Lester sharp in A’s debut


Jon Lester took the mound in a different uniform and, for the first time in his major league career, felt just slightly out of place.

Quickly enough, he put aside the newness of pitching for Oakland — and the expectations that he’ll help lead baseball’s winningest team on a deep run in October.

Lester worked into the seventh inning to win his Athletics debut and Jonny Gomes produced two timely hits during an eight-run burst in his Bay Area return for an 8-3 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Two days after being traded from the sagging World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Lester and Gomes teamed up on a nice win out West.

“After warming up it felt a little more normal, getting back to the pitching performance and worrying about that and not worrying about living situations or moving or anything like that,” Lester said. “It was a little different at first.”

Lester’s parents flew down from the Seattle area for his start.

The 193-cm lefty instantly became an imposing presence in the pitcher-friendly Coliseum. Fans in the crowd of 30,097 cheered as he went through his warmup routine in left field, then Lester (11-7) tipped his cap to a roaring ovation when he left after 6⅔ innings and 104 pitches.

“To walk off to the ovation was great,” Lester said. “It kind of makes you feel welcome.”

Lester gave up three runs and nine hits, striking out three and walking one.

Back with the AL West-leading A’s, Gomes delivered like old 2012 times. He singled and scored off Jason Vargas (8-5), then added a two-run single off Aaron Crow.

“Every once in a while some new blood, some new energy can help out,” Gomes said.

Kansas City’s Norichika Aoki was 2-for-3 with a run scored, an RBI and walked twice.

Rays 10, Angels 3

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer, Ben Zobrist got four hits and Tampa Bay roughed up C.J. Wilson and Los Angeles.

Longoria put the Rays up 2-0 with his 13th homer of the season, connecting in the first off Wilson (8-7). Longoria became the first Tampa Bay player to reach 600 career RBIs.

Astros 8, Blue Jays 2

In Houston, Jon Singleton wound up with an inside-the-park home run after a call was reversed on video replay, Chris Carter and Jason Castro also homered, and the Astros beat Toronto.

Brett Oberholtzer (4-7) pitched seven strong innings and Jose Altuve scored the go-ahead run on back-to-back throwing errors by the Blue Jays.

R.A. Dickey (9-11) was tagged for five runs on nine hits over seven-plus innings.

Indians 2, Rangers 0

In Cleveland, Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher delivered run-scoring singles in the sixth inning, and five pitchers combined on a five-hitter, leading the Indians past Texas.

Scott Atchison (4-0) pitched 1⅔ innings and worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth.

Mariners 6, Orioles 3

In Baltimore, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer, Dustin Ackley had a solo shot and Seattle got an effective outing from its bullpen to beat the Orioles.

Cano was 2-for-23 lifetime against Miguel Gonzalez (5-6) before connecting in the fifth inning to put the Mariners up 4-1. It was his eighth home run of the year.

Twins 8, White Sox 6

In Chicago, Trevor Plouffe got four hits and Minnesota stopped Jose Abreu, rallying past the White Sox to end a three-game skid.

Abreu’s hitting streak ended at 21 games, longest in the AL this season. He went 0-for-3 with two walks, one of them intentional.

Yankees 6, Red Sox 4

In Boston, Derek Jeter had a two-run double, Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer and New York’s bullpen worked 4⅓ solid innings, leading the Yankees over the Red Sox.

Stephen Drew, acquired from the Red Sox on Thursday, added an RBI double as the Yankees won for just the second time in six games.


Tigers 11, Rockies 5

In Detroit, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez homered and the Tigers beat Colorado.

Rick Porcello (13-5) struck out 10 and tied teammate Max Scherzer for the AL lead in wins.