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Kazmir is razor sharp for Rays

He strikes out 10 in rout of Rangers

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Associated Press / May 27, 2008

Scott Kazmir won his fourth straight start, striking out 10 in seven innings to lead the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays over the Texas Rangers, 7-3, last night for their 16th win in their last 17 home games.

Eric Hinske hit a three-run homer for the Rays, who at 31-20 have the best record in the major leagues. Tampa Bay is just the second team - joining the 1903 New York Giants - to have the best mark on Memorial Day after finishing with the worst record in the big leagues the previous season (66-96).

"That's something that I've always dreamed about," said Rays left fielder Carl Crawford, who joined the team in 2002. "We want to keep playing good and be consistent. We know that a lot of people think we'll probably fade at the end. We just want to try to show people it's no fluke. We want to try and keep it going."

While Tampa Bay is 11 games over .500 for the first time, the Rays drew an announced crowd of just 12,174 for the holiday game.

Kazmir (4-1) retired his first 10 batters, seven on strikeouts, before Michael Young singled to center with one out in the fourth. Kazmir allowed one run and three hits, striking out the side in the first and third innings. He has given up two runs over 26 innings during his winning streak.

Sidney Ponson (3-1) gave up five runs and 12 hits in five innings for Texas, which is 19-11 since April 25. Ian Kinsler had three RBIs, including a two-run homer.

Run-scoring singles by Carlos Pena in the first and B.J. Upton in the fourth put the Rays ahead, 2-0, and Hinske homered in the fifth.

Blue Jays 7, Royals 2 - Shaun Marcum won for the first time in four starts, Gregg Zaun hit a two-run home run, and host Toronto completed its first four-game sweep of Kansas City.

Toronto outscored the Royals, 23-4, in the series and extended Kansas City's losing streak to eight, the Royals' longest since Sept. 17-26, 2006. The Royals have been swept in consecutive four-game series for the first time in team history.

Marco Scutaro also homered for the Blue Jays (28-25), who have won five straight and 11 of 14 to move three games above .500 for the first time this season.

Marcum (5-3) gave up two runs - one earned - and five hits in 7 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.64. He struck out six and walked one. Jesse Carlson and Jason Frasor completed the seven-hitter.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 3 - Mark Teixeira drove in four runs as host Atlanta handed Arizona ace Brandon Webb his second straight defeat.

Webb (9-2) allowed seven runs - four earned - and a season-high 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start since Oct. 1, 2006. Webb had won his first nine decisions before losing, 3-1, at Florida last week.

Webb struck out eight, walked three, and fell behind, 5-1, in the second.

Manny Acosta (3-1) pitched two hitless innings to win in relief of Jair Jurrjens, who gave up three runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. Jeff Bennett entered with a 5-3 lead, a man on, and two outs in the fifth and retired Mark Reynolds on a fly out.

Teixeira hit a two-run double in the first and added a two-run single in the second. Brian McCann went deep in the fifth, just the fourth homer against Webb this season.

Phillies 20, Rockies 5 - Chase Utley drove in a career-best six runs for host Philadelphia, and Jamie Moyer (5-3) had a season-high seven strikeouts in seven solid innings against Colorado.

Utley hit a three-run shot, tying him for the NL lead with 16 homers, and finished 3 for 6. Chris Coste added a three-run homer, Pedro Feliz had four hits and four RBIs, and the Phillies batted around three times and had season highs in hits (19) and runs a day after beating Houston, 15-6.

Philadelphia hadn't scored 20 runs since beating the Cubs, 21-8, on July 3, 1999. It was only the 10th time in franchise history the Phillies scored at least 20 runs.

Ryan Spilborghs had a three-run homer for struggling Colorado, which is 11 games under .500.

White Sox 6, Indians 3 - Orlando Cabrera's fourth hit of the night drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th, and Chicago handed Cleveland its ninth loss in 10 games.

Boone Logan (2-1) pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings for the win and Bobby Jenks got the final three outs for his 13th save. Jenks allowed two singles, then got Jhonny Peralta to hit into a double play and struck out Franklin Gutierrez.

Angels 1, Tigers 0 - Detroit's Bobby Seay walked Garret Anderson on four pitches with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th to force home the winning run for host Los Angeles.

Macier Izturis led off the 12th with a single, and, after Gary Matthews Jr. flied out, Vladimir Guerrero singled to center to advance Izturis to third. Freddy Dolsi (0-1) intentionally walked Torii Hunter before Seay came on to face Anderson.

Marlins 7, Mets 3 - Luis Gonzalez hit a three-run double for visiting Florida, which moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 14, 2005.

Jose Reyes homered twice for the scuffling Mets but committed a two-out error at shortstop in the first that led to two unearned runs. New York has lost seven of eight.

Cubs 3, Dodgers 1 - Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez homered to back Chicago starter Ryan Dempster (6-2), and Los Angeles stranded 12 runners in its loss at Wrigley Field.

Brewers 4, Nationals 3 - At Washington, pinch hitter Gabe Kapler singled home the decisive run in the 11th to give Milwaukee a split of the four-game series.

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