Rays Sting Mariners

Oakland Athletics shortstop Eric Sogard tumbles over as he evades a broken bat after catching a line drive from Houston Astros' Chris Carter during the sevent inning of a baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Oakland Athletics shortstop Eric Sogard tumbles over as he evades a broken bat after catching a line drive from Houston Astros' Chris Carter during the sevent inning of a baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

St. Petersburg, Fla. — Alex Cobb pitched five strong innings in his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 7-1 on Thursday night.

Cobb (7-2) ended his night by striking out Nick Franklin on a full-count pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. He received a standing ovation as he walked off the field. The right-hander gave up one run and three hits, striking out six and walking two,

Wil Myers, who had four RBIs, drove in two with a double and Evan Longoria added a two-run homer off Joe Saunders (10-12) that put the Rays up 5-1 in the fifth.

Cobb, activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game, sustained a concussion after being struck on the right ear by a liner hit by Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer on June 15. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and was hospitalized overnight.

Angels 8, Yankees 4

New York — Chris Nelson hit his first two home runs of the season, including a grand slam against his former team, to send C.J. Wilson and Los Angeles past New York.

Josh Hamilton and rookie J.B. Shuck each had an RBI single to help the struggling Angels prevent a four-game sweep. Wilson (13-6) won his fifth consecutive decision, keeping Alfonso Soriano in the ballpark after the streaking slugger piled up four homers and 13 RBIs the previous two nights.

Soriano extended his sensational tear, going 4 for 5 with an RBI single, but the Yankees managed little else until a three-run ninth as their four-game winning streak ended. After finishing a 5-2 homestand, they head to Fenway Park this weekend to face first-place Boston.

Athletics 5, Astros 0

Oakland, Calif. — Sonny Gray struck out nine on the way to an impressive first major league victory, using Nate Freiman’s two-run homer and four RBIs to lead Oakland to a victory over Houston that averted a three-game sweep by the lowly Astros.

Freiman had a two-run double in the first, and then hit his third home run in the third with a drive to the left-field stands. He finished with four hits.

Tigers 4, Royals 1

Detroit — Prince Fielder homered for the first time in three weeks, hitting a two-run shot in the first inning to help Detroit over Kansas City.

Andy Dirks added two doubles and two singles for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who took the opener of this five-game series with third-place Kansas City. The Royals have lost three in a row after a 17-3 stretch that put them in contention for a postseason spot.

Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (11-7) allowed a run and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. Bruce Rondon finished the eighth, and Joaquin Benoit pitched a hitless ninth for his 16th save in 16 chances.

Jeremy Guthrie (12-9) allowed four runs and 13 hits in seven innings.

Twins 4, White Sox 3

Minneapolis — Chris Herrmann’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch-runner Doug Bernier and lifted Minnesota over Chicago.

The Twins trailed 3-2 heading into the eighth, but Joe Mauer doubled and scored on a base hit from Justin Morneau to tie it. Herrmann came through against Ramon Troncoso (1-4) in the ninth to complete the comeback.

Cardinals 6, Pirates 5 (12)

St. Louis — Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run on Matt Holliday’s single in the 12th inning, helping St. Louis beat Pittsburgh for its second extra-inning triumph over the NL Central leaders in three days.

The Cardinals took two of three in the series to pull within two games of the sagging Pirates, who have dropped five of six. St. Louis won 4-3 in 14 innings in the series opener on Tuesday night.

Reds 2, Brewers 1

Milwaukee — Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and Tony Cingrani pitched solidly into the seventh, lifting Cincinnati over Milwaukee.

Cingrani (6-2) allowed only a second-inning home run to Khris Davis. Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 30th save in 34 chances.

The Reds have won five straight and 10 of 13.

Votto’s homer was the only earned run allowed by Kyle Lohse (8-8) in seven innings.