|Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez begins home-run trot No. 32 of the season after a two-run blast off Josh Towers in the third inning. (SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS)|
Yankees keep the beat going
Rodriguez sparks win over Blue Jays
Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and the Yankees got another big hit from Andy Phillips, beating the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4, last night in New York in a noticeably even-tempered game.
Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano also connected off Josh Towers (4-6) for the resurgent Yankees, who have won nine of 12 overall and four of five since the All-Star break. Mariano Rivera earned his third save in three days.
Troy Glaus homered twice against Kei Igawa, and Alex Rios also went deep for Toronto. Glaus barely missed another home run when he opened the ninth with a triple off the center-field fence.
Rivera then struck out Frank Thomas and Lyle Overbay before Aaron Hill grounded out to end it. The Blue Jays stranded 12 runners.
There were no beanballs in the first game between the teams since Rodriguez distracted Toronto third baseman Howie Clark by saying something as he ran past him on a popup in late May. The ball dropped for a run-scoring single, giving New York an insurance run in the ninth inning.
The Blue Jays were steamed about it at the time, but yesterday they downplayed any lingering anger.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's over," manager John Gibbons said, adding that he hadn't heard his players talking much about it either. "There was a lot thrown at it, but it's gone."
Rodriguez played a big part with his bat, giving New York a 4-2 lead in the third with his major league-leading 32d homer this season and No. 496 of his career.
Mariners 4, Orioles 2 -- Ichiro Suzuki had two hits and Horacio Ramirez allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings, retiring his last 11 batters, to power host Seattle.
Yuniesky Betancourt hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to give the Mariners a two-run lead they wouldn't relinquish.
J.J. Putz finished the ninth inning for his 27th save. It was his 29th straight conversion dating to Sept. 30, extending the longest streak in the major leagues and ending Baltimore's three-game winning streak.
White Sox 11, Indians 10 -- Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer, highlighting Chicago's nine-run sixth inning, but the White Sox barely held off host Cleveland.
Konerko's 19th homer, off reliever Fernando Cabrera, was one of five extra-base hits in the sixth that helped the White Sox open an 11-2 lead.
Cleveland got a three-run homer from Franklin Gutierrez in the sixth, and then scored five times off four Chicago relievers in the eighth.
Dodgers 10, Phillies 3 -- Jeff Kent and Matt Kemp hit three-run homers and host Los Angeles routed Philadelphia for its fifth straight victory.
Brad Penny allowed a run and four hits over seven innings to become the first Dodger to begin a season 11-1 since Doug Rau in 1977.
Cubs 3, Giants 2 -- Aramis Ramirez lined a go-ahead two-run double off the wall in left with two outs in the eighth inning, and host Chicago rallied past San Francisco, which has dropped five straight.
Rich Hill (6-6) won for the first time in more than a month, getting just enough offense in eight innings.
Padres 5, Mets 1 -- David Wells pitched six strong innings and Michael Barrett had three hits and three RBIs, his best game since coming over in a trade with the Cubs in June, leading host San Diego past New York.
Rangers 4, Athletics 1 -- Jerry Hairston and Marlon Byrd hit two-run doubles and Jamey Wright threw seven scoreless innings as Texas handed host Oakland its eighth straight loss.
Cardinals 5, Marlins 3 -- Chris Duncan and Adam Kennedy homered and Braden Looper won for the first time in seven starts as St. Louis triumped in Miami Gardens.
Rockies 10, Pirates 8 -- Matt Holliday drove in three runs for Colorado, which almost let an eight-run lead slip away before holding on at Pittsburgh.
Nationals 4, Astros 3 -- Dmitri Young hit a go-ahead, three-run homer to lead Washington past Houston, which has lost seven consecutive road games.
Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 3 -- Corey Hart and Ryan Braun homered, Dave Bush pitched six strong innings, and host Milwaukee won its third straight.