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Thanks to a pair of All-Stars, the Baltimore Orioles avoided a three-game sweep and snapped a five-game home losing streak to the Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-2 win on Wednesday night. Adam Jones would provide the difference making run with a solo home run leading off the third — his 26th. Chris Davis later connected for his league-leading 46th home run that traveled beyond the right field wall and out on to Eutaw Street to provide their insurance tally.
The home run also moved Davis into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro for the most home runs in a season at Camden Yards with 25. Frank Robinson holds the overall Baltimore with 27 homers at Memorial Stadium in 1966. Davis should easily surpass both before the season ends, but his focus is clearly not on those numbers.
''It means we put up one run on the board and we were able to get the win. That's the biggest thing,'' Davis said. ''Obviously team goals come before individual goals. I'm happy to be swinging the bat well, I'm even happier to get the win.''
That one run would end up looking very important. With regular closer Jim Johnson struggling, O’s skipper Buck Showalter turned to Tommy Hunter in the ninth inning. The drama followed anyway as Tampa put the first two runners on base. After Hunter recovered to get a flyout and fielder‘s choice, catcher Matt Wieters truly earned the save by gunning down Kelly Johnson at second base as he attempted to steal his way into scoring position.
Red Sox 12, Giants 1: Barry Zito’s first start since July 30 was a complete disaster and may prove to be his last on as a Giant. In 3 2/3 innings, Zito was touched up for six runs (all earned) on seven hits and two walks. San Francisco’s struggling didn’t help matters. After going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position during a 3-2 win on Tuesday, they never had advance past first base on Wednesday aside from Joaquin Arias’ solo home run.
The good, bad and historic for New York: First and most importantly for New York, they earned their ninth win in 11 games with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Alfonso Soriano snapped an 0 for 17 slump — wasn't he just ridiculously hot? — with the go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth.
The bad: Infielder Jayson Nix suffered a broken left hand after being plunked by R.A. Dickey. He could miss the rest of the season as a result.
The historic: Ichiro joined very elite company with career hit No. 4,000 between Major League Baseball and Japan.
Cardinals 8, Brewers 6: St. Louis led 7-0 after two innings and held on thanks to Milwaukee leaving 14 runners on base.
Mariners 5, A’s 3: Brendan Ryan drives in three as Seattle steals the three-game series.
Padres 2, Pirates 1: Huston Street has quietly converted 24 of 25 save chances.
Indians 3, Angels 1: Cleveland continues to hang around in the AL Central (5 1/2 games behind Detroit) and Wild Card (3 1/2 behind Oakland).
Phillies 4, Rockies 3: Philadelphia plates two in the ninth off Rafael Betancourt to steal the victory. Michael Young delivered the winner with a one-out single.
Tigers 7, Twins 1: Torri Hunter put Detroit ahead with a two-run double in the seventh. He also scored from second base on a passed ball to extend the lead to 3-1. Miguel Cabrera added a bases clearing double.
Reds 10, Diamondbacks 7: Shin-Soo Choo had four hits and drove in three for Cincinnati. Aroldis Chapman picked up a six-out save.
Dodgers 4, Marlins 1: Zack Greinke improves to 6-1 with 1.41 a ERA in nine starts since July 8.
Rangers 5, Astros 4: The sweep is complete on Elvis Andrus' ninth inning sacrifice fly.
White Sox 5, Royals 2: Dayan Viciedo's grand slam capped a five-run fifth.
Nationals 11, Cubs 6: Manager Davey Johnson said it best: ''Eleven runs, I think it's Christmas."
''Kersh is on such another level that if you try to do better than him, you're going to get your feelings hurt.''
— Zack Greinke on his friendly pitching competition with Clayton Kershaw. (via Ramona Shelburne)
Yasiel Puig was definitely on time for Wednesday night's game in Miami.
• Derek Jeter will begin his rehab assignment on Thursday night with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. (via Hardball Talk)
• The Indians won their 69th game in 2013 after winning 68 in 2012. (via ESPN Stats & Info)
• Jason Heyward has saved 64 runs in right field since 2010. No other right fielder has topped 40 runs over that same time frame. (via ESPN Stats & Info)