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A-Rod makes himself heard

Johnny Damon is greeted by Alex Rodriguez after leading off the game with a home run. A-Rod later found himself in the middle of another controversy. (MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS)

Alex Rodriguez helped the New York Yankees end their five-game losing streak with his bat -- and his mouth.

Rodriguez distracted Toronto third baseman Howie Clark on a key popup late in the game, touching off arguments all over the field, and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 10-5, last night in Toronto.

Rodriguez hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth that made it 7-5. Jorge Posada followed with a high infield pop and Rodriguez ran hard, cutting between Clark and shortstop John McDonald.

Replays showed Rodriguez shouting something, and Clark backed off at the last second. McDonald was only a few steps behind Clark, but couldn't make the catch and the ball dropped for an RBI single.

"I just said, 'Hah!' That's it," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

McDonald started jawing with Rodriguez, and third base umpire Chad Fairchild got between them. Toronto manager John Gibbons came out to argue and exchanged words with Rodriguez and third base coach Larry Bowa before leaving the field as plate umpire Eric Cooper intervened. Rodriguez stayed on the bag with a smirk.

When Jason Giambi stepped up to hit, he seemed to get into it with catcher Jason Phillips and Cooper settled them down.

Giambi followed with a two-run single. When the game ended, many of the Blue Jays stayed on the bench, staring at Rodriguez and the Yankees.

"They have their opinions," Rodriguez said, adding he pulled the trick to help the Yankees "win a game. We're desperate."

Rodriguez said three or four times each week, opponents shout at him while he pursues foul pops near their dugout.

"It's not like he said, 'I got it,' " Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Johnny Damon led off with a home run for the Yankees, who avoided falling nine games under .500 for the first time since they were 20-29 after play June 20, 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

New York took a quick lead against rookie Jesse Litsch (1-2), scoring five times in the first inning.

Yankees rookie Tyler Clippard (2-1) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings.

Angels 8, Mariners 6 -- Vladimir Guerrero hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and Francisco Rodriguez notched his 18th save in 19 chances for host Los Angeles.

Devil Rays 5, Tigers 3 -- James Shields (4-0) settled down after a shaky first inning to throw the second complete game of his career, and Elijah Dukes and Brendan Harris backed the righthander with solo homers for host Tampa Bay.

Orioles 3, Royals 0 -- Erik Bedard won a matchup of staff aces with Gil Meche and Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer, leading Baltimore past host Kansas City for the Orioles' fifth-straight win.

Athletics 6, Rangers 1 -- Dan Haren (6-2) won his sixth straight decision and Dan Johnson drove in three runs for host Oakland.

Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3 -- At Philadelphia, 43-year-old Randy Johnson (4-3) returned from tendinitis to toss one-hit, shutout ball over six innings, and Eric Byrnes homered twice to lead Arizona to its seventh straight win.

Former Seattle teammates Johnson and the 44-year-old Jamie Moyer (5-4) combined to set a record for the matchup of the oldest lefties in history. At a combined 88 years 90 days, Johnson and Moyer broke the record set the last time these two faced off in early May.

Braves 9, Brewers 3 -- Brian McCann hit a go-ahead, three-run double in a seven-run eighth inning, and Atlanta sent host Milwaukee to its seventh loss in eight games.

Reds 4, Astros 3 -- Aaron Harang (6-2) pitched a six-hitter for his first complete game of the season, and Cincinnati handed host Houston its 10th consecutive loss.

Dodgers 5, Nationals 0 -- Derek Lowe (5-5) pitched seven scoreless innings, reached base three times, and scored once as Los Angeles shut out host Washington for the second straight game.

Marlins 9, Cubs 0 -- Dan Uggla homered twice, and Miguel Cabrera and Josh Willingham went deep to lead Florida at Chicago.

Giants 3, Mets 0 -- Barry Zito (5-5) outpitched Tom Glavine (5-3) over seven sharp innings and San Francisco snapped a four-game losing streak with a win at New York.

Cardinals 8, Rockies 4 -- Todd Wellemeyer earned a victory in his first major league start and Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit back-to-back homers in the fifth to help St. Louis end host Colorado's seven-game winning streak.

Padres 9, Pirates 0 -- Chris Young (6-3) dominated Pittsburgh, allowing four hits over seven innings for visiting San Diego.

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