When John Lackey went to three-ball counts on his first two batters, he had no idea it would be such a special night.
He quickly found his footing on the mound as well as his dominant fastball.
Lackey retired 27 straight batters after allowing a leadoff double, winning his third straight start by pitching the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 victory over the host Oakland Athletics last night
``I knew I was pitching well, but I wasn't aware that nobody got on base until after the game," said Lackey, who had to adjust his footing to keep from slipping. ``I knew I hadn't been in the stretch for a while."
Lackey (7-5) matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and threw a one-hitter to outpitch All-Star Barry Zito. It was the righthander's fifth career complete game and fourth shutout, his first clean slate since a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay May 7, 2004.
``John was as locked in as we've seen him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``For him to put down 27 in a row after a leadoff double in a game you know is going to be low scoring with Barry Zito on the mound, is a great effort."
Robb Quinlan hit a two-run homer and Chone Figgins added a solo shot for the Angels, who matched their season best with four home runs in a 7-5 loss Thursday night.
Los Angeles shortstop Orlando Cabrera went 0 for 4, ending his streak of reaching base safely in 63 consecutive games -- the longest run in the majors since at least 1960. Ted Williams holds the record with 84 straight games in 1949.
After Mark Kotsay doubled to start the bottom of the first inning, Lackey recorded 27 consecutive outs to finish the game in 2 hours 1 minute. Not since the Dodgers' Jerry Reuss June 11, 1982, against Cincinnati, had a pitcher retired 27 in a row following a leadoff hit.
Indians 9, Orioles 0 -- Travis Hafner became the first player in major league history to hit five grand slams before the All-Star break, backing C.C. Sabathia in his fourth career shutout and sending host Cleveland past Baltimore.
Royals 13, Blue Jays 3 -- Luke Hudson allowed one run in five innings in his first start of the season and John Buck and Matt Stairs homered to lead host Kansas City to its fourth straight victory.
Tigers 6, Mariners 1 -- Jeremy Bonderman came within one out of a shutout and Craig Monroe hit a long homer, leading visiting Detroit past Seattle.
Rangers 9, Twins 4 -- Michael Young and Gary Matthews Jr. homered, sending host Texas past Minnesota.
Dodgers 9, Giants 7 -- Nomar Garciaparra's tie-breaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning boosted host Los Angeles Dodgers over San Francisco.
Barry Bonds gave the Giants a 5-4 lead in the third inning with a three-run homer, the 720th of his career and his first since June 24, a span of 25 at-bats. Bonds, who is 35 home runs behind all-time leader Hank Aaron, added an RBI single in the ninth.
Garciaparra, who is going to his sixth All-Star game and first as a National Leaguer, drove an 0-2 pitch from Jeremy Accardo (1-3) into the bullpen in left with one out in the eighth. It was his 11th homer of the season and it broke a 6-6 tie.
Marlins 7, Mets 3 -- Dontrelle Willis (6-7) hit a grand slam and pitched effectively into the eighth inning for visiting Florida.
Willis's fourth career homer, and first this season, highlighted Florida's six-run fourth. It also was the first grand slam hit by the Marlins this season. Florida, which has scored 32 runs in the past three games, won for the second time in seven tries and snapped the Mets' three-game winning streak.
Cardinals 8, Astros 2 -- Jason Marquis shut down host Houston for his 11th win and pinch hitter John Rodriguez homered for St. Louis.
Gary Bennett added three hits and an RBI for St. Louis. Marquis (11-6) allowed two runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Reds 10, Braves 5 -- Cincinnati put a decisive end to its six-game losing streak, scoring eight runs in the second inning in a victory at Atlanta.
The 10 hits in an inning were the most in 17 years for the Reds, and the eight runs were their most this season.
Cubs 7, Brewers 2 -- Carlos Zambrano (8-3) allowed one run over six innings to win his fifth straight decision for Chicago at Milwaukee.
Padres 3, Nationals 2 -- Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, including a home run, and San Diego won its third straight game, defeating host Washington.
Pirates 3, Phillies 2 -- Ian Snell (8-6) allowed three hits over seven innings and Pittsburgh snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory at Philadelphia.