Carlos Pena continued to emerge from a season-long slump, homering for the sixth consecutive game and helping right-hander Matt Garza and Tampa Bay beat Florida, 6-5, last night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Pena has seven homers during the streak, giving him 15 this season and an AL-leading 131 since joining the Rays in 2007 — four more than Alex Rodriguez.
Pena began the night batting .196 and connected off right-hander Ricky Nolasco (5-5) in the first inning for a 2-1 lead.
Carl Crawford and Sean Rodriguez also went deep for the Rays, who maintained baseball’s best record (40-22) and a one-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East.
Yankees 9, Astros 3 — Derek Jeter homered twice, Jorge Posada snapped out of a slump with his first grand slam in nearly six years, and New York beat visiting Houston behind another solid outing by Javier Vazquez.
Vazquez (6-5) pitched seven solid innings for his third straight win and fourth in five starts, as the Yankees won their seventh home game in a row.
Jeter hit a leadoff shot and drove in four runs for the Yankees, who roughed up struggling left-hander Wandy Rodriguez and beat Houston without Alex Rodriguez (right hip) for the second consecutive day.
Braves 3, Twins 2 — Brooks Conrad filled in neatly for Chipper Jones, making two nice plays at third base and then driving in the go-ahead run with a squeeze bunt in the ninth inning that lifted Atlanta over host Minnesota.
Conrad also hit an RBI double. He was put into the Braves’ lineup about a half-hour before the game after Jones’s finger injury flared up.
Reds 11, Royals 5 — Jonny Gomes hit three-run homers in his first two at-bats for a career- high six RBIs, powering host Cincinnati.
Brandon Phillips had three hits, including his eighth homer of the season, to extend his hitting streak to 15 games — Cincinnati’s longest of the season and the longest current streak in the majors.
Indians 7, Nationals 1 — Carlos Santana homered and drove in three runs in his second career game, powering Fausto Carmona and host Cleveland.
White Sox 2, Cubs 1 — Mark Buehrle pitched scoreless ball into the seventh, Paul Konerko drove in two runs, and the White Sox handed Carlos Silva his first loss, beating the struggling Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Mets 3, Orioles 1 — Hisanori Takahashi allowed one run in seven innings, Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur homered, and New York beat Baltimore to win its first road series of the year.
Tigers 4, Pirates 3 — In Detroit, Carlos Guillen hit a leadoff home run in the 10th inning as the Tigers beat Pittsburgh.
Rangers 4, Brewers 3 — Chris Ray saved his first game since 2007 by getting Prince Fielder to pop up after the Rangers’ bullpen nearly blew Scott Feldman’s six scoreless innings in Texas’s victory over host Milwaukee.
Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 2 — Dan Haren struck out nine without allowing a walk over eight innings and Adam LaRoche hit two of Arizona’s four solo home runs in the Diamondbacks’ victory over visiting St. Louis.
Rockies 1, Blue Jays 0 — Jason Hammel pitched eight sharp innings and scored the only run as Colorado beat Toronto in a rare low-scoring game at Coors Field.
Padres 7, Mariners 1 — Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and pinch-hitter Oscar Salazar added a three-run shot as host San Diego handed Seattle its fifth straight loss.
Giants 5, Athletics 4 — Barry Zito finally got the best of his former team — and only club he’d never beaten — ending a four-start win-less stretch in San Francisco’s victory over visiting Oakland.
Angels 4, Dodgers 2 — At Dodger Stadium, Juan Rivera hit a two-run homer as the Angels won for the ninth time in 11 games.