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When the Boston Red Sox need a big hit, he's been the one they call on for years.
David Ortiz didn't need another reason to be a hero in Boston, but he supplied one Thursday night, breaking a 3-3 tie with a three-run, walk-off home run to down the Texas Rangers.
''They don't like to mess with Papi late in the game. They stopped doing that,'' Ortiz said. ''In that kind of situation, pretty much most of the time it's either a walk or something else happens. I just keep my patience.''
And then he delivers. This was Ortiz's 11th career walk-off homer. It helped the Red Sox improve to 37-24.
The A's keep winning: It took some extra-inning heroics, but the Oakland Athletics won yet again on Thursday, making Bob Melvin's squad winners of 17 of its last 20 games.
Adam Rosales hit the go-ahead homer for the A's in the 10th inning, as they beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4. The game was in Chicago and Rosales is from there — though he grew up a Cubs fan, so he was happy to beat the White Sox. Yoenis Cespedes also hit two homers for the A's.
The A's are now 37-25, half a game behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West. Their 37 wins are tied for second most in baseball with the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. Even the Rangers have fewer win (36), but fewer losses than Oakland too (23). The A's play three more against the last-place White Sox, which might help them get into first place by the end of the weekend.
Tigers 5, Rays 2: Max Scherzer improves to 8-0, strikes out nine.
Cardinals 12, Diamondbacks 8: There goes Shelby Miller thinking he's Clayton Kershaw, hitting a home run and winning the game on the mound. His ERA is still 1.91.
Orioles 3, Astros 1: J.J. Hardy has four hits for the O's.
Phillies 5, Brewers 1: Call off the fire sale. The Phillies are above .500 for the first time this season.
Padres 6, Rockies 5: Things got weird in the 12th with a couple bad calls, but the Padres won 6-5.
Royals 7, Twins 3: The Royals score seven whole runs, first time since May 21. Also they've got their first two-game winning streak since May 4-5. Thank you Lord for George Brett.
Yankees 6, Mariners 1: Aaron Harang was pitching for the Mariners. That's all you need to know. Well, this is good too: Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano went back-to-back for the Yanks in a six-run third inning.
Mets, Nationals (ppd, rain): Will be made up as part of July 26 doubleheader.
''We're getting better. We're starting to come out of it. The offense looks like it's starting to turn the corner a little bit.'' — Royals manager Ned Yost.
Ichiro Suzuki returned to Seattle on Thursday for the first time since being traded to the Yankees last season.
• Bryce Harper is getting his injured knee checked out by Dr. James Andrews, which isn't the doom sentence for position players that it is for pitchers. But still not great news. Sounds like Harper's DL stint will last longer.
• Max Scherzer now has 10 games with seven or more strikeouts, the highest total in the league.
• Michael Young hit in the leadoff spot for the Phillies on Thursday, his first time there since 2004.