Defensive replacement Jake Marisnick made a perfect throw from left field to nail Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate for the final out Thursday at New York and the Houston Astros held off the New York Yankees 3-2 in a matchup between teams with the best records in baseball.
Unbeaten Dallas Keuchel (6-0) became the first six-game winner in the majors, helped by a home run from Carlos Correa.
The Astros won their fourth in a row and improved to 24-11 — their top mark after 35 games since the franchise began playing in 1962.
Ken Giles wound up with his 10th save in 11 tries, saved by Marisnick.
Ellsbury’s single with two outs in the ninth inning put runners at the corners, and then the fleet leadoff hitter stole second. Gary Sanchez followed with a sharp RBI single to left.
Marisnick, who came into the game in the seventh, fired a strike to catcher Brian McCann to get the sliding Ellsbury.
RANGERS 5, PADRES 2: At Arlington, Texas, Mike Napoli’s second homer was a game-ending three-run shot as Texas beat San Diego.
The Rangers had been held scoreless by San Diego starter Clayton Richard until Napoli hit a 433-foot homer to left on the first pitch of the eighth inning. Napoli topped that with a 448-foot shot into the club-level seats higher in left field to end a four-run ninth off Padres closer Brandon Maurer (0-2).
BLUE JAYS 7, MARINERS 2: At Toronto, Steve Pearce hit a three-run home run, Justin Smoak had a solo homer and finished with four RBIs, and Toronto snapped Seattle’s win streak at four.
Marco Estrada (2-2) allowed two runs over six innings for the Blue Jays, who have won four of five.
Smoak went 3 for 3 with a walk against his former team. He had an RBI single in the first, walked in the fourth, singled home two runs in the fifth, and connected off rookie Sam Gaviglio in the seventh.
ROYALS 6, RAYS 0: At St. Petersburg, Fla., major league ERA leader Jason Vargas went seven more scoreless innings, Salvador Perez had a two-run double during a five-run eighth inning and Kansas City beat Tampa Bay.
Vargas (5-1) scattered three hits and dropped his ERA from 1.19 to 1.01.
Jorge Bonifacio hit an RBI single off Diego Moreno in the decisive eighth before Whit Merrifield had a run-scoring single and then circled the bases when center fielder Kevin Kiermaier misplayed the hit for a three-base error.
Merrifield also homered for the Royals, who won three of four against the Rays. Kansas City had lost 13 of 16 entering the series.