A.J. Burnett came within two outs of a shutout, Marco Scutaro hit a three-run home run, and the Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees, 4-1, yesterday in Toronto.
Pitching on three days' rest for the third time in his career, Burnett (10-8) allowed one run and six hits, walked one, and struck out eight. The righthander is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA when pitching on three days' rest.
"He wanted the ball and he was determined," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "You could see it in his eyes from the first pitch that he was going to have a good day."
Jason Giambi spoiled Burnett's shutout bid with a solo home run in the ninth, his 19th. Jorge Posada followed with a single before B.J. Ryan replaced Burnett. Ryan got Robinson Cano to ground into a double play to record his 18th save in 20 opportunities.
The Yankees ended the first half by losing three of four against the Pirates and Blue Jays. New York's 50-45 record is an improvement from a year ago, when it went into the All-Star break at .500.
Andy Pettitte came in having won seven of his past eight decisions, but took the loss after allowing four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Pettitte (10-7) walked one and struck out six. "If we want to make the playoffs, we've got to be better," he said. "We stink right now, for the most part.
"As a team, we've kind of stunk it up here lately and we've got to play better."
The Yankees did little else to threaten Burnett. Bobby Abreu doubled to begin the fourth and, two outs later, Posada was hit by a pitch, but Cano grounded to first. Abreu and Alex Rodriguez had back-to-back one-out singles in the sixth, but Giambi flied out and Posada struck out.
In the Blue Jays' second, Kevin Mench led off with a double and then scored on a single by Scott Rolen. Adam Lind walked before Scutaro drilled a 1-2 pitch to left for his third home run of the season.
Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 3 - Pat Burrell hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, allowing Philadelphia to enter the All-Star break alone in first place in the NL East.
After starters Brandon Webb and Cole Hamels left after the seventh with the score tied at 2, the Phillies broke away. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard singled and Burrell followed with his 23d home run, connecting against Chad Qualls (2-7). Pedro Feliz hit a solo homer one out later.
Ryan Madson (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth to get the win. Brad Lidge allowed an RBI single to Orlando Hudson in the ninth.
Webb, who leads the majors with 13 wins, gave up seven hits. He struck out six and walked none. The All-Star righthander gave up the tying run in the seventh on an RBI double by Jimmy Rollins.
Hamels gave up a season-high 11 hits, struck out eight, and walked one. The lefthander helped himself in the fifth with an RBI double that got the Phillies within 2-1.
Rangers 12, White Sox 11 - Ian Kinsler extended his majors-best hitting streak to 25 games and drove in three runs as Texas held on for a wild home win over Chicago, the Rangers' ninth victory in 13 games.
Marlon Byrd hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh to put Texas ahead to stay and Michael Young added a two-run single to give the Rangers a 10-7 lead.
Kinsler's RBI single in the third, already his third hit in the game, put the Rangers up, 7-5. The AL's leading hitter (.337) doubled in each of the first two innings.
Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye homered for Chicago, which had a season-high 22 hits. The White Sox scored three times on five hits in the ninth off Rangers closer C.J. Wilson before Jim Thome and Paul Konerko both took called third strikes to end the game.
Mets 7, Rockies 0 - Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer, Mike Pelfrey turned in New York's latest dominant pitching performance, and the host Mets cruised to their ninth consecutive victory, their longest winning streak since April 2000.
Pelfrey (8-6) won his sixth straight start, allowing just six hits over eight innings with five strikeouts, and didn't walk a batter for the second straight game. Colorado finished with seven hits, snapping New York's stretch of allowing three or fewer in a team-record five straight games.
Giants 4, Cubs 2 - San Francisco's Tim Lincecum prevailed in a matchup of All-Star pitchers as the Giants dealt Chicago's Ryan Dempster his first loss in 12 home starts this season.
Lincecum (11-2) struck out nine over eight innings, allowed one run and six hits, and also drove in a run with his first career triple. Dempster (10-4), who went 6 2/3 innings, had been 10-0 at Wrigley.
Tigers 4, Twins 2 - Justin Verlander tossed seven sharp innings and the Tigers denied Minnesota a four-game sweep in Detroit.
Verlander (7-9) allowed two runs and four hits, struck out eight, and walked two to improve to 5-0 in his last seven starts. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs during his unbeaten streak, lowering his ERA from 5.05 to 4.15.
Brewers 3, Reds 2 - CC Sabathia homered in his first complete game in the NL and Craig Counsell hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the ninth to help host Milwaukee avoid a three-game sweep by Cincinnati.
Sabathia (2-0) hit a home run off Reds starter Homer Bailey in the third, his third career homer and second this season. After allowing sacrifice flies to David Ross in the second and Adam Dunn in the third, Sabathia shut down the Reds, striking out nine, including the side in the ninth.
Dodgers 9, Marlins 1 - Chad Billingsley struck out a career-high 13 without walking a batter, and host Los Angeles used a six-run first to coast past Florida and break a three-game skid.
Billingsley (9-8) allowed a run and five hits over seven innings, improving to 5-1 in his last six starts. The 23-year-old righthander gave up his only run on a first-inning double by Luis Gonzalez, then retired 15 of his next 16 batters - 10 via strikeout.
Angels 4, Athletics 3 - Reggie Willits scored from second on Erick Aybar's infield single with two outs in the top of the ninth, and Los Angeles closer Francisco Rodriguez got out of a bases-loaded jam for his major-league leading 38th save.
Mariners 4, Royals 3 - Adrian Beltre scored the go-ahead run for visiting Seattle on an error in the ninth, escaping a rundown between third and home when Kansas City catcher John Buck threw the ball away.
Cardinals 11, Pirates 6 - Aaron Miles drove in five runs with a home run and a triple, and St. Louis held off host Pittsburgh a day after blowing two big leads.
Braves 12, Padres 3 - Brian McCann homered and drove in three runs, and Mark Teixeira and Brent Lillibridge each had two RBIs for Atlanta in San Diego.
Astros 5, Nationals 0 - Carlos Lee drove in three runs for visiting Houston in support of Brandon Backe (6-9), who tossed seven-plus scoreless innings.