Lucas Luetge (0-2) took the loss.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager had tied the game at 4 in the eighth with his 17th homer of the year, a solo shot off Junichi Tazawa.
Pedroia had given the Red Sox a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer in the seventh, his eighth.
Astros 11, Orioles 0
BALTIMORE (AP) — Rookie left-hander Brett Oberholtzer allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first major league win, Jason Castro hit a grand slam, and Houston routed Baltimore.
Matt Dominguez homered and had a career-high four hits for the Astros, who built a 9-0 lead in the fourth inning and coasted to their most lopsided victory of the season.
Oberholtzer (1-0) started after Erik Bedard was scratched with a sore shoulder. Making his fourth appearance and first start in the big leagues, Oberholtzer struck out six, walked none and did not let a runner get past first base.
Miguel Gonzalez (8-5) yielded a career-high nine runs, four earned, in 3 2-3 innings.
Hours before the first pitch, the Astros traded pitcher Bud Norris to the Orioles for outfielder L.J. Hoes and a minor league prospect. Hoes switched from the Baltimore starting lineup to batting second for Houston and went 0 for 5.
Blue Jays 5, Athletics 2,
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland.
Bautista doubled off Jesse Chavez (2-3). Rookie catcher Stephen Vogt’s second costly passed ball of the game allowed Jose Reyes to advance after a leadoff infield single, and Reyes scored on Bautista’s hit.
Casey Janssen (4-0) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the win, while Brett Cecil finished for his first major league save in two opportunities.
Rangers 2, Angels 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre led off the bottom of the ninth for Texas with a home run to beat the Los Angeles Angels, completing a three- game series sweep in which the Rangers won each on game-ending homers.
Beltre hit his 23rd homer, connecting off Michael Kohn (1-1).
Nelson Cruz also homered for Texas, his 25th putting the Rangers up 1-0 in the second before Josh Hamilton’s tying homer in the seventh for the Angels.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan (3-1) struck out two and walked one in the top of the ninth to win for the second night in a row.
Indians 6, White Sox 5,
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Santana’s leadoff home run in the 10th inning sent the Cleveland Indians over the Chicago White Sox for their seventh straight win.
Santana hit a 3-2 pitch from Dylan Axelrod (3-7) into the right field seats for Cleveland’s ninth walkoff win of the season.
Chris Perez (4-1) hit Adam Dunn with a pitch with two outs in the 10th, but struck out Paul Konerko to end the inning as Chicago lost its sixth straight game.
Tigers 11, Nationals 1
DETROIT (AP) — Alex Avila and Torii Hunter hit homers in a five-run second inning and the Detroit Tigers scored five more runs in the fourth inning while routing Washington.
The AL Central-leading Tigers swept the two-game series. They have won five straight, the latest victory coming while star Miguel Cabrera was out of the lineup, a day after aggravating an injury.
Justin Verlander (11-8) shook off a shaky start by giving up one run, four hits and five walks while striking out six in six innings.
Gio Gonzalez (7-4) gave up 10 runs — one short of his career high — and 11 hits — the most of his career — over 3 1-3 innings.
Diamondbacks 7, Rays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wade Miley pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Eric Chavez drove in three runs, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks over Tampa Bay.
Paul Goldschmidt hit his 24th homer, scored three runs and reached base four times. Cody Ross had three straight hits and drove in two runs as Arizona broke a three-game losing streak.
Miley (8-8) won for the fourth time in five starts. He struck out eight in 6 1-3 innings and walked five.
Jeremy Hellickson (10-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Braves 9, Rockies 0
ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Minor allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings, Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in a seven-run third, and Atlanta beat Colorado for its sixth straight win.
Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with four hits as the Braves continued their offensive surge with 15 hits. The Braves have scored 29 runs while winning the first three games of the four-game series.
The Braves lead second-place Washington by 11 games in the NL East, their biggest advantage in nine years.
Minor (11-5) didn’t walk a batter and didn’t allow a Colorado baserunner to reach second base.
Tyler Chatwood (7-4) allowed a career-high seven earned runs on 10 hits, one walk and one hit batter in only 2 1-3 innings.
Giants 9, Phillies 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chad Gaudin threw seven sharp innings, Brett Pill and Brandon Crawford hit homers, and San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory over Philadelphia.
The defending World Series champion Giants are last in the NL West. The Phillies entered 111⁄2 games out of first place and fell to nine back in the wild-card standings.
Gaudin (5-2) allowed one run and four hits, striking out five. He also got his first career RBI on a single that was just his second hit in 59 at-bats.
Roger Kieschnick had RBI singles in his first two major league at-bats for the Giants, who snapped a nine-game homerless drought when Pill went deep. Pill had three hits and four RBIs.
Kyle Kendrick (9-8) gave up eight hits and seven runs in two-plus innings.
Reds 4, Padres 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Homer Bailey came within two outs of a five-hit shutout to end his four-start losing streak and Cincinnati beat San Diego to snap a five-game skid.
Brandon Phillips homered and Joey Votto hit a two-run double for the Reds, who avoided a three-game sweep and ended the Padres’ four-game winning streak.
Bailey had allowed just five singles going into the ninth, when Everth Cabrera reached on a fielding error by first baseman Votto leading off the inning. The right-hander got Chris Denorfia to fly out before Chase Headley doubled in Cabrera. Manager Dusty Baker pulled Bailey, and Aroldis Chapman got the final two outs for his 25th save in 29 chances.
Bailey (6-10) allowed six hits and one unearned run, struck out seven and walked none.
Marlins 3, Mets 2
MIAMI (AP) — Jake Marisnick hit his first major league home run and Henderson Alvarez pitched into the eighth inning to lead Miami over New York.
Giancarlo Stanton and Placido Polanco also drove in a run each for the Marlins, who dropped the first two games of the four-game series with the Mets.
Mike Dunn got four outs for his second save in place of Steve Cishek, who pitched two innings and took the loss in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to New York.
Dunn issued a lead-off single to John Buck before retiring the next three batters to end the game.
Cubs 6, Brewers 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Edwin Jackson pitched eight solid innings, David DeJesus drove in three runs and Chicago beat Milwaukee to salvage the finale of the four-game series.
Jackson allowed one run and eight hits in his longest outing of the season, staying in the game after a 66-minute rain delay in the sixth inning.
Jackson (7-11) struck out four and walked none. The right-hander finished July with a 3-1 record and a 1.83 ERA in five starts..