|Arizona pitcher Micah Owings touches the plate after his pinch-hit, two-run homer tied the game. (MATT YORK/Associated Press)|
Andy Sonnanstine allowed one run in eight innings, Erik Hinske homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays completed the first winning April in franchise history by beating the Orioles, 8-1, last night in Baltimore.
Sonnanstine (4-1) gave up 6 hits, walked 2, and had a season-high 5 strikeouts in winning his third straight start. He became the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win four games in April and tied the team record for wins in any month.
The righthander surrendered a third-inning RBI single to Brian Roberts, then retired 12 straight batters before Aubrey Huff singled with one out in the seventh.
The victory was the seventh in eight games for the Rays, who went 14-12 in April (after going 1-0 in March). Now in its 11th year of existence, Tampa Bay has never been three games over .500 this late in the season.
Diamondbacks 8, Astros 7 - Pitcher Micah Owings's pinch-hit homer tied the game in the sixth and Arizona rallied from four runs down to beat Houston in Phoenix.
Owings, 4-0 as a starter and arguably the best-hitting pitcher in the game, hit the first pitch from reliever Dave Borkowski into the seats, a two-run shot with two outs that tied it at 7-7.
Arizona (20-8) became the first team this season to win 20 games, a franchise record 19 in April.
Cubs 19, Brewers 5 - Geovany Soto hit two three-run homers as Chicago pounded visiting Milwaukee.
The Cubs scored six runs each in the first and eighth innings while batting around.
Soto's shot in the first capped a six-run outburst, and he finished off a five-run fourth by going deep again off reliever Brian Shouse, who had just come in for Jeff Suppan (1-1).
Tigers 6, Yankees 2 - Placido Polanco homered twice and Marcus Thames also went deep to help Detroit win in New York.
Jeremy Bonderman pitched into the eighth inning after getting off to a rough start and Gary Sheffield had two hits for Detroit, which has won seven of nine. The Tigers opened the season with seven straight losses.
Rangers 11, Royals 9 - Josh Hamilton capped a torrid April (six homers, 32 RBIs in the month) with his first career grand slam and Texas hit a season-high five home runs to beat visiting Kansas City.
Rookie Brandon Boggs hit his first major league homer, and Milton Bradley, David Murphy, and Gerald Laird also homered for the Rangers, who roughed up Brian Bannister (3-3).
Indians 8, Mariners 3 - Cliff Lee won his fifth straight start, leading host Cleveland over Seattle.
Lee's consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 27 on Wladimir Balentien's three-run homer in the seventh. It raised his ERA from 0.28 to 0.96, still lowest in the majors.
Twins 4, White Sox 3 - Justin Morneau came through with a two-out RBI double in the seventh inning, lifting host Minnesota over Chicago.
Nick Blackburn (2-1) wasn't sharp, but he lasted seven innings, allowing only three runs to give the Twins consecutive victories by starting pitchers for the first time in 18 days.
Pirates 13, Mets 1 - Right fielder Xavier Nady, traded by the Mets for Oliver Perez (2-2) and Roberto Hernandez in 2006, went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored and Pittsburgh scored nine unearned runs to win at Shea Stadium.
Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny (2-3), who allowed one hit and no runs, left after the fifth inning with a back injury.
Cardinals 5, Reds 2 - Braden Looper worked six solid innings and Rick Ankiel had three hits and two RBIs, helping host St. Louis hand Aaron Harang (1-4) and Cincinnati the loss.
Aaron Miles had a pair of RBI singles and Jason Isringhausen earned his ninth save in 11 chances for the surprising Cardinals, who won a franchise-record 18 games the first month of the season.
Dodgers 13, Marlins 1 - Chad Billingsley (1-4) pitched seven innings, allowing three hits and one run to lower his ERA from 6.53 to 5.20, and Rafael Furcal had a career-high five hits for Los Angeles, which extended its winning streak to five games by beating host Florida.
Giants 3, Rockies 2 - Jose Castillo ended a 450 at-bat homerless drought with a tiebreaking shot to lead off the seventh inning and Fred Lewis preserved the lead with a diving catch in the eighth that sent San Francisco past visiting Colorado.
Nationals 3, Braves 2 - Felipe Lopez's bases-loaded hit to left with no outs in the 12th lifted host Washington to victory, dropping Atlanta to 0-9 in games decided by one run. The Nationals have their first three-game winning streak since opening the season 3-0.
Padres 4, Phillies 2 - Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Chris Young (2-2) pitched six effective innings to help visiting San Diego beat Philadelphia.
Angels 6, Athletics 1 - Ervin Santana remained unbeaten in six starts, Casey Kotchman drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, and host Los Angeles beat Oakland.