ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alex Cobb and four relievers combined on a six-hitter and centre fielder Kevin Kiermaier made two spectacular catches to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 on Thursday.

A day after the same two teams combined for nine home runs in a 7-6 Toronto win, pitching took over.

Cobb, making his first start in 19 days, was taken out of the game in the fifth inning after throwing 94 pitches despite giving up no runs. Steve Cishek (2-0) got the win and Alex Colome pitched the ninth for his 38th save.

The Rays' 1-0 lead was preserved in the fifth by the catches from Kiermaier, a two-time Gold Glover. Tampa Bay also benefited when a replay turned Josh Donaldson's two-run double into a foul ball.

Tom Koehler (0-1) pitched five innings in his first start for Toronto, giving up one run on five hits while striking out seven. He was 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA when Miami traded him to the Blue Jays last weekend.

Daniel Robertson drove in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly in the second. It came after a single by Jesus Sucre and a couple of walks by Koehler.

Corey Dickerson's 24th home run drove in Tampa Bay's other run in the eighth.


DETROIT - Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and Yankees catcher Austin Romine wrestled on the ground near home plate during the first of three bench-clearing altercations during Detroit's testy 10-6 victory over New York on Thursday.

Five players were ejected, along with both managers and the Yankees' bench coach.

Justin Upton and James McCann homered for Detroit, and Gary Sanchez went deep for the Yankees, but that all became secondary on a day when the umpires had their hands full trying to maintain order. Major League Baseball now figures to be busy, too, sorting out likely suspensions that could especially hurt the playoff-contending Yankees.

The winning and losing pitchers - Detroit's Alex Wilson (2-4) and New York's Dellin Betances (3-5) - were among those ejected. Betances was tossed after hitting a batter in the helmet with a pitch, tried to indicate it was a breaking ball and argued with the umps.


PITTSBURGH - Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning and Los Angeles pulled away from Pittsburgh for its 90th win of the season.

Grandal's 18th of the year gave the Dodgers a two-run lead. Gonzalez pushed it to three moments later with a shot to nearly the same spot in the right-field seats for his second of the season and 100th with Los Angeles. Curtis Granderson hit his 22nd home run of the season. Chris Taylor chipped in three hits and Enrique Hernandez added two hits on his 26th birthday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-6) held the Pirates to one run over six innings. Brandon Morrow worked the ninth for first save since 2009. Los Angeles improved to 90-36, becoming the 12th team in major league history to reach the 90-win plateau in 126 games.


CLEVELAND - Red Sox ace Chris Sale was battered while matching the shortest start of his career, and rookie Yandy Diaz got four hits as Cleveland beat Boston in a matchup of division leaders.

Sale (14-6) was tagged for seven runs on seven hits and three walks in just three innings. Cleveland's injury-riddled lineup, held to a combined four hits by the Red Sox in the previous two games, erupted against one of the top contenders for the AL Cy Young Award and roughed up Boston's bullpen.

Diaz was 4 for 4 and fell a home run short of the cycle, and Giovanny Urshela drove in a career-high four runs. Jay Bruce and Francisco Lindor homered as the Indians had 18 hits, one short of their season high.

Trevor Bauer (13-8) allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings and won his sixth straight decision.

Mitch Moreland homered twice for Boston.

NATIONALS 5, ASTROS 4, 11 Innings

HOUSTON - Anthony Rendon doubled twice and his tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 11th inning helped Washington over Houston.

Wilmer Difo dropped a bunt single to start the 11th before advancing to second on a groundout by Daniel Murphy. It looked as if Tyler Clippard plunked Ryan Zimmerman on the hand after that and he took first base. But Houston challenged the call and it was overturned, sending him back to the plate.

Clippard (2-7) struck him out, but the wild pitch allowed him to reach first and Difo to take third. The Nationals went on top 4-3 on the sacrifice fly by Rendon. They added an insurance run on an RBI single by Matt Wieters.

Former Astro Matt Albers (7-2) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win and Sammy Solis allowed a home run to J.D. Davis in the 11th before retiring the next three batters for his first save.


ANAHEIM, Calif. - Martin Perez dodged a couple early jams en route to seven strong innings, Drew Robinson and Mike Napoli homered and surging Texas beat Los Angeles.

Texas has won eight of 11 games, pulling within a game of the final AL wild card despite trading away ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers at the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.

