SEATTLE Two elements have been fairly consistent in Felix Hernandezs starts over the past couple seasons: He doesnt give up many runs and the Seattle Mariners dont score many for him.
Hernandez (13-11) got an unexpected reprieve Wednesday night as Mike Carp hit a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning to present the Mariners ace with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
The loss prevented the Angels from gaining ground on first-place Texas in the AL West. The Rangers, who earlier lost to Tampa Bay 5-1, maintained a 3½-game lead.
Hernandez, who allowed five hits, issued one walk and struck out nine, held the one-run lead with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth complete game of the season and the 18th of his career.
Hernandez won last years Cy Young Award with a record-low 13 wins. He has received one run of support or fewer in 23 of his 62 starts dating to the beginning of the 2010 season, despite the seventh-lowest ERA (3.54) among AL starters.
I was real excited about sending Felix out there in the ninth, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. Hes had some tough losses in low-scoring games in his career and this year, too.
Its a big deal. Hes our guy, a true ace, not just a No. 1, a true ace. When hes out there he gives us a very good chance to win the ball game. Having said that, youve got to score some runs. Our guys stepped up and that means a great deal.
Hernandez dueled with Angels starter Dan Haren (13-8), who gave up five hits in his 7 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out seven.
Red Sox 9, Yankees 5
BOSTON (AP) Jacoby Ellsbury hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth inning and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the New York Yankees 9-5 on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox, who lost the series opener 5-2 on Tuesday night, extended their AL East lead over the Yankees to 1½ games and improved to 11-3 this season against their division rivals.
David Ortiz and Jason Varitek also hit two-run homers for Boston. Josh Beckett (12-5) allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits in seven innings, but improved to 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts against the Yankees this season.
The Yankees scored four runs in the sixth and went ahead 5-4.
But in the bottom of the inning, Phil Hughes (4-5) allowed three runs, capped by Ellsburys 24th homer.
Rays 4, Rangers 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) James Shields pitched eight shutout innings and Johnny Damon homered for Tampa Bay, which has won 10 of its last 15.
Shields (13-10) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven, giving him 1,001 for his career. David Murphy hit a two-out RBI single for Texas in the ninth, but Kyle Farnsworth struck out Yorvit Torrealba to end the game.
Shields had struggled in his three previous starts at Rangers Ballpark, going 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA while yielding 22 hits and five homers.
Texas starter Alexi Ogando (12-7) lost for the fourth time in his last six decisions after lasting only 2 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and five hits.
Tigers 5, Royals 4
DETROIT (AP) Wilson Betemit capped Detroits three-run eighth inning with a tiebreaking RBI double against his former team.
Austin Jackson went 4 for 4 and scored three times for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who have won seven of 10. Miguel Cabrera added two hits and Jose Valverde worked the ninth for his 40th save in 40 chances.
Eric Hosmer had a pair of solo homers for Kansas City, which has dropped four of six. Blake Wood (5-2) got the loss.
Daniel Schlereth (2-1) pitched an inning to get the victory.
Indians 4, Athletics 3
CLEVELAND (AP) Jack Hannahans single with one out in the 16th inning scored pinch-runner Cord Phelps from second base and moved Cleveland into second place in the AL Central.
Jim Thome singled with one out off Josh Outman (3-4), the As eighth pitcher, and was replaced by Phelps. Carlos Santana lined a single to center before Hannahan, who hit two solo homers, singled to right. Phelps never slowed and was able to slip headfirst under the tag of catcher Kurt Suzuki, who had to jump to catch right fielder David DeJesus strong throw.
Hannahan was mobbed by the Indians, who won for the 17th time in their last at-bat at home and jumped Chicago in the division, staying 5½ games behind first-place Detroit.
Frank Herrmann (4-0), Clevelands sixth pitcher, worked four perfect innings.
Twins 7, White Sox 6
CHICAGO (AP) Jason Kubel and Luke Hughes homered during Minnesotas six-run first inning, and the Twins snapped Chicagos five-game winning streak.
Kubel and Hughes each hit a two-run shot off Jake Peavy (6-7), who allowed four consecutive extra-base hits during his rocky opening inning. Trevor Plouffe, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer hit three straight doubles to plate the first two runs.
Scott Diamond (1-2) allowed three runs and three hits in six innings and Joe Nathan finished for his 12th save.
Brent Lillibridge homered for the White Sox, who fell six games back of AL Central-leading Detroit. Konerko finished with two hits and three RBIs.
Blue Jays 13, Orioles 0
BALTIMORE (AP) Henderson Alvarez allowed three hits in eight innings to become the youngest Toronto starter to win a game since 1979.
Jose Bautista, Kelly Johnson, Jose Molina and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, who matched a season high with 20 hits. Bautista now has 39 homers on the year.
Alvarez (1-2) faced the minimum 21 batters through seven innings.