Baseball

Tuesday's baseball highlights

American League

White Sox 5-8, Tigers 3-7

At Chicago, Javier Vazquez allowed four hits over eight innings Tuesday to win his fifth straight decision, and Paul Konerko's two-run homer off Jeremy Bonderman led the struggling Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

In the second game, Carlos Guillen misplayed A.J. Pierzynski's one-hopper, allowing the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning as the White Sox sweeped a doubleheader.

Red Sox 1, Cleveland 0

At Cleveland, rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched seven shutout innings to outduel C.C. Sabathia, denying Cleveland's ace his 14th win, as the Red Sox won their fifth straight.

Matsuzaka (12-7), tagged for a season-high 12 hits in his first start against Cleveland on May 30, gave up four hits before turning it over to the majors' best bullpen.

The Japanese right-hander improved to 5-2 in his past eight starts.

Dice-K, with his dizzying array of pitches, was only slightly better than Sabathia (13-5), who gave up five singles, struck out seven and didn't allow a walk in seven strong innings. The left-hander was trying to become baseball's first 14-game winner, but didn't get any offensive support from the scuffling Indians, now 10-10 in July.

Matsuzaka was pulled after 98 pitches, giving way to Hideki Okajima, who worked a perfect eighth. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 24 tries as the Red Sox reached the 100-game plateau a major league-best 61-39.

Yankees 9, Royals 4

At Kansas City, Derek Jeter had four hits, New York batted around in both the first and second innings and the Yankees extended their winning streak to five.

Chien-Ming Wang (11-5) won for the eighth time in nine decisions, backed by another stellar night from New York's offense. The Yankees have scored 63 runs in a five-game span for the first time since July 26-29, 1931, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. New York put a runner on base in 24 consecutive innings before Joel Peralta pitched a perfect eighth.

New York (53-46), a season-best seven games over .500, has won 10 of 12 - against Tampa Bay, Toronto and Kansas City - and pulled within four games of Cleveland, the AL wild card leader. New York stayed 700BD> games back of AL East-leading Boston.

Scott Elarton (2-4), the second straight Royals' starter to throw a BP-like outing, gave up seven runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings, his ERA rising from an awful 9.17 to a putrid 10.46.

Blue Jays 7, Twins 0

At Tornonto, Vernon Wells drove in four runs, Dustin McGowan won consecutive starts for the first time since early June and the Toronto Blue Jays matched their longest winning streak of the season at four.

Wells homered in the fourth off Scott Baker (4-4), his 14th of the season but first since July 6, and added a two-run double in the eighth against Pat Neshek.

McGowan (7-5) allowed four hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked three. Since beating the New York Yankees on May 28 and the Chicago White Sox on June 2, he had a no-decision and then alternated wins and losses in his next seven starts.

Casey Janssen and Brandon League finished the six-hitter, the eighth shutout against the Twins this year. Minnesota has lost three straight and 12 of 21. The Twins haven't scored in 12 consecutive innings.

Baker (4-4) gave up four runs and six hits in seven innings.

Orioles 3, Devil Rays 0

At Baltimore, Daniel Cabrera pitched seven innings of one-hit ball and earned his first win since June 22, improving to 5-0 lifetime against the Devil Rays.

Cabrera (7-10) walked five and struck out three. The lone hit against the right-hander came in the fourth inning, when B.J. Upton bounced a hit-and-run single to right through the hole vacated by second baseman Brian Roberts.

Paul Shuey worked the eighth, getting a double play after giving up a leadoff walk, and Jamie Walker got three outs to complete the two-hitter and earn his second save.

Kazmir (7-7) struck out eight, but gave up three runs, seven hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander had won his past two starts while allowing a total of one earned run.

The Devil Rays were coming off three straight losses to the New York Yankees in which they were outscored 45-12. Tampa Bay has lost seven in a row in Baltimore and is 5-21 overall since June 25.

Athletics 4, Angels 3

At Los Angeles, Converted reliever Lenny DiNardo held the Angels to three hits pitching into the seventh inning, and Travis Buck had four hits and drove in three runs for Oakland.

Buck scored the first run, in the opening inning, doubled home a run in the second, led off the seventh with a homer off Kelvim Escobar, then added an RBI single against Justin Speier in the eighth.

Mike Piazza's sacrifice fly in the first inning gave Oakland a lead it would not relinquish.

Allen Embre got the final four outs for his 11th save in 13 chances.

Escobar (11-4) gave up three runs on eight hits over seven innings to end his career high of winning five decisions in a row.

