BOSTON – Koji Uehara was nearly perfect on Saturday, easily retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning and earning the win as the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in the first game of their double header.
With the score tied 2-2, Uehara (4-2) came on in relief of Red Sox ace Jon Lester at Fenway Park. After two days off, Uehara had better-than-normal velocity on his heater, and the 39-year-old made the most of it: striking out two of the Orioles’ most dangerous hitters swinging with his fastball instead of his trademark splitter.
“I was thinking (the fastball) was a good way to go because I’d had two days off,” Uehara said.
Both cleanup hitter Adam Jones and No. 5 hitter Chris Davis went down swinging against Uehara fastballs. With two outs, the right-hander went back to his splitter to finish off J.J. Hardy and got him to ground an 0-2 pitch to short. Uehara threw just 12 pitches, 11 of them for strikes.
“I was also getting fouls, swinging strikes and keeping them off the fat part of the bat with the splitter,” Uehara said. “It wasn’t bad at all.”
The Red Sox won it in the bottom of the ninth, when pinch hitter Jonny Gomes singled off reliever T.J. McFarland (1-2), advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored the game-ending run on Jonathan Herrera’s pinch-hit single.
The Orioles won the nightcap 7-4.
Athletics 5, Blue Jays 1
In Oakland, Josh Donaldson hit a home run, Scott Kazmir allowed three hits over seven innings, and Oakland beat Toronto.
Coco Crisp, Craig Gentry and Jed Lowrie drove in runs for the A’s, who won their third straight and seventh in 10 games.
Kazmir (10-3) won for the fifth time in six decisions. He walked two and struck out eight, improving to 6-1 in eight home starts.
Edwin Encarnacion drove in a run in the first inning for the Blue Jays and then had to leave the game with right quad soreness.
Mark Buehrle (10-6) pitched well but remained winless in six starts since June 1. He gave up three runs and 10 hits over six innings. Buehrle walked one and struck out three. He had a four-game winning streak against the A’s end.
Toronto is 2-7 in its past nine games and has dropped five straight on the road.
The Blue Jays’ Munenori Kawasaki was 0-for-2.
Angels 11, Astros 5
In Anaheim, Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead, two-run home run, and C.J. Cron and pinch-hitter David Freese also homered against the Houston bullpen in the Angels’ eight-run seventh inning as Los Angeles earned its ninth straight home win.
Pujols’ 511th homer tied him with Mel Ott for 23rd place on baseball’s career list.
Houston starter Scott Feldman left after six innings with a 5-2 lead and was replaced by Anthony Bass (1-1). Cron greeted Bass with a leadoff single before Freese batted for John McDonald and hit his first homer in 124 career at-bats at Angel Stadium and first in the majors as a pinch-hitter.
Michael Roth (1-0) pitched two perfect innings of relief for the victory after rejoining the Angels from the minors earlier Saturday. Los Angeles is a season-best 14 games over .500 and remains 3 1-2 games behind AL West-leading Oakland.
Mariners 3, White Sox 2 (14)
In Chicago, Brad Miller hit an RBI double in the 14th inning, and the Mariners beat the White Sox for their fifth win in the last six games.
Michael Saunders reached on an infield single against Ronald Belisario (3-5) and swiped second before Miller hit a drive into the gap in left-center for a ground-rule double.
Tom Wilhelmsen (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Fernando Rodney got three outs for his 25th save in 27 chances.
Logan Morrison and Michael Saunders had three hits apiece for Seattle, which has won 11 of 14 overall. Felix Hernandez pitched eight sharp innings for the Mariners.
Twins 2, Yankees 1 (11)
In Minneapolis, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli made a throwing error in the 11th inning that allowed Josh Willingham to score from second base, giving the Twins a victory over New York.
With the bases loaded, Trevor Plouffe hit a dribbler to reliever Matt Thornton (1-1). The left-hander flipped it to Cervelli for the forceout at home.
Cervelli then tried for the double play but his throw sailed way over the head of first baseman Mark Teixeira.
The victory snapped a seven-game home skid against the Yankees and was just Minnesota’s fourth win against New York in 17 games at Target Field.
Brian Duensing (2-2) pitched around a Carlos Beltran single in the 11th.
Ichiro Suzuki was 1-for-5 for New York.
Indians 7, Royals 3
In Cleveland, T.J. House allowed three runs over 6 2-3 innings for his first major league win to help Cleveland top Kansas City.
House (1-2) scattered nine hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. The rookie left-hander made his eighth appearance, and seventh start, of his career.
Michael Bourn’s leadoff homer sparked a three-run third inning, and Nick Swisher’s bases-loaded single scored two runs in the fifth and finished Jeremy Guthrie (5-7).
Guthrie had won his last three decisions and lost for the first time since June 6.
Michael Brantley had three hits, including an RBI single in the eighth, for Cleveland.
Rays 7, Tigers 2
In Detroit, Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer came within two outs of a complete game, holding the Tigers to six hits.
The Rays broke the game open with three runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth, and the Tigers never mounted much of a rally against Archer (5-5). The 25-year-old right-hander allowed solo homers to Alex Avila in the seventh and J.D. Martinez in the ninth.
Anibal Sanchez (5-3) took a no-hitter into the fifth, but things unraveled quickly for the Detroit right-hander. He allowed seven runs and six hits in 5⅔ innings, with four walks and a strikeout.
