|Alex Rodriguez displays a classic follow-through on his second home run of the night in the eighth. (RON KUNTZ/REUTERS)|
A-Rod turns on the power
His two homers lead Yankees past Indians
Alex Rodriguez kept up his unrelenting surge against the Indians -- six homers in five games -- and New York cruised to an 11-2 victory last night in Cleveland that gave Mike Mussina his 100th win with the Yankees.
Rodriguez hit a pair of two-run homers as the hottest team in the majors did everything right. Jason Giambi added a pinch-hit homer and Jose Molina had a career-high four hits.
New York moved 14 games over .500 (65-51) for the first time this season, an emphatic turnaround for a team that was stranded 14 1/2 games out of first place May 29. The Yankees have stormed into contention in the AL East -- five games back of the Red Sox -- by going 22-8 since the All-Star break, best in the majors.
By contrast, the AL Central-leading Indians are 13-16 since the break.
Cardinals 6, Dodgers 1 -- Rick Ankiel homered twice and drove in three runs -- the latest power display by the former pitcher -- as St. Louis overpowered visiting Los Angeles.
Ankiel, who scored three times, hit the first pitches he saw in the first and seventh innings over the right-field fence, giving him three home runs since he was called up from Triple A Memphis Thursday. He also singled and scored in a three-run third to help the Cardinals win for the third time in four games.
Braves 7, Phillies 5 -- Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur homered, and Atlanta's bullpen pitched five effective innings to hold off host Philadelphia.
Jimmy Rollins and Aaron Rowand homered for the Phillies, and Tadahito Iguchi added a two-run double.
Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his 19th save.
Tigers 5, Athletics 2 -- Magglio Ordonez homered and Justin Verlander won for the first time in four weeks as Detroit beat visiting Oakland.
Verlander (12-4) hadn't won since July 15 and gave the Tigers just their second win from a starter in 24 games. He allowed two runs and seven hits with three walks in six-plus innings. Four relievers finished, with Todd Jones pitching a perfect ninth for his 31st save in 36 tries.
Marlins 7, Mets 5 -- Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth and Josh Willingham had his first career grand slam as Florida rallied to win at Shea Stadium.
Mets lefthander Tom Glavine allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings in his first start since becoming the 23d member of the 300-win club. The home crowd cheered his every move, giving him a standing ovation as he warmed up before the first inning.
Pirates 13, Giants 3 -- Freddy Sanchez homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and Adam LaRoche connected for the second consecutive game to lead visiting Pittsburgh past San Francisco.
Pittsburgh showed plenty of power on a day Barry Bonds sat out to rest after his record-breaking week.
Diamondbacks 1, Nationals 0 -- Brandon Webb pitched his second shutout in a row to extend his scoreless inning streak to a club-record 33 and lead host Arizona to its 17th victory in 20 games.
Webb (12-8) hasn't allowed a run since the sixth inning of a 6-2 loss to the Cubs in Chicago July 20, five starts ago.
Angels 4, Twins 3 -- John Lackey earned his 15th win and Maicer Izturis hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, rallying host Los Angeles.
Rockies 15, Cubs 2 -- Jamey Carroll's pinch-hit grand slam broke open a tie game in the sixth and Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki each drove in three runs to lead Colorado over visiting Chicago.
Reds 8, Padres 3 -- Bobby Livingston (3-2) pitched brilliantly into the ninth and Jeff Keppinger backed him with three RBIs to help host Cincinnati beat San Diego.
Royals 4, Blue Jays 1 -- Alex Gordon went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer and Leo Nunez (2-0) combined with two relievers for a four-hitter to power host Kansas City.
Mariners 7, White Sox 6 -- Yuniesky Betancourt hit his first career grand slam, Raul Ibanez had a three-run homer, and Miguel Batista (12-8) sparked Seattle at Chicago.
Brewers 7, Astros 4 -- Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer and Prince Fielder followed with a solo shot, both off Houston closer Brad Lidge (3-2), as visiting Milwaukee rallied in the ninth to win.
Devil Rays 3, Rangers 0 -- Edwin Jackson (3-11) pitched a four-hitter for his first career complete game, lifting Tampa Bay at Arlington, Texas.