TORONTO — John Gibbons wasn’t exactly happy to see rookie Marcus Stroman lose his no-hitter. Still, it saved the Blue Jays manager from making a tough decision about how long to stick with his young star.
Stroman and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, Juan Francisco drove in four runs and came within a double of the cycle and Toronto beat the Boston Red Sox 8-0 on Thursday.
Stroman’s no-hit bid ended when Shane Victorino blooped a single to center to lead off the seventh. One out later, Victorino was erased on Mike Napoli’s double-play grounder.
Stroman (6-2) only allowed two other baserunners on walks and matched a season-high by striking out seven in seven innings. The rookie right-hander is 5-1 with an 1.54 ERA in seven home starts.
“He’s pitching like a veteran who’s been around a long time and he’s been very successful,” Gibbons said. “He shuts down good-hitting teams, he’s a great competitor.”
Fifteen games into his big league career, Stroman said he’s achieved more than he expected so far.
“I knew if I came up here and got settled in, I could pitch well and help our team win every game,” he said. “But yeah, I’d definitely say I’ve surpassed (expectations). It’s definitely been a ride so far.”
Stroman hasn’t thrown a complete game since his call up in May, so Gibbons was wary of overworking his pitcher as long as the no-hitter remained intact.
“That was going through our minds,” said Gibbons, who yanked Stroman after 97 pitches. “I don’t know if ‘relieved’ is the word, but it didn’t hurt.”
Todd Redmond worked the eighth and Rob Rasmussen finished.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz felt back spasms on a swing in the ninth and was replaced by Jonny Gomes, who flied out to end the game.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Ortiz said.
Francisco tripled and scored in the second, hit a two-run homer in the third and added a two-run single in the fifth as the Blue Jays won for the fifth time in six games.
“Hopefully he’s heating up at the right time,” Gibbons said.
Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs. Cabrera scored a run and doubled three times.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Brandon Moss hit a grand slam and the Oakland Athletics gave Jeff Samardzija more run support Thursday than he has had all season in a 13-1 victory over the Houston Astros.
Jed Lowrie had three hits and drove in a run for the A’s, who have the best record (63-38) in baseball and are a season-best 25 games over .500.
Chris Carter hit a home run for the Astros, who fell to 2-4 since the All-Star Break.
Samardzija (2-1) gave up a leadoff single to Jose Altuve and then retired 10 straight before Carter’s 20th home run put Houston on the board. He did not walk a batter and struck out six.
Scott Feldman (4-8) lost his straight start, lasting 5 1-3 innings. He allowed six runs on nine hits, walking five and striking out four.
YANKEES 4, RANGERS 2
NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy threw six more solid innings, fellow newcomer Chase Headley delivered another timely hit and the Yankees beat the Rangers for their sixth win in seven games.
Brett Gardner doubled, scored a run and drove in one as the Yankees kept up their push since the All-Star break.
Texas fell to 3-17 in July and dropped 22 games under .500 for the first time since the final week of the 1988 season.
McCarthy improved to 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts since the Yankees got him in a deal with Arizona earlier this month.
Colby Lewis (6-8) gave up three runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings.
PHILLIES 2, GIANTS 1
PHILADELPHIA — Cole Hamels pitched eight strong innings and Chase Utley had a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning to lift the Phillies over the Giants.
Hamels (5-5) got the better of Tim Hudson in a matchup between starters who have combined for seven All-Star appearances. The Philadelphia left-hander gave up six hits while striking out 10 and walking one.
Hudson (8-7) gave up two runs in six innings although both were unearned. The right-hander struck out six and walked two.
The Giants, who were looking for their first four-game sweep in Philadelphia since 1998, lost for just the second time in eight games.
MARLINS 3, BRAVES 2
ATLANTA — Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, Henderson Alvarez won for the first time in three starts and Miami beat Atlanta.
In taking three of four games, the Marlins won just their second road series in the last 10 against the Braves.
Alvarez (7-5) gave up six hits, two runs and one walk with four strikeouts in eight innings. The Marlins are 13-3 in his last 16 starts.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel (0-2), pitching in a non-save situation with the game tied 2-2 to begin the ninth, struck out Garrett Jones and had Marcell Ozuna struck out, too, but a wild pitch bounced away from catcher Evan Gattis. Ozuna advanced to second on another wild pitch and scored on the single to center.
