John Buck became the first catcher to hit three home runs in six years, Travis Snider added a solo shot, and the Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics, 6-3, last night in Toronto.
Buck led off the third with a drive off righthander Justin Duchscherer into the left-field bullpen. His next two homers came off lefthanders. He greeted Jerry Blevins with a three-run homer into the second deck in left in the fourth and connected against Craig Breslow for a solo shot in the sixth, off the center-field restaurant.
Buck got a standing ovation from the crowd of 10,721 when he led off the eighth against Oakland righthander Andrew Bailey. He swung and missed at the first two pitches, fouled one back, then flied out to right. The fans remained standing as Buck jogged back to the dugout.
It’s the first three-homer game and sixth multi-homer game of Buck’s career. It was the first three-homer game by a Blue Jay since Adam Lind did it at Fenway against the Red Sox Sept. 29, 2009.
Tigers 3, Twins 0 — Dontrelle Willis pitched four-hit ball and got to the seventh inning for Detroit in its victory over visiting Minnesota to win the three-game series.
Willis (1-1) struck out six — his highest total since 2007 when he was with the Florida Marlins — and walked only two. Joel Zumaya struck out two in two innings and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Carl Pavano (3-2) gave up three runs — two earned — on seven hits and two walks over eight innings for Minnesota.
Yankees 4, Orioles 0 — A.J. Burnett pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, Robinson Cano homered twice, and visiting New York beat Baltimore.
Marcus Thames had three hits and an RBI for the Yankees, who took two of three from the Orioles to finish a three-city road trip with a 5-4 record.
Burnett (3-0) struck out four and walked one to improve to 10-2 lifetime against the Orioles.
Brian Matusz (2-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings. The lefthander had won six straight decisions since Aug. 15.
Rays 11, Royals 1 — Matt Garza gave up one run over six innings, Jason Bartlett and Reid Brignac drove in three runs apiece, and host Tampa Bay beat Kansas City.
The Rays, at 17-5, are off to the majors’ best start after 22 games since the 2003 Giants opened 18-4. Tampa Bay has won 14 of 16, outscoring opponents, 117-44, during the stretch. Garza (4-1) scattered five hits, walked two, and struck out nine.
Padres 9, Brewers 0 — San Diego tied a team record with seven straight singles during a five-run fifth inning — including pitcher Wade LeBlanc’s career-high third hit of the night — and blanked visiting Milwaukee.
The NL West-leading Padres won their seventh straight home game and for the 11th time in 13 games overall. San Diego’s 13 hits were all singles.
Diamondbacks 13, Cubs 5 — Ian Kennedy pitched eight strong innings for his first win in 2 1/2 years and Adam LaRoche drove in five runs with two homers and a double as Arizona beat host Chicago.
Kelly Johnson and Chris Snyder also connected for Arizona, which leads the majors with 33 homers.
Cardinals 10, Braves 4 — Rookie David Freese homered, doubled, and drove in six runs as host St. Louis sent Atlanta to its ninth straight loss.
The Braves wrapped up an 0-7 road trip, their first winless swing of seven or more games since September 1949 when the franchise was located in Boston and went 0-8 in Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
Reds 4, Astros 2 — Bronson Arroyo pitched 6 2/3 strong innings for his first win this season, Joey Votto hit a two-run homer, and visiting Cincinnati beat Houston.
Arroyo (1-2) allowed six hits and two runs with seven strikeouts to bounce back from his last start, in which he allowed eight runs in three-plus innings. Roy Oswalt (2-3) gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out seven in seven innings.
Pirates 2, Dodgers 0 — Ryan Doumit got two RBIs on a play that center fielder Matt Kemp misplayed into a triple and Pittsburgh shut out host Los Angeles, which lost its fifth straight.
White Sox 7 Rangers 5 — Paul Konerko hit two home runs for visiting Chicago in its victory over Texas.
Konerko leads the majors with 10 homers after hitting a solo drive in the eighth and a two-run shot in the ninth. He also drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.