James Shields won his fourth consecutive start and struck out 10, Evan Longoria homered again, and the Tampa Bay Rays continued their joyride through the American League with a 5-2 victory over the Mariners last night at Seattle.
Shields (4-0) followed his career high-tying 12 strikeouts in his previous start against Oakland by giving up eight hits and two runs. He left after the first two Mariners singled in the ninth.
Rafael Soriano got the final three outs, including Jack Wilson on a three-pitch strikeout for his seventh save in seven tries.
The Rays are off to the best start in the American League since the 2005 White Sox also began 19-7. The last team to start better was the 2001 Mariners, who went 20-6 en route to an AL-record 116 wins.
Tampa Bay improved its major league-best road ERA to 2.21 and baseball’s best road record to 10-1. The 2001 Mariners also started 10-1 on the road.
Brewers 11, Dodgers 6 — Prince Fielder and Gregg Zaun hit two-run homers and Ryan Braun had a three-run double — all in a nine-run second inning that carried visiting Milwaukee over shell-shocked Los Angeles.
The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (1-2) threw 57 pitches in just 1 1/3 innings and retired only four of the 13 batters he faced — including the pitcher. The 22-year-old lefthander surrendered seven runs, five hits, and two walks against an offense that had managed only two runs during a four-game series at San Diego and was shut out three times.
Yankees 4, Orioles 1 — A.J. Burnett (4-0) outpitched Brian Matusz again and Joba Chamberlain closed out Baltimore for the second night in a row, finishing off host New York’s win.
With Mariano Rivera again unavailable due to stiffness in his left side, Chamberlain pitched the ninth for his second save in two nights.
Athletics 7, Rangers 6 — Ryan Sweeney drove in a career-high five runs on three hits, including a home run, and six Oakland pitchers held off visiting Texas.
Padres 3, Rockies 2 — Chase Headley singled in the winning run in the ninth inning for host San Diego. In four plate appearances immediately following an intentional walk to Gonzalez this season, Headley is 3 for 3 with a double, home run, and sacrifice fly with seven RBIs.
Mets 5, Reds 4 — Rod Barajas hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the ninth inning, rallying New York after host Cincinnati had caught up with a homer of its own upheld after a review.
Giants 9, Marlins 6 — Aubrey Huff hit a two-run single to break a tie in the 12th inning in Miami, and San Francisco earned a victory over Florida.
Diamondbacks 1, Astros 0 — Justin Upton homered and Ian Kennedy pitched 6 2/3 solid innings as visiting Arizona beat Houston.
Twins 4, Tigers 3 — J.J. Hardy saved a run with a brilliant defensive play at shortstop in the top of the ninth, then tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half as Minnesota defeated visiting Detroit.
Royals 7, White Sox 2 — Jose Guillen hit a two-run homer and Luke Hochevar (3-1) pitched six sharp innings as Kansas City won in Chicago.
Blue Jays 8, Indians 5 — Jose Bautista homered for the second straight game and visiting Toronto benefited from nine walks in its win over Cleveland.
Nationals 6, Braves 3 — Livan Hernandez (4-1) had his season-low in innings and his season-high in pitches, yet he still managed to keep his ERA below 1.00 as he pitched host Washington over Atlanta.
Phillies 2, Cardinals 1 — Carlos Ruiz hit a game-ending home run in the 10th inning for host Philadelphia.
Pirates 3, Cubs 2 — Ryan Church’s two-run homer put host Pittsburgh ahead in the sixth, Andy LaRoche added a solo shot, and the Pirates bounced back from a 3-7 road trip.