Saltalamacchia went 3 for 4 with two doubles.
Steve Cishek earned his 24th save in 27 chances.
WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 2
MINNEAPOLIS — Hector Noesi allowed three hits over 7 2-3 innings and Adam Eaton had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Chicago White Sox over Minnesota.
Noesi (5-7) gave up two runs, struck out three and walked one. Alexei Ramirez added two hits and an RBI for Chicago and Jake Petricka went one inning to earn his fifth save in six chances.
Phil Hughes (10-7) gave up two runs and four hits and struck out four for the Twins. But he left the game with a right shin contusion in the fourth inning when he was hit by a chopper off the bat of Adam Dunn.
Danny Santana hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning for the Twins.
ROYALS 2, INDIANS 1, 14 innings
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nori Aoki singled home Lorenzo Cain in the 14th inning to lift Kansas City over Cleveland after Indians starter Corey Kluber carried a perfect game into the seventh inning.
Aaron Crow (5-1), the seventh Kansas City pitcher, earned the victory — striking out the side in a perfect 14th.
Marc Rzepcynski (0-3) took the loss.
Kluber held the Royals to two hits, retiring the first 19 batters he faced before Omar Infante lined a single to center.
Mike Moustakas doubled and scored on a throwing error by left fielder Ryan Raburn in the eighth inning to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
The Indians tied it in the ninth off Greg Holland, who blew his second save in 28 chances. Yan Gomes’ two-out single scored Carlos Santana.
Kluber, who allowed only one unearned run in nine innings, struck out 10 and walked none.
Royals starter Danny Duffy gave up two singles — both to Santana — in seven scoreless innings.
ORIOLES 4, MARINERS 0
SEATTLE — Wie-Yen Chen allowed five hits over eight innings, and Delmon Young hit a three-run homer to give Baltimore a victory over Seattle.
Chen (11-3), who has won his past four starts, scattered five singles, walked one and struck out three. His 11 wins tie him for third-most in American League. On the road, Chen is 6-1 with a 3.94 ERA in nine starts.
Darren O’Day finished with a routine ninth inning.
It was Baltimore’s eighth shutout. The Mariners have been shut out 12 times, tying Tampa Bay for the most in the American League.
Hisashi Iwakuma (8-5), who had won his previous three decisions, lost for the first time since June 25. He went seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits.
PADRES 13, CUBS 3
CHICAGO — Tyson Ross struck out a career-high 11, and light-hitting San Diego broke out for a season-best nine runs in the sixth inning in a rout of the Chicago Cubs.
Ross (9-10) allowed one run, five hits and one walk in six innings to reach a career high in wins. He went 3-2 in five July starts, but gave up just four earned runs in 35 innings.
Rene Rivera had three hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs. Will Venable had three hits and two RBIs, and Alexi Amarista and Chris Nelson also drove in two runs apiece with singles in the sixth-inning outburst that gave the Padres their highest scoring output this season.
BREWERS 9, METS 1
MILWAUKEE — Matt Garza allowed two hits over eight innings to rebound from a horrendous outing, and Ryan Braun hit one of three homers for Milwaukee in a victory over the New York Mets.
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.
Garza (7-7) gave up five runs in just one-third of an inning Saturday at Washington, the shortest start of his career.
The Mets sent 31 batters to the plate, four over the minimum.
Milwaukee limped into the All-Star break, losing 11 of 13 games. They have won five of seven games since then to open a three-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central.
Lucas Duda hit his career-high 16th homer for the Mets.
Gee lasted only five innings for the second consecutive start and allowed six runs, the most he’s given up all season.
TIGERS 6, ANGELS 4
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Nick Castellanos drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a double in the sixth inning, and Max Scherzer won his fourth straight decision, leading Detroit over the Los Angeles Angels.
Scherzer (12-3) tied teammate Rick Porcello and New York’s Masahiro Tanaka for the American League lead in wins. He allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings and struck out 11. It was the fourth time this season and 22nd in his career that he had double digits in strikeouts.
Joe Nathan earned his 21st save in 26 chances.
Garrett Richards (11-3) gave up four runs and seven hits and took the loss.