The day after the Detroit Tigers traded for Texas Rangers closer Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan made a point of showing why he is still manager Brad Ausmus' No. 1 option in the ninth inning. Nathan struck out the side on 12 pitches to secure Max Scherzer's 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series between two of the top three teams in the majors. The six-time All-Star posted his 21st save in 26 chances after Joba Chamberlain gave up a run on Josh Hamilton's sacrifice fly in the eighth. It's up to Brad to make decisions like that, so I'm just going to go out and compete when they allow me to.'' Nick Castellanos drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a double in the sixth inning against Garrett Richards and Scherzer won his fourth straight decision.
SEATTLE (AP) -- - Wie-Yen Chen threw one of his finest games in the major leagues, allowing just five hits over eight innings in Baltimore's 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night. ''That was a little bit of a momentum change there,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''Then he showed how to get people out after that.'' Delmon Young hit a three-run homer in the Orioles' four-run third inning and that was all Chen needed as he scattered five singles, walked one and struck out three, matching his career high for innings pitched. His 11 wins ties him for third-most in American League.
After four hours, 23 minutes and a dozen pitchers combining to throw 397 pitches, Nori Aoki gave the Kansas City Royals a win. Aoki singled home Lorenzo Cain in the 14th inning to lift the Royals to a 2-1 victory over Cleveland after Indians starter Corey Kluber carried a perfect game into the seventh inning on Thursday night. Cain opened the 14th with an infield single and stole second before Aoki delivered the winning hit off John Axford on a full-count pitch with one out. ''I was just trying to stay aggressive,'' Aoki said.
Matt Garza was fuming after his previous start, the shortest of his career when he recorded just one out and allowed five runs. Garza allowed two hits in eight innings, and Ryan Braun hit one of three homers for the Milwaukee Brewers in a 9-1 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night. ''His last start probably upset him enough that he had a lot to prove tonight, and he threw the ball well,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis also connected for the Brewers, who took a 6-0 lead after three innings against Dillon Gee (4-3) to win their fourth consecutive game.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia knows most teams don't get many chances to beat Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. Saltalamacchia drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, Henderson Alvarez won for the first time in three starts and the Miami Marlins beat the Braves 3-2 on Thursday night. ''He threw me a lot of sliders tonight, which is not what he's done in the past, but I'd swung over a slider two nights ago and struck out,'' Saltalamacchia said. He made a mistake and I was able to do something with it.'' In taking three of four games, the Marlins won just their second series in the last 10 against the Braves at Turner Field.
KANSAS CITY (AP) -- Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians has had his perfect game broken up with a one-out single in the seventh inning by Omar Infante of the Kansas City Royals.
A warm day helped Brandon Moss reach another milestone and it helped Jeff Samardzija enjoy even more run support. Moss hit a grand slam and the Oakland Athletics gave Samardzija more run support than he has had all season in a 13-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday. ''I didn't realize it went over the fence,'' Moss said. Chris Carter hit a home run for the Astros, who fell to 2-4 since the All-Star break.