Chris Sale's stance on player comfort guaranteed him the majority of the MLB headlines heading into Thursday's action, but he could not emerge from the controversy with a win with the Chicago White Sox.
Sale suffered just his fourth defeat of the season as his White Sox went down to the Chicago Cubs in a local affair, after he protested against having to wear a 1976 throwback jersey by cutting up the uniforms the team had been scheduled to wear, prompting a club-imposed five-day suspension and fine.
The White Sox starting pitcher threw six innings on his return and allowed two runs and six hits in a bad day at the office.
Dexter Fowler ran well between the bases to score two runs of a Kris Bryant double and a Ben Zobrist single, while Zobrist scored himself off an Addison Russell hit.
Mitch Moreland's eighth-inning homer - and second of the game - proved the difference as the Texas Rangers edged the Kansas City Royals 3-2.
The Royals managed six hits but only scored twice as the Rangers proved more efficient, scoring their three runs off just four hits.
Five runs from five innings got the job done for the St. Louis Cardinals despite a fightback from the Miami Marlins as they won 5-4.
Three-run and two-run third and fourth innings got the job done before the Marlins could respond with a three-run sixth and a solo effort in the seventh.
The Philadelphia Phillies also got it done early with a five-run opener putting them on their way to a 7-5 win over the Atlanta Braves, as the Minnesota Twins accounted for the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4.
The Colorado Rockies ran out 2-1 winners over the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals triumphed over the San Francisco Giants 4-2 and the Boston Red Sox lost to the Los Angeles Angels 2-1.
Rangers' veteran slugger Moreland blasted two homers to give ace Cole Hamels all the run support he needed in a 3-2 win over the Royals.
COLE RACKS UP ROYALS
Rangers ace Hamels was in top form as he picked up 12 strikeouts in his team's win.
NO WAY, JOSE
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez suffered his second career home loss in his 38th home start at the hands of the Cardinals (now 26-2 career at home). In the 5-4 loss, Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki recorded a hit, the 2,998th of his career.
BLUE JAYS TAKE ON ORIOLES
The battle for first place in the AL East takes centre stage as Kevin Gausman (2-7, 3.77 ERA) and the Orioles travel north of the border to face Marco Estrada (5-4, 2.94 ERA) to kick off a three-game series.