White Sox race past Rays
Chicago rallies in 10th to avoid getting swept
Alexei Ramirez singled home the winning run in the 10th inning after A.J. Pierzynski's bizarre trip around the bases, and the Chicago White Sox rallied past the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-5, yesterday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Jim Thome hit his 534th homer, Carlos Quentin also connected, and the White Sox tied it at 5 in the ninth on Paul Konerko's two-out single off Dan Wheeler.
Rocco Baldelli hit his second homer in three days and Carlos Pena gave Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead with an RBI double in the seventh.
Pierzynski led off the 10th with a single against Jason Hammel, then tagged up and took second when center fielder B.J. Upton casually flipped the ball in after catching Quentin's fly. Jermaine Dye sent a grounder toward short, Pierzynski got caught in a rundown, and the strange play unfolded.
Pierzynski appeared to get tagged out after falling - but second base umpire Doug Eddings signaled safe instead. Eddings called interference on Rays third baseman Willy Aybar, apparently ruling that he bumped the runner after a throw toward second, giving Pierzynski third base. Replays showed that Pierzynski initiated the contact. Tampa Bay infielders and manager Joe Maddon argued vehemently to no avail, and Pierzynski was awarded third. Hammel intentionally walked Thome before Ramirez singled.
Phillies 5, Dodgers 2 - Pedro Feliz hit a tying RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and delivered a winning, three-run homer in the 11th to lift Philadelphia over Los Angeles.
The Phillies closed within a half-game of the NL East-leading New York Mets, while Los Angeles remained three games behind Arizona in the West.
Brewers 4, Pirates 3 - J.J. Hardy singled home the winning run on his bobblehead day at Miller Park, and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh in 12 innings for its 12th straight home win over the Pirates.
The Brewers kept pace in the playoff race. Milwaukee leads St. Louis by 3 1/2 games for the wild card, and trails the Chicago Cubs by 4 1/2 games in the NL Central.
Cardinals 6, Braves 3 - Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer and briefly took the lead in the NL batting race over Atlanta's Chipper Jones, before falling back by .0008 in host St. Louis' victory.
Pujols was 8 for 11 with two homers and eight RBIs in the series. Jones went back ahead of Pujols after doubling in his final at-bat in the eighth to put him at .3594. The fast-climbing Pujols is at .3586.
Angels 5, Twins 3 - Francisco Rodriguez earned his 50th save, and Los Angeles got RBI triples from Vladimir Guerrero and Gary Matthews Jr. in the eighth inning to rally past visiting Minnesota.
Cubs 6, Nationals 1 - Rich Harden matched a career high with 11 strikeouts, Mark DeRosa homered for the fourth straight game, and streaking host Chicago took its eighth straight series.
Astros 6, Mets 4 - Brad Ausmus and Darin Erstad connected for home runs in the 10th inning and visiting Houston rallied to overcome two homers by Carlos Beltran in a win over New York.
Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 2 - Josh Willingham homered and drove in two runs to back Ricky Nolasco (13-7), sending visiting Florida past Arizona.
Royals 7, Tigers 3 - Brandon Duckworth went five shaky innings for his first major league win as a starter in more than two years, helping host Kansas City snap a seven-game losing streak.
Mariners 8, Athletics 4 - Felix Hernandez (8-8) allowed three runs over six innings, lifting host Seattle over Oakland.
Rockies 4, Reds 3 - Omar Quintanilla homered in the 12th and host Colorado took advantage of five Cincinnati errors.
Giants 7, Padres 4 - Bengie Molina homered and drove in five runs and host San Francisco finished a three-game sweep for its fifth straight win, its longest streak since winning six in a row in August 2007.
Indians 4, Rangers 3 - Franklin Gutierrez's tiebreaking single in the ninth inning helped visiting Cleveland win its seventh straight and complete a sweep of Texas.