SAN FRANCISCO // Jon Lester pitched into the ninth for his first victory in four starts this month as the MLB AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 7-0 on Monday night after flying cross-country earlier in the day.
Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit RBI doubles, Shane Victorino added an RBI single and Will Middlebrooks had a sacrifice fly for Boston. The Red Sox chose to travel first thing on Monday rather than late on Sunday night after a 9-6 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Lester allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two in Boston's seventh shutout. He outpitched two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (6-13) to end a three-start winless stretch since July 28.
At Baltimore, Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce homered, and David Price grinded through the Orioles batting order three times to help the Tampa Bay Rays earn a 4-3 victory in a duel between AL contenders.
Joyce hit a two-run drive in the fourth to break a tie and push the Rays toward their fifth win in six games. Tampa Bay moved within a half-game of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East, before Boston pulled ahead again with the late win in San Francisco.
Price (7-5) gave up 10 hits and two walks but was effective when it counted. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed only two runs, as Baltimore went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 against the left-hander.
"That's why he's one of the best pitchers in the game. He knows how to get out of jams like that," said Adam Jones, the Orioles centre fielder. "When he needs a strikeout, he knows how to get it."
Arlington was the venue for the biggest inning in the majors this season, with Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus each scoring twice in the third innings to power the Rangers to a 16-5 win over the Astros.
All nine Rangers scored in the third, when they sent 15 batters to the plate and had seven hits – six singles and a double – along with three walks, two Houston errors and a sacrifice bunt. Only five of the 11 runs were earned.
In California, Brandon Moss hit a solo home run over the centre-field fence with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Athletics to a 2-1 win over the Mariners, and the Indians beat the Angels 5-2.
The NL West-leading Dodgers suffered consecutive losses for the first time since June 21 after a 6-2 defeat to Miami.
Jose Fernandez allowed only one earned run in six innings and Giancarlo Stanton hit his 15th homer for Miami.
The Cardinals had an 8-5 win over the Brewers, the Reds had a 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks, the Phillies edged the Rockies 5-4, the Pirates beat the Padres 3-1 with Pedro Alvarez hitting his NL-leading 31st home run and the Cubs thrashed the Nationals 11-1 when Nate Schierholtz homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs.
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