That was the case on Tuesday night, with John Lackey shutting down the Rays in his seven innings of work and David Ortiz mashing a three-run homer in the Red Sox' 8-5 win over Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.
A couple of hundred miles to the south, Cliff Lee was working on a gem. Lee pitched a complete game against the Yankees, giving up four runs — three earned — on eight hits and one walk in the Mariners' 7-4 win in the Bronx.
For the Yankees, Phil Hughes suffered just his second loss of the season, giving up seven runs — six earned — in 5 2/3 innings. The 10 hits he allowed was a season high, as were the six earned runs, which pushed his ERA from 3.17 to 3.58.
The end result is the Yankees' lead in the AL East being reduced to a single game. The Yanks won't have it any easier on Wednesday night, when they square off against Felix Hernandez, while the Sox will send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the hill against Matt Garza, who is 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA in his career at Fenway Park.