|Twins pitcher Scott Baker gets a hug from catcher Mike Redmond after taking a perfect game into the ninth and settling for a one-hitter. (RICH BATTAGLIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Rays rattle Yankees
Peņa homers twice for Tampa
Coming off a big sweep of Boston, the New York Yankees looked awfully sluggish against Andy Sonnanstine and the improving Devil Rays.
Sonnanstine pitched eight innings of two-hit ball and Carlos Peña homered twice, leading Tampa Bay to a 9-1 rout of the lethargic Yankees last night in New York.
"I think our intensity was there. We just couldn't string anything together," New York leadoff hitter Johnny Damon said.
Carl Crawford capped a huge month with two run-scoring hits, and the surging Devil Rays roughed up an ineffective Phil Hughes to win for the seventh time in eight games. Peña also drew three walks and had his second multihomer game in six days.
Appearing flat after three straight wins over its archrivals, the Red Sox, New York botched an easy rundown play and mustered only Alex Rodriguez's RBI single in the fourth against Sonnanstine (4-9). After that, the rookie righthander retired his final 14 batters.
"You have to give some credit to the kid. He mixed his pitches real well," Jorge Posada said. "He came after us. It seemed like we were behind in the count pretty much the whole game."
Sonnanstine, who lost eight consecutive decisions earlier this year, allowed only an unearned run.
He walked none and struck out five in the longest of his 17 major league starts.
Royals, 9-4; Twins, 5-0 - Scott Baker came within three outs of a perfect game and two outs of a no-hitter, falling short of history but leading host Minnesota over Kansas City in the second game of a doubleheader.
Baker (8-6) entered the ninth inning with a chance for just the 18th perfect game in major league history. But with a Metrodome crowd of 24,986 cheering, he walked John Buck.
Esteban German grounded into a force out and Mike Sweeney pinch hit and blooped a single to left-center for Kansas City's only hit.
The 25-year-old righthander recovered to get the final two outs for a one-hitter.
In the early game, Ross Gload homered and drove in three runs to lift Kansas City.
Mets 7, Braves 1 - Carlos Delgado hit a three-run homer and John Maine (14-8) gave up only three hits and one run to lead New York over host Atlanta, stopping the National League East-leading Mets' losing streak at five games.
Padres 6, Dodgers 4 - Josh Bard singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and host San Diego got past five strong innings by former teammate David Wells to beat Los Angeles and move into first place in the NL West.
Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 3 - Cory Sullivan hit a two-run single in the eighth inning, then scored the go-ahead run on a 10th-inning error as Colorado dropped host Arizona to second place in the NL West.
Athletics 5, Tigers 4 - Dan Johnson lined the game-winning single to right with none out in the 10th inning, lifting host Oakland to the win and dropping Detroit a season-high 5 1/2 games back in the AL Central.
Angels 7, Rangers 6 - Garret Anderson hit a two-run homer and scored the winning run on a 10th-inning infield single by Howie Kendrick, as host Los Angeles topped Texas.
Phillies 9, Marlins 2 - Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick (8-3) took a fastball off his right arm trying to bunt in the second inning, but he still pitched seven innings to earn the win at Miami.
Blue Jays 7, Mariners 5 - Slumping Seattle lost its seventh straight game as Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer and Lyle Overbay and Alex Rios also went deep for host Toronto.
Astros 6, Cubs 1 - Hunter Pence homered twice and had a career-high five RBIs, Wandy Rodriguez pitched six shutout innings, and visiting Houston earned its third win in four games under interim manager Cecil Cooper.
Cardinals 8, Reds 5 - Rick Ankiel hit a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning, and Yadier Molina's two-run homer helped manager Tony La Russa pass Red Schoendienst as the winningest manager in franchise history for host St. Louis. La Russa won his 1,042d game in 12 seasons with the Cardinals.
Brewers 3, Pirates 2 - Yovani Gallardo allowed five hits and two runs in seven sharp innings, and also hit his second homer of the season, lifting host Milwaukee.
Indians 8, White Sox 5 - Casey Blake's three-run double capped host Cleveland's six-run eighth inning in a come-from-behind win over Chicago.
Giants 3, Nationals 2 - Kevin Correia allowed two runs over six innings, and Rajai Davis's broken-bat double capped a three-run second inning as visiting San Francisco won at Washington.