Lester, Lackey, Cespedes among trade-deadline headliners
In the seventh inning of a tight game at Comerica Park - with the bases loaded, no less - Detroit centerfielder Austin Jackson suddenly trotted from his position to the dugout.
He was on his way out of town, too, in a blockbuster, three-team swap that brought former Cy Young winner David Price to the AL Central-leading Tigers.
A whopping 18 teams began the day within five games of playoff position, resulting in a dozen deals shortly before Major League Baseball's 4 p.m. EDT trade deadline.
The Miami Marlins, often sellers as deadline day approaches, became buyers when they acquired pitcher Jarred Cosart from Houston in a six-player trade.
A look at the deals:
* The Red Sox picked Oakland as the landing spot for the coveted Lester, then paired up with the team they beat in the World Series last October to swap Lackey for Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig. Lackey is 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA. Kelly is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in seven starts. Craig is batting .237 with seven homers and 44 RBI.
* Looking for its first World Series title since 1989, Oakland kept dealing. After getting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs in July, the team with the best record in the majors added Lester and outfielders Jonny Gomes and Sam Fuld. Cespedes, 28, in the third season of a $36 million, four-year contract he signed before spring training 2012. he is batting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBI.
"He's a tremendous talent, we've had a tremendous amount of success since he's been here," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "It is difficult. But if you're going to separate yourself from everybody else and try to get a player like Lester, you have to do something that's unique."
* Price, a 28-year-old lefty, joins fellow Cy Young winners Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in Detroit. In the three-team deal, Jackson went to Seattle while pitcher Drew Smyly and minor league infielder Willy Adames joined Tampa Bay. Price (11-8, 3.11 ERA) isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. The Rays also got infielder Nick Franklin from Seattle.
* Cabrera teared up in the Cleveland clubhouse as he talked about being traded to NL East-leading Washington for infielder Zach Walters. "I had fun here," he said.
* Milwaukee acquired two-time Gold Glove outfielder Gerardo Parra from Arizona for two minor leaguers. Parra was hitting .259 with six homers and 30 RBI.
* The Yankees acquired Drew from the Red Sox for third baseman Kelly Johnson. The Yankees also completed another deal before the deadline, acquiring infielder Martin Prado from Arizona for minor leaguer Pete O'Brien. Prado is expected to play regularly in rightfield.
* In Cosart, the Marlins acquired a former Phillies prospect who was 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA for the Astros. In the six-player deal, Miami also acquired infielder-outfielder Kike Hernandez and outfielder Austin Wates for third baseman Colin Moran, outfielder Jake Marisnick, righthander Francis Martes and a 2015 compensatory draft pick.
* Atlanta acquired infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and reliever James Russell from the Chicago Cubs for catching prospect Victor Caratini.
In NL games
* At Chicago, Jake Arrieta (6-2) struck out seven in seven innings, leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
* At San Diego, Shelby Miller (8-8) and three relievers combined on a three-hitter, and Oscar Taveras hit a two-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Padres, 6-2.
* At Miami, Cincinnati benefited from baseball's new replay system and the rule preventing catchers from blocking the plate in a 3-1 victory over the Marlins. With the Marlins leading 1-0 in the top of the eighth, the Reds loaded the bases with one out. Todd Frazier flied to rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton, whose throw to the plate easily beat Zack Cozart for what appeared to be the final out of the inning. After a replay review, the call was overturned because catcher Jeff Mathis was ruled to be blocking the plate, tying the game 1-1.
In AL games
* At Baltimore, Albert Pujols singled in a run in the 13th inning and Tyler Skaggs combined with six relievers on a five-hitter as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Orioles, 1-0. Skaggs left in the fifth inning with forearm tightness.
* At Detroit, Moises Sierra had four hits, and Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton added three apiece to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 7-4 victory over the Tigers. Detroit's recently acquired reliever, Joakim Soria (1-4), hit Paul Konerko with the bases loaded in the seventh to give the White Sox a 5-4 lead.
* At Cleveland, Mike Zunino's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 6-5 win over the Indians. Bryan Shaw (4-3) walked Kyle Seager to start the inning before Zunino hit his 17th home run.
* At Houston, Nolan Reimold's second solo homer of the game broke a ninth-inning tie and lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-5 win over the Astros.
* At Kansas City, Alcides Escobar's tiebreaking, two-run triple triggered a four-run seventh inning as the Royals beat the Minnesota Twins, 6-3.