ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli had run-producing hits in the first inning against their former team and the Boston Red Sox got above .500 for the first time since three games into the season with a series-clinching 5-2 victory at Texas on Sunday.
Napoli put the Red Sox ahead to stay with an RBI double, two batters before Pierzynski’s two-run single. Both went to Boston as free agents after being in Texas – Pierzynski was the Rangers primary catcher last season, and Napoli was there the previous two years.
John Lackey (5-2) struck out nine while allowing two runs over seven innings.
Rangers lefty Robbie Ross (1-4) made it through 6 2-3 innings and a career-high 112 pitches.
ROYALS 9, MARINERS 7
SEATTLE (AP) – Alcides Escobar hit a grand slam and Johnny Giavotella added a three-run shot to give the Royals a comeback victory over the Mariners.
Escobar had provided a 4-0 lead for the Royals in the second with his first career home run off starter Roenis Elias. But the Mariners rallied behind two homers from Dustin Ackley and another from Kyle Seager before Kansas City took the lead in the seventh, scoring four runs off reliever Danny Farquhar (1-1).
Louis Coleman (1-0), who worked a scoreless sixth, earned the victory.
The Mariners committed a season-high four errors.
INDIANS 6, RAYS 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Josh Tomlin won his second straight start, Nyjer Morgan and Michael Bourn both drove in two runs and the Indians beat the Rays.
Tomlin (2-0), who pitched just once in the big leagues last season after right elbow surgery in 2012, allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in his second outing this year.
Morgan hit his first major league homer since July 30, 2012, an eighth-inning solo shot.
Matt Joyce homered and had two RBIs for the Rays, who went 1-5 on their homestand. Chris Archer (2-2) gave up four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.
ASTROS 5, ORIOLES 2
BALTIMORE (AP) – Jason Castro and Marc Krauss homered to account for all of Houston’s runs, and the Astros beat the Orioles to avoid a three-game sweep.
Jarred Cosart (2-3) allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings for the Astros, who had lost seven of eight before ending Baltimore’s five-game winning streak.
Castro hit a three-run homer off Chris Tillman (3-2) in the first inning and Krauss connected against T.J. McFarland with a runner on in the seventh. Houston is 11-11 when it hits a home run and 1-15 when it doesn’t.
Although the Astros’ bullpen came in with a 6.21 ERA, Tony Sipp struck out five in two perfect innings and Chad Qualls worked the ninth for his second save.
ANGELS 9, BLUE JAYS 3
TORONTO (AP) – Jered Weaver won his fourth straight decision, Hank Conger hit a three-run homer and had a career-high five RBIs, and the Angels beat Toronto for their seventh straight win over the Blue Jays.
Conger went 3 for 4 with a walk. He hit an RBI double in the fourth, homered in the sixth and added an RBI single in the ninth.
Howie Kendrick had three hits, two stolen bases and scored three times as the Angels won their third straight.
Weaver (4-2) improved to 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his past four starts.
Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison (1-3), who has not won in seven starts, allowed three runs and three hits in 4 1-3 innings. He matched a career-high with four walks and struck out five.
TWINS 4, TIGERS 3
DETROIT (AP) – Eduardo Nunez hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Twins rallied for a victory over the Tigers.
The Twins took advantage of poor defense by the Tigers in the late innings. Minnesota scored three runs in the eighth, spoiling another fine start by Detroit rookie Robbie Ray.
The Tigers led 3-1 with two outs in the eighth when Josmil Pinto singled to left field off Joba Chamberlain (1-2) with runners on first and second. One run scored on the hit, but the ball skipped past left fielder Rajai Davis for an error that tied the game and allowed Pinto to reach second.
Nunez followed with his single to make it 4-3.
Jared Burton (1-1) won in relief. Glen Perkins got four outs for his 10th save in 11 chances.
ATHLETICS 9, NATIONALS 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Derek Norris hit a pair of three-run home runs to back Scott Kazmir’s fifth win and the Athletics beat the Nationals to complete a series sweep.
Both of Norris’ home runs came on identical two-out, 3-0 pitches from Washington starter and former Oakland pitcher Gio Gonzalez (3-3).
Nick Punto added two hits and three RBIs while Brandon Moss singled twice and doubled. Oakland has won four straight since dropping five of six against Boston and Seattle.
Kazmir (5-1) bounced back from his first loss of the year to pitch seven scoreless innings while allowing only four hits.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, WHITE SOX 1
CHICAGO (AP) – Chase Anderson won his major league debut, Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero homered, and the Diamondbacks beat the White Sox.
Recalled Tuesday from Double-A Mobile, Anderson (1-0) hadn’t seen any action until Sunday and he excelled in his first big league appearance, at one point retiring 12 consecutive batters. He allowed one run and only two hits in 5 1-3 innings while striking out six, helping Arizona win for the fourth time in five games and secure its third consecutive series for the first time since June 2012.
Parra’s fifth-inning drive off Hector Noesi (0-3) gave Arizona a 3-0 lead.