Mat Latos made a big impression on Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
The 22-year-old righthander allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings and the San Diego Padres beat the Rays, 2-1, last night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“I want to check his birth certificate. I don’t think he’s 22,’’ Maddon said. “He’s one of the better young pitchers I’ve seen. He has an incredible feel for what he’s doing.’’
Latos (8-4) struck out eight — including his last five batters — and walked one in improving to 7-1 over his last nine starts. He also has won all three of his interleague starts this season.
“It’s not the first time I’ve had somebody ask for my birth certificate,’’ Latos said. “I’m thankful that things have been going my way here as of late and I’m just trying to improve and get better as the year progresses.’’
Tampa Bay’s Wade Davis (5-8) allowed 2 runs, 4 hits, and 5 walks in 4 1/3 innings. The righthander, who has lost all four of his starts in June, threw 103 pitches.
The Rays are 10-16 since May 23, when they held a six-game lead in the AL East.
Yankees 9, Diamondbacks 3 — Alex Rodriguez homered and singled to drive in three runs and Andy Pettitte (9-2) struck out seven, walked two, and even got a rare base hit as New York used a six-run eighth inning to overpower host Arizona.
Arizona starter Dan Haren (7-6) retired 12 of his last 14 batters and left with his team trailing, 3-2, after seven innings.
Phillies 2, Indians 1 — Jamie Moyer (8-6) limited Cleveland to two hits over eight crisp innings to earn win No. 266, tying him with Bob Feller and Eppa Rixey for 35th on the career list, to lift host Philadelphia.
Rangers 6, Pirates 3 — Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a home run and a double, Julio Borbon hit a three-run homer, and host Texas stretched the majors’ longest winning streak to nine.
Giants 3, Astros 1 — Tim Lincecum (8-2) allowed seven hits and no earned runs over eight innings while striking out seven and walking two, outpitching Roy Oswalt (5-9) as San Francisco managed enough offense to win in Houston.
Cardinals 9, Blue Jays 4 — Matt Holliday, Felipe Lopez, Yadier Molina, and Colby Rasmus all went deep to back rookie lefthander Jaime Garcia (7-3) in an easy win for visiting St. Louis. Jose Bautista hit two home runs for Toronto, giving him a major league-high 20.
White Sox 9, Braves 6 — John Danks (7-5) spotted Atlanta a 3-0 lead before retiring 15 of the last 18 batters and host Chicago had a season-high 16 hits in extending their winning streak to seven games.
Angels 6, Dodgers 3 — Howie Kendrick drove in the tiebreaking run in the seventh with his third hit and Kevin Frandsen followed with a two-run double as the Angels handed the visiting Dodgers their fifth straight loss.
Marlins 10, Orioles 4 — Hanley Ramirez had three hits and three RBIs to back an effective pitching performance by Anibal Sanchez (7-4), who allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, to power visiting Florida.
Nationals 4, Royals 3 — Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn homered, Luis Atilano pitched into the sixth inning, and Matt Capps held on for his major league-leading 22d save in 26 chances for host Washington.
Mets 14, Tigers 6 — Angel Pagan finished a homer shy of the cycle and had four RBIs, David Wright reached base five times and scored three runs, and host New York routed Detroit in a game that was delayed 58 minutes because of rain.
Brewers 7, Twins 5 — Casey McGehee hit a three-run homer and rookie closer John Axford converted his first six-out save to help host Milwaukee hold off Minnesota.
Reds 4, Athletics 2 — Bronson Arroyo didn’t walk a batter in eight strong innings, and Corky Miller hit a two-run single to spark Cincinnati past host Oakland.
Mariners 2, Cubs 0 — Jason Vargas (6-2) pitched four-hit ball over seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and Franklin Gutierrez homered to send host Seattle to its season-high fifth consecutive victory.