Perez (9-10) won his fourth consecutive start. He had two runners aboard in each of the second and third innings, but escaped both situations and cruised from there. He allowed seven hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

Jason Grilli pitched the eighth and rookie Ricardo Rodriguez the ninth, earning his first career save to complete the Rangers' sixth shutout.

Troy Scribner (2-1) gave up three runs on three hits and two walks, striking out six.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Pat Valaika hit a two-run homer with two out in the eighth inning and Greg Holland finished for his 36th save in Colorado's victory over Kansas City.

Valaika snapped an 0-for-12 slide, driving a full-count pitch from Mike Minor (5-6) to left after Gerardo Parra singled.

Holland worked a perfect ninth. He allowed Eric Hosmer's game-ending, three run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday night and was 0-4 with three blown saves in his previous six appearances.

Adam Ottavino (2-3) struck out two in a perfect seventh.

The Rockies snapped a four-game losing streak with just their fifth victory in 17 games.


NEW YORK - Robbie Ray returned to a big league mound for the first time since being hit in the head with a line drive last month, striking out nine in five innings for Arizona.

Arizona won three of four in New York, staying ahead of Colorado for the NL's top wild-card spot with the victory.

Reinstated from the DL prior to the game, Ray (10-5) allowed one run and two hits. The All-Star left-hander struck out the side in the first and held the Mets hitless for three innings. He is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in four starts against the Mets.

Yoenis Cespedes led off the fourth with his 17th home run, a drive that travelled 440 feet into the second deck in left.

Fernando Rodney stranded two runners in the ninth for his 30th save and third in this series.

Rafael Montero (2-9) allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings.


PHILADELPHIA - Giancarlo Stanton launched his major league-leading 47th home run, J.T. Realmuto hit an inside-the-park homer and Miami overcame a five-run deficit to beat Philadelphia.

Stanton led off the third inning with his 14th homer in August, extending his club record for most in one month.

Realmuto tied it at 8 in the sixth inning with a two-run shot, which ricocheted off the wall in left-centre and past centre fielder Nick Williams. Realmuto put the Marlins ahead in the eighth with a sacrifice fly off Luis Garcia (1-4).

Jarlin Garcia (1-2) won in relief and Brad Ziegler picked up his eighth save.


CINCINNATI - Jose Peraza had a pinch-hit, bases-loaded double in the eighth inning, rallying Cincinnati over Chicago to avoid a series sweep.

The Reds loaded the bases with two outs against Pedro Strop (3-4), putting together two hits and a walk. Peraza, who was 0 for 4 off the bench this season, doubled over the head of Ian Happ in centre for a 3-2 lead. Strop let in another run with a wild pitch.

The comeback ended the Cubs' five-game winning streak, one shy of their season high. Chicago has moved into first place in the NL Central by going 25-13 since the All-Star break, leading Milwaukee by three games.

Michael Lorenzen (8-2) fanned three of the four batters he faced. Raisel Iglesias picked up his 24th save in 25 chances.


CHICAGO - Derek Holland pitched six effective innings, Yolmer Sanchez homered and Chicago beat sloppy Minnesota.

Holland (7-13) bounced back nicely from a string of bad outings, yielding one run and three hits in just his second win in two months. The left-hander had allowed 20 runs and 20 hits in 11 innings over his previous five appearances.

Chicago had dropped six of eight before welcoming Minnesota to town for a five-game series. It was a prime opportunity for the contending Twins (65-62) to strengthen their playoff positioning, but the last-place White Sox (50-76) won three times.

Minnesota, which began the day with a half-game lead in the race for the second AL wild card, lost 4-3 on Wednesday night on Tim Anderson's game-ending RBI single. Pitcher Jose Berrios (11-6) and first baseman Mitch Garver each committed a costly error in the series finale.


ST. LOUIS - Carlos Asuaje's RBI single in the ninth inning gave San Diego the lead and Jose Pirela's sacrifice fly proved to be the winner.

Asuaje's hit, his third of the game, off Zach Duke scored Jabari Blash. Neither Duke nor Sam Tuivailala (3-2) recorded an out in relief in the ninth for a Cardinals bullpen that surrendered 12 runs in seven innings during the series.

Kirby Yates (3-4) pitched the Padres out of an eighth-inning jam and Brad Hand earned his 12th save in 16 attempts.