BOSTON — Jon Lester pitched eight dominant innings, and the AL East-leading Red Sox dealt the Yankees’ wild-card hopes another blow with a 5-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino each had two hits as the surging Red Sox won for the 16th time in 19 games and beat the Yankees for the fifth time in six meetings in just over a week.
Lester (14-8) allowed one run and three hits, striking out five and walking two for his fourth win in six starts.
The Red Sox built a 5-1 lead against CC Sabathia (13-13) after five innings.
Sabathia went six innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, walking four and striking out five.
Athletics 1, Rangers 0
ARLINGTON, Texas — Bartolo Colon scattered seven hits over eight impressive innings for the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics, who stretched their division lead over Texas to 5½ games with a 1-0 victory over the Rangers and Yu Darvish on Saturday.
The A’s won for the seventh time in eight games, and clinched the key division series by beating Texas twice in less than 24 hours.
Colon (16-6) struck out seven and lowered what is already his career-best ERA to 2.73.
Darvish (12-9) struck out 10 over seven innings in his fourth 1-0 loss of the season. The right-hander from Japan has lost his last four starts, the last two by 1-0 scores, and is winless his last six.
Even though Darvish struck out the side in the first, Josh Donaldson drew a one-out walk and scored on a two-out double by Brandon Moss into the right field corner.
BLUE JAYS 4, ORIOLES 3
TORONTO (AP) — Colby Rasmus hit a two-run home run, Jeremy Jefress won for the first time in more than two years and the Jays handed the slumping Orioles their fifth loss in seven games.
Rasmus erased Baltimore’s 3-2 lead with a drive off the facing of the second deck against Chris Tillman (16-6) in the seventh inning. For Rasmus, it was his 20th homer of the season and second in two days.
Jeffress (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning of relief to win for the first time since April 5, 2011, when he beat the Chicago White Sox while pitching for Kansas City.
Tillman allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings to lose for the first time since Aug. 19.
Reds 7, Brewers 3
MILWAUKEE — Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo each hit two-run homers, and the Cincinnati Reds kept pace in the NL Central race with a 7-3 win Saturday over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Homer Bailey (11-10) allowed three runs over seven innings in winning his career-best sixth straight decision. Votto had three RBIs, including the towering drive off the right field foul pole in the sixth.
The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth trailing by four, but All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy.
Chapman tossed a scoreless ninth to finish off his 36th save.
The Reds jumped on starter Johnny Hellweg (1-4) with four runs over the first two innings.
MARLINS 3, METS 0, 1ST GAME
NEW YORK (AP) — Donovan Solano got some payback after he was hit by two pitches, launching a home run and making two terrific defensive plays that sent Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins past the Mets in the opener of a doubleheader.
Logan Morrison drove in two runs, one on a line drive off the right wrist of Frank Francisco that knocked the oft-injured reliever out of the game. Alvarez (4-4) pitched four-hit ball over seven innings for his second win against the Mets this year.
Carlos Torres (3-5) hit Solano with pitches in his first two plate appearances. Torres struck out a career-high eight in six innings and gave up only three hits.
Phillies 5 Nationals 4
WASHINGTON — Carlos Ruiz had two doubles and three RBIs, John Mayberry homered and the Philadelphia Phillies held off the Washington Nationals for a 5-4 win Saturday night.
The loss snapped Washington’s seven-game winning streak and the Nationals fell 5½ games behind the Reds (winners in Milwaukee) for the second NL wild card.
Washington scored three in the seventh to pull within 5-4.
Cole Hamels (8-13) won his fourth straight decision, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits in six-plus innings. Jonathan Papelbon survived a leadoff double in the ninth for his 27th save.
Washington’s Denard Span (3 for 5) extended his hitting streak to 25 games and stole a career-high three bases.
Gio Gonzalez (10-7), coming off a one-hitter against the Mets, allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings.
Pirates 2, Cubs 1
PITTSBURGH — Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and got home run help from Marlon Byrd and Jose Tabata, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Saturday night.
The Pirates have won five of six. They began the day one game behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead.
Cole (8-7) gave up one run and five hits. The rookie struck out seven and walked three.
Byrd hit a solo home run off James Russell (1-6) in the seventh to put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1.
It was Byrd’s 23rd home run of the season and second in 17 games since being acquired Aug. 27 from the New York Mets in a trade. He is hitting .323 for the Pirates.
Braves 2, Padres 1
ATLANTA — Kris Medlen allowed four hits over 7 1-3 scoreless innings to win his fourth straight start, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
The Braves led 2-0 before Chase Headley hit a ninth-inning homer off closer Craig Kimbrel, who then pitched around a two-out walk to Ronny Cedeno for his career-best 47th save — the most in the majors.
Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a sixth-inning homer off Robbie Erlin (2-3), to help the Braves earn their first win of the season over the Padres. San Diego won the first four games of the season series.
The NL East-leading Braves began the night 10 games ahead of second-place Washington.
Medlen (14-12) has enjoyed a strong resurgence after a slow start. He went 1-6 over the first two months of the season.
Royals 1, Tigers 0
DETROIT — Prince Fielder was thrown out at home plate to end the game, preserving Ervin Santana’s impressive outing and leading the Kansas City Royals to a 1-0 victory Saturday over the Detroit Tigers.
The play at the plate helped the Royals gain ground on the two teams ahead them in the race for the second AL wild card, the Yankees and Orioles, who both lost earlier. Kansas City moved to three games back of Tampa Bay. The Rays were playing at Minnesota.
Santana (9-9) won for the first time since Aug. 4, outpitching Doug Fister (12-9). He allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings, walking one and striking out five.
Will Smith, Luke Hochevar and Greg Holland completed the seven-hitter.
Indians 8, White Sox 1
CHICAGO — Ubaldo Jimenez pitched 8 1-3 strong innings and Asdrubal Cabrera and Lonnie Chisenhall homered to lead Cleveland.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Lonnie Chisenhall added a three-run shot in a five-run fourth inning that powered the Indians to their 11th straight win against Chicago and third in a row overall to improve to 80-68. Texas, at 81-66, holds one wild-card spot and Tampa Bay at 80-66 has the other.
Jimenez (12-9) scattered eight hits and struck out eight to win his third straight start.
Chicago starter Andre Rienzo (2-2) lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks.
Angels 6, Astros 2
HOUSTON — Jered Weaver pitched six solid innings, Chris Iannetta homered and the Los Angeles Angels stopped Houston’s four-game winning streak.
Weaver (10-8) joined Nolan Ryan as the only Angels pitchers to reach double-digits in wins for eight straight seasons.
Brett Wallace homered for Houston, which leads the majors with 97 losses.
Rookie Brett Oberholtzer (4-3) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. The 24-year-old lefty entered the game with a 1.91 ERA since July 31, best in the AL over that span.