Athletics dump Rangers for share of AL West lead

OAKLAND, Calif. — Jarrod Parker got plenty of home run help and pitched his way into Oakland’s record book as the surging Athletics pulled into a tie atop the AL West with Texas by overpowering the Rangers 11-4 on Wednesday afternoon.

Parker (11-6) allowed two runs in six innings to extend his unbeaten streak to 18 starts, eclipsing Catfish Hunter’s Oakland mark set from June 2-Sept. 3, 1973. Parker also has won his past nine decisions, the most by an A’s pitcher since Dan Haren won 10 in a row in 2007.

Brandon Moss, Daric Barton and Coco Crisp each hit two-run homers, and Josh Donaldson added a three-run drive for Oakland. The A’s handed Yu Darvish a loss in consecutive starts for the first time this season.

Red Sox 20, Tigers 4: In Boston, David Ortiz hit two of Boston’s eight homers and also doubled for his 2,000th career hit to lead the Red Sox in a romp.

Will Middlebrooks hit a grand slam, Ortiz had an RBI double to reach the milestone and Daniel Nava added a two-run homer in an eight-run sixth inning.

Ortiz homered again in the five-run seventh — the 427th of his career, moving past Billy Williams and into 47th on the all-time list.

Yankees 6, White Sox 5: In New York, struggling ace CC Sabathia pitched effectively into the eighth inning before Mariano Rivera earned his first four-out save in more than two years, helping New York hold on for a three-game sweep.

Robinson Cano homered for the Yankees, who are trying to chase down a playoff berth with a late-season charge. Brett Gardner hit a two-run triple, and Lyle Overbay an RBI double in a four-run fourth against Erik Johnson, who was making his major league debut.

New York, which entered 2½ games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card, has won 15 of 18 home games and 17 of 24 overall. Swept in three games at Chicago from Aug. 5-7, the Yankees returned the favor a month later.

Astros 6, Twins 5: In Houston, Trevor Crowe hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth for the Astros.

Jonathan Villar singled to start the ninth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Altuve. Crowe’s line drive to left off Brian Duensing allowed the speedy Villar to score easily, giving Houston its first win in six tries against Minnesota.

Ryan Doumit’s leadoff home run in the ninth against Astros reliever Erik Bedard tied it at 5.

Minnesota was down 3-0 after a three-run first inning by the Astros before tying it on a three-run shot by Alex Presley in the third. It was Presley’s first homer since being acquired from Pittsburgh in the trade for Justin Morneau.

Indians 6, Orioles 4: The Cleveland Indians, boosted by a good-luck chicken and a pair of RBIs from both Yan Gomes and Ryan Raburn, beat Baltimore.

Pitcher Justin Masterson carried a live chicken on to the field for batting practice. The bird, supplied by clubhouse workers from an area farm, was a gift to reliever Cody Allen. It stood in front of the warning track in center field.

The Indians moved a half-game past Baltimore in the chase for a playoff spot. Cleveland began the night 3½ games behind Tampa Bay for the second wild card.

Mariners 6, Royals 4: In Kansas City, Mo., Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Seattle.

The Royals used eight pitchers, tying a club record for a nine-inning game. Aaron Crow took the loss.