Chris Nelson hit his first two home runs of the season, including a grand slam against his former team, to send C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels past the Yankees, 8-4, Thursday in New York.
Josh Hamilton and rookie J.B. Shuck each had an RBI single to help the struggling Angels prevent a four-game sweep. Wilson (13-6) won his fifth consecutive decision, keeping Alfonso Soriano in the ballpark after the streaking slugger piled up four homers and 13 RBIs the previous two nights.
Soriano extended his sensational tear, going 4 for 5 with an RBI single, but the Yankees managed little else until a three-run ninth as their four-game winning streak ended. After finishing a 5-2 homestand, they head to Fenway Park this weekend to face the first-place Red Sox.
Nelson spent a couple of weeks with the Yankees in May, one of several replacements they tried at third base.
Cardinals 6, Pirates 5 — Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run on Matt Holliday’s single in the 12th inning, helping host St. Louis beat Pittsburgh for its second extra-inning triumph over the NL Central leaders in three days.
Rays 7, Mariners 1 — Alex Cobb pitched five strong innings in his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago and Tampa Bay beat Seattle in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tigers 4, Royals 1 — Prince Fielder homered for the first time in three weeks, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning to help host Detroit defeat Kansas City.
Giants 4, Nationals 3 — Pinch hitter Hector Sanchez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, helping San Francisco win in Washington.
Athletics 5, Astros 0 — Sonny Gray struck out nine on the way to an impressive first major league victory, using Nate Freiman’s two-run homer and four RBIs to lead host Oakland over Houston that averted a three-game sweep by the lowly Astros.
Reds 2, Brewers 1 — Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and Tony Cingrani pitched solidly into the seventh, lifting Cincinnati in Milwaukee.
Mets 4, Padres 1 — Marlon Byrd lined a two-out double over right fielder Chris Denorfia’s head in the eighth inning, and New York snapped a three-game skid by beating host San Diego.
Twins 4, White Sox 3 — Chris Herrmann’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch runner Doug Bernier and lifted Minnesota over Chicago.