Blue Jays 8, Yankees 5
NEW YORK (AP) — Yunel Escobar got a much-needed break last week when he took three days off for the birth of his child.
It's made all the difference.
Escobar hit a two-run homer, three doubles and drove in five runs as Toronto beat the New York Yankees 8-5 Wednesday, ending CC Sabathia's five years of dominance over the Blue Jays.
The light-hitting shortstop went 15 games without getting more than a single before he went on the paternity list. In the four games back he has six for extra bases.
Escobar had a go-ahead RBI double in the third. His homer against Sabathia in the sixth gave the Blue Jays the lead again and his two-run double off Joba Chamberlain in the ninth helped secure Toronto's first series win since July 27-29. The five RBIs matched a career high for Escobar.
J.A. Happ (3-1) overcame a season-high five walks, including an intentional pass of Derek Jeter to load the bases with one out in the fourth inning, for the Blue Jays' second win in 10 games.
White Sox 8, Orioles 1
BALTIMORE (AP) — White Sox rookie Dylan Axelrod took a three-hitter into the eighth inning and Chicago spoiled the Baltimore debut of Joe Saunders, scoring seven runs off the left-hander in an 8-1 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night.
Gordon Beckham had three hits and three RBIs to help Chicago snap a five-game road losing streak. Alexei Ramirez went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and scored twice for the White Sox, who will seek a split of the four-game series on Thursday.
Omar Quintanilla drove in the lone run for the Orioles, whose four-game winning streak ended. Baltimore remained 3½ games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Rays 8, Rangers 4
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Evan Longoria homered twice, Tampa Bay roughed up Matt Harrison and the Rays beat the Texas Rangers 8-4 to snap a four-game losing streak. Josh Hamilton hit his 36th home run for Texas.
After dropping the last two against the AL-West leading Rangers by one run, the Rays avoided the three-game sweep.
Harrison (15-8) allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He took a no-hitter into the seventh and permitted two hits in eight shutout innings in his last outing Friday night against Minnesota.
Tampa Bay had scored only 11 runs during their losing skid before breaking out for 16 hits against Texas.
Jake McGee (5-2) pitched a perfect sixth and five Tampa Bay relievers combined for 4 1-3 scoreless innings.
Athletics 8, Indians 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer and five Oakland Athletics pitchers combined to beat the Cleveland Indians 8-4 on Wednesday night.
Oakland took over the AL wild-card lead by one game over Baltimore with its 11th win in 13 games as Travis Blackley (5-3) gave up two runs over 5 2-3 innings. Ryan Cook got four outs for his 13th save.
Donaldson connected off rookie Corey Kluber (0-3) in the fourth inning for a 3-2 lead. Shoddy fielding by the Indians, losers of 13 of 14, helped the Athletics later extend the lead.
Jason Donald's homer in the third broke the Indians' 24-inning scoreless streak, but they fell to 5-26 since July 27.
Royals 1, Tigers 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bruce Chen allowed four hits over a season-high eight innings, and Eric Hosmer's infield single in the fourth drove in the only run in the Kansas City Royals' 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
The last time Chen (10-10) lasted eight innings was last September, in his final two starts of the year. The veteran left-hander hadn't even gone seven in his past 11 outings.
Anibal Sanchez (2-4) matched him pitch for pitch most of the night, finally looking like the guy the Tigers thought they were acquiring in a July trade with Florida. Sanchez allowed seven hits in seven innings, but the RBI single off the fists by Hosmer proved to be decisive.
Twins 10, Mariners 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Samuel Deduno dominated for seven innings, Trevor Plouffe homered and had four RBIs, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Seattle Mariners 10-0 on Wednesday night.
The normally wild Deduno (5-2) struck out a career-high nine with no walks to help the win for just the fourth time in their last 20 games.
After Trayvon Robinson singled with one out in the first inning, Deduno retired the next 18 Seattle hitters, all but one on groundballs or strikeouts.
Plouffe gave the Twins a 5-0 lead in the fourth with his 20th home run and first since returning on Aug. 13 after missing 21 games with a sore thumb.
Jason Vargas (13-9) failed to finish five innings for his second straight start. He allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 2-3 innings.
Angels 10, Red Sox 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Kendrys Morales and Chris Iannetta hit early two-run homers, C.J. Wilson snapped his 11-start winless skid and the Los Angeles Angels jumped all over new Boston starter Zach Stewart in a 10-3 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Torii Hunter, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar all contributed run-scoring doubles during the three innings pitched by Stewart (0-1), who yielded 10 hits and fell behind 9-1 in a horrific Red Sox debut. Five Angels had multihit games, led by Hunter's 3-for-4 effort with two RBIs.
Wilson (10-9) got plenty of help in his first victory since June 26, ending a dismaying two-month stretch of futility by the Angels' $77.5-million left-hander.
Reds 6, D-Backs 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Heisey hit two of Cincinnati's four home runs, including the tying two-run shot in the seventh inning, to rally the Reds to a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Dioner Navarro's solo shot two batters after Heisey's first blast put Cincinnati ahead, Brandon Phillips added a two-run homer in the eighth and Heisey capped the scoring two outs later.
