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Late fireworks earn Angels victory over Cardinals

Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes (front) crosses home plate for a run in front of San Diego Padres catcher Nick Hundley during the sixth inning
Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes (front) crosses home plate for a run in front of San Diego Padres catcher Nick Hundley during the sixth inning

(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Angels provided some late Independence Day fireworks with an explosive three-run ninth inning to complete a 6-5 comeback victory over the visiting St Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

Slugger Josh Hamilton tied the game with a two-run homer before Erick Aybar ended it with a walk-off single as the Angels (41-44) rallied from 3-5 down to record their eighth win in nine games.

Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, seeking his 12th win of the season, started the ninth under 100 pitches but was pulled after surrendering a broken-bat leadoff single by Albert Pujols.

Closer Edward Mujica (0-1) was brought in and his second pitch was unceremoniously dispatched over the wall in center field as Hamilton tied the game.

Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo followed with singles and Mujica retired his next two batters before Aybar drove in the winning run with an opposite-field single to left.

Allen Craig hit a three-run homer while Daniel Descalso added three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who slipped to 50-34 for the season.

At Boston's Fenway Park, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each drove in two runs as the American League-leading Red Sox combined for 18 hits to beat the San Diego Padres 8-2 and complete a three-game sweep.

Allen Webster secured his first major league win in five starts this season and Brandon Snyder added a solo home run for Boston (53-34) who recorded their fourth straight victory, and their eighth in nine games.

Jesus Guzman singled in a run and Chase Headley added a sacrifice fly as San Diego (40-46) slipped to a season-high sixth successive defeat.

In Minnesota, Vernon Wells drove in three runs while Ichiro Suzuki and Travis Hafner each had three hits and two runs scored to power the visiting New York Yankees to a 9-5 victory over the struggling Twins at Target Field.

Ichiro's two-run triple capped a four-run sixth inning and rookie Zoilo Almonte had two hits and drove in a run as the Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the Twins, who have lost five in a row and 10 of 13.

Elsewhere, the hosting Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 while the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a 15th inning to battle past the Mets 5-4 in New York.

Dan Straily allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings while striking out six as Oakland improved to 50-36 and maintained their place at the top of the American League West standings.

In New York, Cliff Pennington hit a two-out RBI single in the 15th inning for the Diamondbacks to overcome a pair of extra-inning homers and salvage a split of their four-game series with the Mets.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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