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McGowan denied no-hitter

Leadoff single in 9th foils Toronto righty

Dustin McGowan was looking for a no-hitter and a milestone for Frank Thomas, all in the same game.

McGowan's bid for the second no-hitter in Blue Jays history ended when Jeff Baker singled leading off the ninth inning, and Toronto beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-0, yesterday to complete a three-game sweep at home.

Frank Thomas hit his 499th career homer and Vernon Wells added a three-run drive for the Blue Jays (37-37), who got back to .500 for the first time since they were 13-13 May 1.

"That would have been priceless, 500 and a no-no," McGowan said.

The 25-year-old righthander had to settle for his first career complete game. He walked one and matched a career high with seven strikeouts.

McGowan got ahead of Baker with a slider for strike one, but Baker lined the next pitch, an inside fastball, up the middle and into center field. The Rogers Centre crowd saluted McGowan with a standing ovation.

"He's got dominant stuff," Thomas said. "I've been telling him since spring training, 'Kid, you've got something special.' "

McGowan (3-3) retired the next three batters and finished with 109 pitches. Dave Stieb tossed the only no-hitter for the Blue Jays Sept. 2, 1990, at Cleveland.

McGowan, who allowed six runs in just 1 2/3 innings in his previous start, retired the first 10 batters he faced. Kaz Matsui drew a four-pitch walk with one out in the fourth and stole second, but McGowan struck out Matt Holliday and got Todd Helton to ground out.

Thomas led off the fourth with his 12th home run. It was the second in two days for Thomas, who is one homer shy of becoming the 21st player to hit 500. He struck out in his last two at-bats and finished 1 for 4.

Mariners 3, Reds 2 -- Cincinnati's Ken Griffey capped his Seattle homecoming with two home runs, passing Mark McGwire for seventh on the career list, but Willie Bloomquist's suicide squeeze in the seventh picked up the Mariners.

Griffey hit solo drives off Miguel Batista for his 583d and 584th home runs, tying and then passing McGwire. Ben Broussard hit a two-out, two-run double off Bronson Arroyo (2-9) in the sixth to tie it for Seattle.

Giants 7, Yankees 2 -- Noah Lowry (7-6) pitched two-hit ball into the sixth and Ray Durham had a late two-run double for San Francisco, which won its home series against New York after losing straight.

Barry Bonds scored twice on sacrifice flies, including in the seventh after he walked facing Roger Clemens, who was making his first regular-season relief appearance since 1984 as a Red Sox rookie.

Mets 10, Athletics 2 -- John Maine (8-4) pitched seven solid innings and New York finished off its first series sweep at home since last August by routing Oakland.

Twins 7, Marlins 4 -- Johan Santana (8-6) allowed one earned run in six innings and had an RBI triple, and Joe Mauer homered twice for Minnesota in Miami.

Cubs 3, White Sox 0 -- Alfonso Soriano cut down a runner at the plate in the fifth with a strong throw and then hit his third homer of the cross-town series in the seventh to propel the Cubs to a three-game sweep at US Cellular Field.

Tigers 5, Braves 0 -- Rookie Andrew Miller (3-1) gave up just four hits over six innings plus and Ivan Rodriguez had a two-run single for visiting Detroit, which dealt Atlanta its fourth shutout in five games.

Astros 12, Rangers 9 -- Houston's bullpen blew a four-run lead in the eighth and two-run lead in the ninth, but the Astros prevailed in Arlington, Texas, pulling ahead on Craig Biggio's RBI double in the 10th -- his 2,996th career hit.

Angels 4, Pirates 3 -- Erick Aybar singled home the winning run in the 10th and Jose Molina drove in two runs as host Los Angeles recovered from Francisco Rodriguez's second blown save of the season.

Diamondbacks 8, Orioles 3 -- Arizona moved into sole possession of first in the NL West, as Stephen Drew and Chad Tracy homered in Phoenix.

Phillies 5, Cardinals 1 -- Pinch hitter Shane Victorino had a tiebreaking three-run double with two outs in the eighth for visiting Philadelphia.

Nationals 3, Indians 1 -- Jason Simontacchi (5-5) shut down visiting Cleveland and Jesus Flores drove in two runs for Washington.

Devil Rays 9, Dodgers 4 -- Edwin Jackson (1-8) beat his old team for his first win in almost two years, working six strong innings to lead host Tampa Bay.

Royals 4, Brewers 3 -- Joey Gathright's bases-loaded walk in the top of the 11th off Chris Spurling enabled Kansas City to snap a four-game losing streak.

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