Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon went with an unconventional plan and it worked, again.
The Rays got out of a seventh-inning jam for the second consecutive game after intentionally walking AL triple crown contender Miguel Cabrera with runners on first and second and two outs en route to a 7-4 win over the Detroit Tigers last night in St Petersburg, Fla.
Grant Balfour, who ended the late threat in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Tigers by striking out Brennan Boesch, this time retired the right fielder on a fly ball to preserve Tampa Bay’s 5-4 lead.
“It’s an ugly moment,’’ Maddon said. “It’s the same exact circumstance. That’s something we had talked about and we were going to do it. Same pitcher, same hitter, which was a little bit less comfortable because Boesch had seen Grant the day before. So there’s that little bit uncomfortable feeling there, but we had to do it.’’
Yankees 8, Indians 0 — Alex Rodriguez had two hits, but not homer No. 600, to support another sharp outing by a resurgent A.J. Burnett and visiting New York shut out Cleveland.
Burnett (9-8) earned his third win in four starts. He allowed seven hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Yankees improved the best record in the majors with their sixth win in eight games — and AL-leading ninth shutout.
Rodriguez didn’t come close to getting his elusive 600th homer, though he went 2 for 5 with a run-scoring single in the first inning.
Cardinals 8, Mets 7— Albert Pujols drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 13th inning, as visiting St. Louis survived a frantic New York comeback.
The Cardinals scored six times off Mets ace Johan Santana in the first inning only to watch their bullpen let the lead slip away. The Mets scored four times in the eighth to tie.
Reds 10, Brewers 2 — Brandon Phillips smacked a 450-foot grand slam and Travis Wood earned his first win in the majors for Cincinnati in Milwaukee.
Athletics 3, Rangers 1 — Trevor Cahill allowed two hits over eight innings, Kurt
Astros 8, Cubs 1 — Carlos Lee hit two home runs, including the go-ahead homer in the sixth inning, for host Houston.
Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 1 — Roy Halladay threw a six-hitter and top prospect Domonic Brown had two hits and two RBIs in his major league debut to lead host Philadelphia over slumping Arizona.
Twins 6, Royals 4 — Delmon Young had a three-run homer as Minnesota finished a three-game sweep of host Kansas City.
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 0 — Rookie lefthander Brad Mills pitched seven innings for his first major league win, Lyle Overbay hit a three-run homer, and host Toronto defeated Baltimore for the 12th straight time.
Braves 3, Nationals 1 — Atlanta’s Tim Hudson (11-5) gave up one run in 7 2/3 innings, improving to 10-1 with a 1.49 ERA for his career against host Washington.
Giants 10, Marlins 9 — Andres Torres hit a ground-rule single with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to help San Francisco get by Florida.
White Sox 6, Mariners 5 — Alex Rios hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning and host Chicago won its 10th straight at home, rallying to top Seattle.
Pirates 6, Rockies 2 — Garrett Jones homered twice and Pittsburgh overcame an early injury to starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to send host Colorado to its eighth straight loss.
Padres 6, Dodgers 1 — Jerry Hairston Jr. drove in three runs and five pitchers retired the final 19 batters, helping NL West-leading San Diego put away visiting Los Angeles.