TORONTO – Mark Buehrle wasn’t at his best, but he was exactly what the Blue Jays needed to snap a three-game losing streak.
Buehrle became the first seven-game winner in the majors, Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie homered and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Monday to avoid a four-game sweep.
Buehrle (7-1) allowed two runs and six hits in six-plus innings. He walked a season-high five and struck out two.
“Buehrle is on some kind of roll and he was the perfect guy tonight,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We’ve been struggling.”
Buehrle came in with an AL-leading 1.91 ERA, but saw that rise to 2.04, the same as Detroit’s Max Scherzer.
“It didn’t feel like it was an easy game,” Buehrle said. “Obviously, the five walks shows that.”
Bautista hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Lawrie, who returned to the lineup after missing six games with a sore right hamstring, added a two-run shot in the sixth as the Blue Jays avoided what would have been their first four-game sweep to the Angels.
Lawrie said he enjoys playing behind the quick-working Buehrle, calling the left-hander’s pace “unprecedented.”
“Mark is amazing at what he does,” Lawrie said. “You know he’s going to go out there and compete for us every single night, he’s going to give us a chance to win.”
Both of Toronto’s homers came off Angels starter C.J. Wilson, who allowed five runs and six hits in six innings. Wilson (4-3), winless in back-to-back starts for the first time this season, walked three and struck out eight, including four straight during one stretch.
“Two changeups, one to Bautista and one to Lawrie, really cost him,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “In between, he settled down and pitched well.”
Tigers 4, Orioles 1
In Baltimore, Rick Porcello won his fifth straight start as Detroit beat the Orioles in a duel between AL division leaders that included a benches-clearing confrontation.
Rangers 4, Astros 0
In Houston, Colby Lewis threw 5⅔ innings, and Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor each homered to lead Texas over the Astros.
Lewis (3-2) struck out a season-high eight and allowed seven hits to improve to 4-0 in his career at Minute Maid Park.
Mariners 12, Rays 5
In Seattle, Felix Hernandez got plenty of run support as the Mariners topped Tampa Bay after hitting two early drives off the top of the wall, requiring video reviews on consecutive batters.
James Jones doubled, singled and scored in each of the first three innings as Seattle took a 9-0 lead. Robinson Cano drove in two runs and Hernandez (4-1) cruised to the win.
Mets 9, Yankees 7
In New York, Chris Young hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Jenrry Mejia provided a jolt after his reluctant move to the bullpen as the Mets went deep four times to rally past the Yankees in the Subway Series opener.
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. He got a no-decision.
Cubs 17, Cardinals 5
In St. Louis, Junior Lake homered, doubled twice and drove in six runs as Chicago broke loose, routing the Cardinals and forcing St. Louis to finish with infielder Daniel Descalso as a relief pitcher.
After the Cubs totaled just four runs while getting swept in a three-game series at Atlanta over the weekend, Emilio Bonifacio scored five times himself in this romp over the St. Louis.
Nationals 6, Diamondbacks 5
In Phoenix, pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen and Danny Espinosa each hit solo homers in the ninth inning, helping Washington rally past the Diamondbacks in Matt Williams’ return to the desert.
Williams was a fixture in Arizona, as a longtime player and coach, before becoming Washington’s manager this offseason.
Dodgers 6, Marlins 5
In Los Angeles, Yasiel Puig extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with his third home run in four days, a go-ahead three-run shot, and drew a bases-loaded walk in the Dodgers’ triumph over Florida.
Giants 4, Braves 2
In San Francisco, Tim Lincecum struck out 11 in his best start of the year for the Giants and Tyler Colvin backed him with a home run and a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning.
Lincecum (3-2) left to a roaring standing ovation after pitching a season-high 7⅔ innings in his first start of eight getting past the sixth.