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 BALTIMORE (AP) -Jon Lester allowed four hits in seven innings to win his third straight start, and the Boston Red Sox handed an angry Daniel Cabrera his 15th loss of the season, barely avoiding a brawl Friday night in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Both teams charged from the dugouts and bullpens in the fourth inning after Cabrera threw a fastball behind the ear of Dustin Pedroia. The pitch came immediately after a balk produced a run to put the Red Sox up 3-0. punches were thrown, and Cabrera (9-15) was ejected from the game before order was finally restored.
The fracas deflected some of the focus from Lester (4-0), who pitched brilliantly in his eighth start since returning to the majors following a bout with lymphoma. The left-hander struck out four, walked two and allowed only one runner past second base.
Eight different players had one hit for the Red Sox, who have won six of seven to move 30 games over .500 (86-56) for the first time since 2004, the year they won the World Series.
Kevin Youkilis hit an RBI single in the seventh off Fernando Cabrera.
Tigers 6, Mariners 1
DETROIT (AP) - Curtis Granderson's homer put him in elite company and Justin Verlander gave up one run over eight innings as Detroit got its first three-game winning streak in nearly two months.
Granderson hit his 20th home run in the seventh inning, making him just the sixth player since 1900 with at least 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles in one season. George Brett, in 1979 for Kansas City, was the last player to pull off the feat and Willie Mays also did it.
Placido Polanco, Magglio Ordonez, Brandon Inge, Ivan Rodriguez and Carlos Guillen each drove in a run to help the Tigers win the opener of a three-game series involving two teams competing with the New York Yankees for AL wild card.
Verlander (16-5) allowed seven hits while walking none and striking out three. He has won his last three starts, combining to give up just two runs and lead a rotation that has struggled recently.
Miguel Batista (13-11) gave up six runs, nine hits and three walks over 6 2-3 innings, losing his third straight start.
Blue Jays 7, Devil Rays 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Dustin McGowan struck out a career-high 12 in eight innings and Gregg Zaun hit a three-run homer to lead Toronto.
McGowan (10-8) gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He has won two straight starts, giving up just three runs in 16 innings over the stretch. The right-hander struck out seven of his final nine batters, including five consecutive in one stretch.
Zaun made it 6-0 on his ninth homer of the season with two outs in the sixth off Edwin Jackson (4-14). Matt Stairs, who had two RBIs, extended the lead to 7-0 on a run-scoring single later in the inning.
The Blue Jays have won eight of 12.
B.J. Upton had a sacrifice fly during a two-run sixth for Tampa Bay, which lost for just the fourth time in 14 games.
Yankees 3, Royals 2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada homered to help New York remain three games in front of Detroit in the AL wild-card race.
Rodriguez, limited to a designated hitter role Wednesday, returned to third base and homered for the sixth time in nine games, raising his major league-leading total to 49.
Joba Chamberlain pitched two scoreless innings as his disabled father watched him pitch in the majors for the first time. The Yankees' rookie has not allowed a run in 11 games and 14 1-3 innings since making his major league debut on Aug. 7.
Ian Kennedy, another rookie, allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings. Last weekend, he beat Tampa Bay in his major league debut. Kyle Farnsworth (2-1) pitched one hitless inning for the win, and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 24th save in 27 chances.
New York, which went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners, went ahead in the seventh when Derek Jeter singled with two outs and Bobby Abreu doubled off Neal Musser (0-1).
Rangers 5, Athletics 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Edinson Volquez pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings, and Frank Catalanotto homered, tripled and drove in three runs to lead Texas.
Volquez (2-0), who struck out five and walked three, has won both starts since he was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma on Sept. 1. After Jack Hannahan's sacrifice fly in the ninth off C.J. Wilson, Joaquin Benoit got two outs for his fourth save in eight chances.
Catalanotto led off the first with a home run and had three hits, needing only a double for a cycle.
Ian Kinsler and Marlon Byrd also had three hits each for the Rangers, who won for the 10th time in 12 games.
Dan Haren (14-7) allowed 15 runners in 4 2-3 innings, giving up five runs and 12 hits. Haren, who threw 100 pitches, has won once in his last seven starts.
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