For once, the Baltimore Orioles got their week started right. Baltimore ended its run of 15 straight losses in Sunday games, defeating Ervin Santana and the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 behind a sharp pitching performance by Garrett Olson.
"We were all kind of fed up. It was definitely a goal of mine, and I think everybody here just wanted to end it finally," Olson said. "Fortunately for us, we did. Now we can move on."
The Angels will move on themselves, heading up the East coast to face another team breathing easier after a Sunday win of its own: Boston's 9-2 win over the New York Yankees kept the Red Sox ahead of their rivals in the AL East, where both teams trail the Tampa Bay Rays.
In Sunday's other AL games, it was: Kansas City 6, Tampa Bay 1; Minnesota 4, Cleveland 2; Detroit 6, Chicago White Sox 4; Oakland 6, Texas 5; and Seattle 5, Toronto 1.
Olson (7-5) allowed two runs and seven hits in six-plus innings, breaking a run of eight games in which an Orioles starter failed to get through the sixth.
Baltimore ended a five-game losing streak and earned its first win on Sunday since April 6 against Seattle. The Orioles were outscored by a combined 83-43 in compiling the longest skid on one day of the week since Arizona dropped 15 successive Saturday games in 2004.
Ervin Santana (11-5) gave up five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings for Los Angeles.
In Boston, eccentric slugger Manny Ramirez caused a pregame stir by saying he'd be open to being traded. Then he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs in a revived Boston offense that handed the New York Yankees their first loss after the All-Star break.
"Manny says a lot of things," Mike Lowell said. "Some of them are entertaining. Some of them make you roll your eyes and spin your head. But it seems like every time after he says something he goes 3-for-4 so maybe we should encourage him to say something like that."
Trading their cleanup hitter, who is 22-for-47 in his last 13 games, seems unlikely for a team just one game behind AL East leader Tampa Bay and two ahead of third-place New York, which is 8-1 since the break.
Especially now that Ramirez has been reunited with David Ortiz in the heart of the order.
In his third game since missing 45 with a left wrist injury, Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs.
Jon Lester (9-3) stayed unbeaten since his last loss on May 25 with his sixth win in nine starts despite working out of trouble in four of the first five innings. He could relax with a 7-0 lead after four.
Boston scored in each of the first four innings _ seven runs _ against Sidney Ponson (6-2), who hadn't lost since May 26.
Royals 6, Rays 1
Billy Butler homered and drove in four runs, Kyle Davies picked up his first victory in more than a month and host Kansas City salvaged a split of a four-game series.
Butler hit an RBI double in the fourth and a three-run drive off the left-field foul pole in the seventh. He has four homers and 14 RBIs in nine games since the All-Star break.
Davies (4-2) gave up one run and six hits in five-plus innings, getting his first win since June 17 at St. Louis.
Andy Sonnanstine (10-6) allowed five runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Twins 4, Indians 2
Justin Morneau sparked a two-run, ninth-inning rally with an RBI double and visiting Minnesota beat Cleveland to pull within 2 1/2 games of first-place Chicago.
Morneau doubled in Alexi Casilla with one out in the ninth, giving the Twins a 3-2 lead. Jason Kubel added a run-scoring single off Rafael Perez (1-2).
Matt Guerrier (6-4) got three outs in the eighth, and Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances.
Minnesota took two of three in the series to improve to 29-18 in the AL Central entering a four-game set against the White Sox that starts Monday night in Minneapolis.
Tigers 6, White Sox 4
Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames homered and host Detroit avoided a three-game sweep.
Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs and Ivan Rodriguez went 4-for-4 to help the third-place Tigers pull within 6 1/2 games of the White Sox, who snapped a four-game winning streak.
Jermaine Dye homered for the third straight day and A.J. Pierzynski also went deep for Chicago.
Zach Miner (5-3) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings for Detroit.
Javier Vazquez (7-9) surrendered six runs and 11 hits in seven innings for the White Sox.
Athletics 6, Rangers 5
Jack Cust and Kurt Suzuki homered and Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler set the major league record for scoreless innings to start a career.
Ziegler pitched two innings to extend his scoreless streak to 27. The 28-year-old right-hander was promoted to Oakland on May 30.
The host Athletics snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the second time in 11 games.
Jeremy Blevins (1-1), the second of four Oakland pitchers, went 1 1-3 innings to earn his first major league win and Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his 18th save.
The A's scored six runs to knock rookie right-hander Eric Hurley (1-2) out of the game after two innings.
Mariners 5, Blue Jays 1
Jose Vidro hit a two-run homer, Jarrod Washburn pitched eight innings and visiting Seattle snapped a season-worst seven-game losing streak.
Toronto's season-high five-game winning streak also ended. Washburn (5-9) gave up one run and four hits. He has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his past nine starts, lowering his ERA to 4.50.
Shaun Marcum (5-5) allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings.
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