ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Alex Cobb pitched a four-hitter for his first major league shutout and the surging Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 on Thursday night to pull within 21/2; games of the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Matt Joyce hit a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning against Tyson Ross (2-9), hastily called up from the minors to pitch in place of suspended Oakland starter Bartolo Colon.
Cobb (8-8) struck out eight and walked two in his second career complete game, both this season. He bounced back from a poor outing against the Los Angeles Angels to win for the fourth time in five starts.
It was the 14th victory in 17 games for the Rays and their seventh shutout since July 19. It's the closest they've been to first place since they were 21/2; out before games of June 16.
Oakland dropped into a tie with Baltimore and Detroit for the AL's second wild-card spot, 21/2; games behind the Rays.
Angels 14, Red Sox 13,10 innings
At Boston, Kendrys Morales led off Los Angeles' two-run 10th inning with a solo homer, and the Angels completed a three-game sweep of Boston by outlasting the Red Sox.
The Red Sox wasted a 6-0 lead, then rallied from deficits of 8-7 in the sixth and 12-11 in the ninth. But closer Alfredo Aceves struggled after Boston was one out away from victory in the ninth. Aceves (2-8) gave up five runs and six hits in one inning, and the Red Sox lost for the 11th time in 15 games.
Ernesto Frieri (2-0) got the win after giving up a tying solo homer in the ninth to Cody Ross, his 19th of the season, and an RBI single in the 10th to Dustin Pedroia, who drove in five runs.
Frieri was charged with a blown save, but secured the win when he struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the 4-hour, 34-minute game.
Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2, 11 innings
At Detroit, Alex Avila's RBI single with two outs in the 11th gave Detroit a victory over Toronto, one inning after center fielder Austin Jackson kept the game tied with a spectacular catch.
With two runners on, Avila singled to right off Chad Jenkins (0-1).
Joaquin Benoit (3-3) got the win. Justin Verlander struck out 12 in nine innings for the Tigers.
Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera left in the second because of a sore right ankle and is day to day. The Tigers pulled within 11/2; games of the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
Rangers 10, Twins 6
At Arlington, Texas, Josh Hamilton had five RBIs, and Mitch Moreland doubled in the go-ahead run during a six-run eighth inning that carried Texas over Minnesota.
Adrian Beltre had three hits, including his fourth homer in two days, and scored the tiebreaking run on Moreland's drive to left-center.
Minnesota starter Scott Diamond was ejected in the third inning by plate umpire Wally Bell after throwing a pitch behind Hamilton's head. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also was tossed after immediately protesting Bell's decision.
Rangers starter Roy Oswalt had hit slugger Joe Mauer in the back in the preceding half-inning.
Giants 5, Braves 2
At San Francisco, Barry Zito took a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning and Hector Sanchez's two-run double highlighted a four-run fifth for San Francisco in its fourth straight win.
Fresh off a sweep at Los Angeles, the NL West leaders won behind Zito (10-8), who allowed five hits, struck out five and walked three before Freddie Freeman's two-run double off reliever Jeremy Affeldt broke up the shutout.
With two runners on, Sergio Romo got pinch-hitters Jason Heyward and Juan Francisco to ground out for his sixth save.
Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval all drove in runs to chase Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson (12-6) after 41/3 innings. Hanson gave up five hits and five runs while striking out four and walking three.
San Francisco has won nine of 12 to take a three-game lead over the Dodgers in the division.
Phillies 4, Reds 3
At Philadelphia, John Mayberry Jr. hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Todd Frazier drove in all three runs for the NL Central-leading Reds, who were seeking their first series win in Philadelphia since 2006.
The Phillies tied it in the eighth on Jimmy Rollins' sacrifice fly and won it on Mayberry's hit off Alfredo Simon (2-2) to split the four-game set. They took over sole possession of third place in the NL East for the first time since April.
Cardinals 13, Astros 5
At St. Louis, David Freese's three-run homer snapped the Cardinals' seven-game longball drought and St. Louis beat Houston to complete a three-game sweep.
Freese and Matt Holliday each had four RBIs and Allen Craig had three hits and three RBIs. The Cardinals shrugged aside a 4-0, fourth-inning deficit and sent Houston to its seventh straight loss.
Rockies 1, Mets 0
At New York, Collin McHugh pitched two-hit ball over seven scoreless innings for New York in his major league debut, but Colorado completed its second straight four-game sweep at Citi Field.
Rookie center fielder Jordany Valdespin misplayed Tyler Colvin's leadoff drive in the eighth into a game-changing triple. Chris Nelson hit an RBI single through the drawn-in infield.
The last-place Rockies tied a season high with their fifth straight win and completed their second four-game sweep in two years at Citi Field.
McHugh pitched masterfully in place of injured Johan Santana with nine strikeouts and one walk. But after he left, the Rockies broke through quickly against Bobby Parnell (2-3).
Rex Brothers (8-2) pitched two innings for the win. Matt Belisle, Colorado's fifth pitcher, got his first save since June 22, 2010.
The punchless Mets went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and were held to two runs or fewer for the sixth straight game, the first time that's happened since a streak of seven in a row in September 1982, according to STATS LLC. The Mets dropped to 11-28 since the All-Star break, which includes a 2-14 mark at home.