|B.J. Upton of the Rays slides underneath the glove of leaping Blue Jays shortstop Marco Scutaro while stealing second base. (Mike Cassese/Reuters)|
Rays ruin Halladay’s return
Tampa Bay racks up sixth straight victory
Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell homered and the Tampa Bays Rays ruined Roy Halladay’s return with their sixth straight victory, 4-1 over the Blue Jays last night in Toronto.
Halladay (10-2) came in having won his past seven decisions, the longest streak in the majors, but lost for the first time since April 21 against Texas. The Blue Jays have dropped three straight.
Halladay was starting for the first time since June 12 against Florida, when he left two pitches into the fourth inning with a sore groin that landed him on the disabled list. The righthander allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, failing to pitch at least seven innings for only the second time in 15 starts. He walked two and struck out seven.
The long layoff seemed to affect Halladay’s control, as he threw 88 pitches, 57 strikes.
Jeff Niemann (7-4) won his third straight decision and is unbeaten in five starts in June. He allowed one run, four hits, and two walks, and struck out one. Randy Choate got the last out for his fourth save in as many chances.
The Rays touched Halladay for two runs in the third. B.J. Upton drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and went to third when catcher Rod Barajas’s throw sailed into center field. Crawford drilled Halladay’s next pitch into the second deck in right, his seventh homer.
Halladay responded by retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. The only one who reached was Gabe Gross, who was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the fourth.
Giants 10, Cardinals 0 - Tim Lincecum threw a two-hitter for his third complete game of the season, and Travis Ishikawa homered as San Francisco pummeled host St. Louis.
Lincecum (8-2) tied teammate Matt Cain for the league lead in complete games and his 2.37 ERA is second in the NL after mastering the slumping Cardinals with his third career shutout and fifth career complete game. He needed only 95 pitches and finished off the Cardinals in a snappy 2 hours 6 minutes.
Lincecum retired his first 14 batters before Rick Ankiel lofted a soft single to center with two outs in the fifth, then mowed down five more before Albert Pujols doubled off the left-field wall with one out in the seventh.
Brad Thompson (2-4) took the loss for the Cardinals, who have lost five of six.
Angels 5, Rangers 2 - At Arlington, Texas, Juan Rivera and Kendry Morales hit back-to-back home runs to put Los Angeles ahead and the AL West-leading Angels won their sixth straight game.
The first five Angels reached to start the sixth against Vicente Padilla (6-4). After Vladimir Guerrero’s leadoff single, Rivera and Morales homered to put Los Angeles ahead, 4-2. Chone Figgins drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.
The Rangers have lost eight of 11, a slide that cost them the division lead they had held since May 5. Los Angeles, which has won 13 of 16 overall, took over first place Saturday and now leads by 2 1/2 games.
Brewers 10, Mets 6 - Casey McGehee hit his first career grand slam and J.J. Hardy tied a career high with four hits, including a homer, to lift host Milwaukee past reeling New York.
The Mets have lost four straight, falling under .500 (37-38) for the first time since May 5, and not even the previously unflappable Fernando Nieve (3-1) could help. He gave up 11 hits and three runs before being pulled.
Athletics 7, Tigers 1 - Mark Ellis hit a two-run homer in his second game back from a two-month injury absence, and Ryan Sweeney homered and drove in two runs in host Oakland’s win over Detroit.
Kurt Suzuki had a run-scoring double for the last-place A’s, who snapped a five-game losing streak with a rare 11-hit effort from a club that’s last in the AL in batting average, hits, total bases, and homers.
Astros 3, Padres 1 - Roy Oswalt dominated host San Diego again, pitching a two-hitter and retiring his final 18 batters in Houston’s victory.
Ivan Rodriguez homered and Oswalt (4-4) helped himself with two hits at the plate. The righthander improved to 10-2 with a 2.68 ERA against the Padres in 15 career appearances, including 13 starts. His .833 winning percentage is the highest among active pitchers with at least 10 decisions against San Diego.
White Sox 6, Indians 3 - Gavin Floyd blanked host Cleveland over 7 2/3 innings as surging Chicago climbed back to .500 while sending the free-falling Indians to their 11th loss in 13 games.
Floyd (6-5) improved to 3-0 in June and has a 1.39 ERA in his last eight starts. The righthander walked two, struck out five, and escaped a bases-loaded threat in the seventh.
Cubs 3, Pirates 1 - Rich Harden repeatedly worked out of trouble to win for the first time in more than six weeks, and Ryan Theriot homered to propel Chicago in Pittsburgh.
Harden (5-4), who was 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in four starts since last winning May 12, gave up nine hits - eight singles - and walked a batter over seven innings, but struck out nine.
Royals 4, Twins 2 - Miguel Olivo homered, tripled, and drove in two runs as Kansas City ended a five-game home losing streak.
Marlins 4, Nationals 2 - At Miami, Ricky Nolasco (5-6) retired the final 13 batters he faced, Emilio Bonifacio drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth, and Florida moved to 7-0 against Washington this season.