The NL Central-leading Reds swept the three-game series and sent the reeling Diamondbacks to their sixth straight home loss.
Reds starter Matt Latos (11-4) pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.
Patrick Corbin (5-6) took a shutout into the seventh while limiting Cincinnati to two hits. However, he gave up a one-out double to Todd Frazier, the two home runs, and a single to Latos before being replaced.
Dodgers 10, Rockies 8
DENVER (AP) — Joe Blanton pitched effectively into the eighth inning for his first win with the Los Angeles Dodgers and A.J. Ellis hit his first career grand slam in a 10-8 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
Hanley Ramirez, another mid-season acquisition by the Dodgers, also homered in his second straight game to help the Dodgers withstand a late rally that saw Colorado score seven runs in the eighth inning.
Blanton (9-12), who was 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four previous starts since joining the Dodgers in an Aug. 3 trade with Philadelphia, struck out five and walked one in 7 1-3 innings.
Drew Pomeranz (1-8) lost his fifth consecutive decision since his lone win of the season July 6 against Washington. He allowed six runs on six hits, walked none and struck out four.
Padres 8, Braves 2
SAN DIEGO (AP) — With their new owners watching, Chase Headley and the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 Wednesday for their ninth win in 10 games.
Headley hit a two-run single and left-hander Eric Stults won his fourth straight decision as the Padres took two of three from the Braves, who lead the NL wild-card race.
The third generation of the O'Malley family was introduced at a news conference earlier Wednesday, promising to run the Padres in the same first-class manner that Walter and Peter O'Malley once ran the Dodgers. The new ownership group includes Peter O'Malley's sons, Kevin and Brian, and nephews Peter and Tom Seidler. It also includes San Diego businessman Ron Fowler, the executive chairman who has been designated as the team's control person. The group bought the Padres for $800 million from John Moores.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pedro Alvarez stayed hot, blasting his 26th homer of the season and driving in three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates rolled to a 5-0 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday night.
The third baseman — who hit two homers on Tuesday — continued his season-long dominance of the Cardinals. His three-run shot in the third gave him seven home runs and 23 RBI in 15 games against St. Louis this year as Pittsburgh moved within one game of the NL's second wild card spot.
Wandy Rodriguez (9-13) worked six tidy innings for Pittsburgh to pick up his first victory as a starter since being acquired in a trade last month. Rodriguez walked three and struck out three while helping the Pirates shut out the Cardinals for the second straight night.
Joe Kelly (4-6) battled control problems during five rocky innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.
Mets 3, Phillies 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, Matt Harvey had another sharp outing and the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 for their fourth straight win.
The Mets have won five straight in Philadelphia and seven of eight overall this season.
Harvey (3-3) allowed two runs and six hits, striking out six in 6 1-3 innings. He also had an RBI single. The rookie has a 2.76 ERA in seven starts.
Tyler Cloyd (0-1) was decent in his major league debut filling in for Cole Hamels, who was scratched from the start because of a gastrointestinal illness.
Cloyd allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. The 25-year-old righty was 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA in the minors this season, including 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Nationals 8, Marlins 4
MIAMI (AP) — Bryce Harper homered twice for the first time in his career and the first-place Washington Nationals snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Miami Marlins 8-4 Wednesday night.
Harper hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and added a solo homer in the fifth, giving the rookie 14 this season. He had a chance for a three-homer night but grounded into a double play in the ninth, spiked his helmet in frustration after crossing the bag and was ejected by umpire C.B. Bucknor.
Before the game, manager Davey Johnson called a brief team meeting, which he described as upbeat. The pep talk stirred the Nationals' bats, and they had 14 hits.
Cubs 3, Brewers 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Fiers tossed 7 1-3 solid innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-1 win over the Cubs on Wednesday, their eighth straight victory against Chicago.
Fiers (8-6) held the Cubs to four hits and struck out six, helping Milwaukee beat its division rival for the 13th time in 16 games this season. The Brewers have won eight of nine overall and moved within five games of .500 for the first time since July 21.
Fiers sent down 14 straight batters at one point and won his second straight start.
John Axford finished up for his 22nd save in 30 chances.
Jeff Samardzija (8-12) gave up seven hits and three runs — two earned — in seven innings for the Cubs. He struck out 10.
Jean Segura stroked a go-ahead single in the seventh for Milwaukee.
Giants 6, Astros 4
HOUSTON (AP) — Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer and Joaquin Arias drove in two with a triple to help the San Francisco Giants to a 6-4 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
Pence has been a nightmare for the Astros since they traded him away in July 2011, hitting four homers in just seven games against his former team with the Phillies and Giants.
The Giants had a 1-0 lead before Pence's 19th homer pushed the lead to 4-0 and elicited the loudest cheers of the night from the sparse crowd.
Houston cut the lead to 1 before Arias' triple in the sixth inning, which came after an error by the Astros, pushed the advantage to 6-3.
George Kontos (1-0) struck out four in 2 2-3 scoreless innings for the win.
Dallas Keuchel (1-7) took the loss.