Logan Forsythe homered for Tampa Bay.
Nationals 13, Cubs 0
In Washington, Gio Gonzalez pitched eight sparkling innings and Ryan Zimmerman tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs as the Washington Nationals roughed up the Chicago Cubs without recently traded Jeff Samardzija.
Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon added three hits and two RBIs for the Nationals on a day the Cubs were forced to start Carlos Villanueva (4-6) following the trade of Samardzija, the scheduled starter, and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics.
Washington posted a season high in runs and hits (19), including eight doubles but no home runs.
Gonzalez (6-4) allowed four hits, while striking out seven and walking one. He’s now thrown 29 consecutive scoreless innings against Chicago and 22 overall.
Brewers 1, Reds 0
In Cincinnati, Matt Garza threw a two-hitter for his fourth career shutout, and the Brewers ended their four-game losing streak by beating the Reds.
Aramis Ramirez singled home a run in the first inning off Homer Bailey (8-5), who gave up seven hits through eight innings. Two Brewers were thrown out at the plate.
Garza (6-5) has been one of the Brewers’ best starters lately, going 4-1 in his last seven games. He retired the first 12 batters in order before Brandon Phillips led off the fifth with a single for Cincinnati’s first hit.
He allowed two walks and fanned nine while going the distance for the first time this season.
Right fielder Ryan Braun struck out swinging in the first inning, and then left the game in the second with spasms in his lower back.
Marlins 6, Cardinals 5
In St. Louis, pinch-hitter Jeff Baker’s RBI hit with two outs in the ninth inning helped Miami rally to beat the Cardinals.
Casey McGehee fouled off five full-count pitches from Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal (0-4) before getting the tying hit.
Christian Yelich’s three-run homer off Seth Maness in the sixth began Miami’s comeback from a four-run deficit that snapped the Cardinals’ three-game winning streak.
Mike Dunn (6-4) worked a scoreless eighth and Steve Cishek finished for his 19th save in 21 chances.
Rockies 8, Dodgers 7
In Denver, Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer, Jorge De La Rosa pitched six strong innings before giving way to a shaky bullpen and the Rockies broke a five-game slide by holding off the Dodgers.
The Rockies are 3-16 since June 16 — with De La Rosa (9-6) accounting for each win. The lefty allowed two runs and three hits, all in the first inning. He then watched the bullpen almost completely unravel.
The Dodgers turned this into a game with a five-run seventh, but Adam Ottavino put the brakes on the rally.
Dan Haren (8-5) gave up a season-high eight runs in 5⅓ innings.
Pirates 3, Phillies 2
In Pittsburgh, Edinson Volquez allowed one run in seven sharp innings and Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the first to lead the Pirates to a victory over the Phillies.
Volquez (7-6) had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded in the second inning.
David Buchanan (4-5) found his stride after the second and kept the Pirates at bay until he was lifted in the sixth. Philadelphia’s starter was charged with three runs and six hits and a walk.
Marlon Byrd stranded five men on base in his first two at-bats but homered in the ninth.
Cody Asche homered in the fourth for Philadelphia.
Braves 10, Diamondbacks 4
In Atlanta, Andrelton Simmons drove in four runs, Aaron Harang won his third straight start and the Braves beat the Diamondbacks for their season-high ninth straight victory.
Justin Upton added a two-run homer and a third RBI for the Braves, who have won 11 of 12 and are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Harang (8-6) has a 3.00 ERA over his last three starts after allowing nine hits and four runs with one walk and one strikeout in eight innings.
Arizona, which has dropped eight of 12, lost its 53rd game, most in the majors.
Atlanta took a 7-3 lead with a five-run fourth off Mike Bolsinger (1-5).
Giants 5, Padres 3 (10)
In San Diego, Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to give San Francisco a win over San Diego.
Belt, in his second game back from the disabled list, homered off Dale Thayer (3-3) after Hunter Pence led off with a double. Belt, who missed 50 games with a broken thumb, hit his 10th homer of the season into the right-field stands.
Michael Morse homered leading off the ninth inning against Padres closer Huston Street to tie it 3-3. That broke a streak of 23 consecutive saves for Street, the longest run in the majors.
Sergio Romo (4-3), recently demoted from the closer role, earned the win. Santiago Casilla got the final three outs for his second save in five chances.
San Francisco won for just the sixth time in 24 games and broke San Diego’s season-high, five-game winning streak. The Giants, who had been shut out in three of their previous five games, scored more than two runs for the third time in 11 games.
San Diego had been 29-0 when leading after seven innings.
Rangers 5, Mets 3
In New York, Robinson Chirinos hit an early three-run homer, Adrian Beltre connected again and Texas beat the Mets to end a six-game losing streak.
Alex Rios had three hits, including an RBI double off longtime Texas nemesis Bartolo Colon in a four-run first, and Colby Lewis (6-5) pitched six steady innings to help the Rangers win for only the third time in 17 games.
They snapped a 10-game skid on the road, their longest since a club-record slide of 12 games in 2003, with their first win away from home since June 16 in Oakland.
Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Mets, who have dropped five of six and eight of 10. David Wright had a double in four at-bats as he returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a sore left shoulder.
Colon (8-7) went seven innings but lost his second consecutive outing after going 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his previous seven starts.