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Kuroda inspires Yankees, Detroit edge Rangers

New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda throws a pitch to the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of their MLB American League bas
New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda throws a pitch to the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of their MLB American League bas

(Reuters) - Japanese ace Hiroki Kuroda pulled out his best performance of the season as the New York Yankees cruised to a 5-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.

Kuroda (6-2) allowed just two hits in eight innings and lowered his ERA to 1.99 to keep the Yankees (26-16) on top of the American League East Division while ensuring the Blue Jays (17-25) remain rooted to the bottom.

Boston (25-17) kept pace, just a game behind the Yankees, with a 3-2 win over Minnesota (18-20) in 10 innings.

Elsewhere, Cleveland needed 10 innings but prevailed 6-3 over Seattle when Jason Kipnis sent a walk-off three-run homer over the right field wall with two outs.

The Indians won for the 15th time in 19 starts to move to 23-17 on the year while dropping Seattle to 20-22.

Detroit (23-17) snapped the Texas Rangers (27-15) good run of form, handing them just their second loss in nine games with a 2-1 road victory.

Tampa Bay (21-20) led by eight runs at one stage but were forced to hold on against a fast finishing Baltimore (23-18) in their 12-10 victory.

Atlanta preserved their National League East division lead with an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Justin Upton belted a grand slam in the sixth inning to help the Braves to 23-18 on the season and dropped the Dodgers to 17-23.

Jordan Pacheco hit his first career grand slam to help Colorado (22-20) beat San Francisco (24-18) for the first time in 11 outings.

Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez pounded two three-run homers but it wasn't enough to get his Brewers (16-24) over the line as they fell 7-6 to St Louis (27-14).

Pittsburgh (25-17) prevailed 5-4 over Houston (11-31), scoring the winning run thanks to a bumbled dropped fly ball in the bottom of the ninth.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (24-18) hammered the Marlins (11-31) 9-2 in Miami thanks to a huge night from Paul Goldschmidt, who was four of five with a pair of two-run homers and a double.

The New York Mets continued to fire with ace right-hander Matt Harvey (5-0) at the helm, taking care of the Chicago Cubs 3-2.

San Diego (18-23) scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up with Washington (23-19) but still fell 6-5 in 10 innings, leaving two runners stranded on base.

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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