Rays making their marks
Longoria ties, team sets record in rout
Personal accomplishments are nice, but Evan Longoria is more interested in what his performance means to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The All-Star third baseman tied a club record for home runs by a rookie, hitting No. 21 and driving in three runs last night to help the AL East leaders maintain their three-game lead in the division with a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Longoria is hitting .280 with 67 RBIs. He has five home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 14 games.
"It's exciting . . . and I'll have time to enjoy [personal accolades] in the offseason, but what we're doing right now as a team is a little more exciting," said Longoria after he tied the team record set by Jonny Gomes, who hit 21 homers in 2005.
Carl Crawford contributed a two-run single for the Rays, who have won four straight and set a franchise record for home wins in a season (42) before a sellout crowd of 36,048 at Tropicana Field.
At 65-44, they have the second-best record in baseball and are just one victory shy of matching their total for last year, when they were a major league-worst 66-96. They lead the Red Sox by three games and the Yankees by 5 1/2 in the AL East.
Righthander Andy Sonnanstine (11-6) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, ending a three-game losing streak.
Yankees 8, Angels 2 - Mike Mussina retired the final 17 batters he faced in seven solid innings, and catcher Jose Molina hit one of his team's four home runs as host New York snapped Los Angeles's five-game winning streak.
Alex Rodriguez, Wilson Betemit, and Bobby Abreu also homered, and Mussina made several stellar plays to help the Yankees to their second win in seven games, in front of 54,170 fans on Old-Timer's Day.
Royals 9, White Sox 7 - Jose Guillen and Billy Butler homered off an ineffective Mark Buehrle, and Esteban German had a two-run triple to lead host Kansas City over Chicago on a hot, muggy afternoon.
Indians 5, Twins 1 - Host Minnesota squandered a chance to move into first place in the AL Central as Paul Byrd (6-10) tossed seven sharp innings and Kelly Shoppach hit a two-run homer to lead Cleveland. Minnesota remained a half-game behind the White Sox.
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 4 - Rod Barajas and Scott Rolen each had two-run doubles in the sixth, helping Toronto win in Texas.
Orioles 3, Mariners 1 - Jeremy Guthrie retired 26 of the final 28 batters he faced in his first career complete game, allowing four hits in Baltimore's win in Seattle.
Brewers 4, Braves 2 - CC Sabathia nearly pitched his fourth complete game with the Brewers, going 8 1/3 innings, and Prince Fielder hit two home runs, lifting visiting Milwaukee over Atlanta.
The Brewers equaled a club record with their ninth straight road win and stayed four games back of NL Central-leading Chicago.
Sabathia (5-0) struck out nine, allowing two runs and six hits.
Astros 5, Mets 4 - Lance Berkman raced home when Darin Erstad lined out to left in the 10th inning and host Houston beat New York.
Cubs 5, Pirates 1 - Ted Lilly pitched 6 1/3 innings, Reed Johnson had three hits, and Chicago bounced back from a rare home loss to improve to 40-15 at Wrigley Field.
Phillies 2, Cardinals 1 - Joe Blanton won his first game since joining Philadelphia last month, riding homers from Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs to a win in St. Louis.
Marlins 5, Rockies 3 - Ricky Nolasco struck out a career-high 13 and Jeff Baker hit a two-run homer as host Florida beat Colorado. Nolasco (11-6) allowed three runs and four hits over eight innings to earn his first win since July 7.
Nationals 10, Reds 6 - Pete Orr picked up his first RBIs in more than 15 months, slapping a pinch-hit, two-run single into left field in the seventh to put host Washington ahead to stay.
Giants 2, Padres 0 - Barry Zito gave up three hits in a season-high eight innings to outpitch Jake Peavy in a matchup of former Cy Young Award winners and lead visiting San Francisco over San Diego.