DiNardo (5-6) walked one, struck out two and gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts.

National League

Houston 7, Dodgers 4

At Houston, hours after announcing he plans to retire at the end of this season, Craig Biggio capped a six-run sixth inning with a tiebreaking grand slam that led the Houston Astros over the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 Tuesday night.

Biggio, a 20-year veteran who reached 3,000 hits on June 28, connected off Rudy Seanez (6-2) for his fourth slam, his second this season.

Biggio, who also hit a slam at Milwaukee on April 20, was given a standing ovation before he came to the plate leading off the bottom of the first inning. The applause went on for nearly two minutes before Biggio backed out of the batter's box and took his helmet off to acknowledge the fans.

He also singled in the fifth and went 2-for-5. With 3,016 hits, he moved within four of Rafael Palmeiro for 23rd place.

Jason Jennings (2-6), who had lost his previous five starts, allowed three runs and three hits in six innings to win for the first time since June 19 at the Los Angeles Angels. Jennings had been on the longest losing streak of his big league career and had just one win in his prior seven starts against the Dodgers.

Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his fourth save of the season - all since he came off the disabled list July 12. He has three blown saves this year.

Brewers 5, Reds 3

At Cincinnati, Yovani Gallardo took a shutout into the seventh inning and revived Milwaukee's slumping offense with a run-scoring single.

Gallardo (3-1) pitched out of a bases-loaded threat in the first inning, then shut down a free-swinging lineup that leads the majors in homers. The rookie right-hander limited the Reds to one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings by mixing his 92 mph fastball and sharp curve.

He also had a run-scoring single off Matt Belisle (5-7), who failed to make it out of the fourth inning. The single came in handy for a team that was batting only .222 since the All-Star break, worst in the NL.

Scott Hatteberg broke the shutout with a run-scoring double in the seventh, and the Reds made it close against the Brewers' bullpen. Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Derrick Turnbow, his 27th overall. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 chances.

Phillies 4, Nationals 3

At Philadelphia, Aaron Rowand's solo homer in the eighth inning sent the Phillies to their fourth straight win.

Rowand's 14th homer, a two-out drive off Luis Ayala (0-2) into the left-field seats, extended a hot streak that saw him hit .355 on Philadelphia's seven-game road trip.

Ryan Madson (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win, and Antonio Alfonseca worked the ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances.

The Phillies were 800BD> games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets on May 31. They've cut three games off that deficit and opened a six-game homestand against second-division teams.

Washington starter Jason Bergmann left in the third inning with tightness in his left hamstring. He walked Chase Utley with one out in the third. Then a trainer and pitching coach Randy St. Claire came out for a visit and soon signaled for the left-handed Billy Traber.

Mets 8, Pirates 4

At New York, John Maine hit a two-run homer, the first of his career, and struck out seven to win for the first time since the All-Star break.

Maine (11-5) allowed only an RBI double to Xavier Nady, a solo homer to Jason Bay in the fourth, and three other hits in seven innings.

Lastings Milledge was 3-for-3, hit a two-run shot in the eighth and drove in three runs for the Mets, who have won eight of 12 since the break and began a seven-game homestand against the Pirates and Nationals, two teams among the worst in baseball.

David Wright, Ruben Gotay and Shawn Green also drove in runs. Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect eighth inning before Guillermo Mota allowed a two-run shot to Bay in the ninth, his first multihomer game of the year.

Ian Snell (7-8) lasted only four innings, giving up six runs and 10 hits.

Cubs 4, Cardinals 3

At St. Louis, Carlos Zambrano won his NL-leading 13th game and Aramis Ramirez's third single of the game snapped a seventh-inning tie for Chicago.

Third baseman Scott Rolen's two-out fielding error on Ryan Theriot's routine grounder opened the door in the pivotal inning for the Cubs, who are an NL-best 20-7 since June 3.

Zambrano (13-7) threw 117 pitches in 6 1-3 innings and the Cardinals ended his scoreless streak at 20 1-3 innings over three games on Skip Schumaker's two-run triple in the fifth. They couldn't keep Zambrano from passing Brad Penny for the NL victory lead.

Zambrano, who struck out five and walked three, is 8-2 with a 1.56 ERA in 10 starts since June 2 and has allowed two or fewer runs in all but one of them.

Kip Wells (4-13) made his second straight strong outing, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in 6 2-3 innings, but regained the major league lead in losses.

Padres 5, Rockies 3

At Denver, Adrian Gonzalez doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth, and the Padres snapped a four-game skid after losing All-Star right-hander Chris Young to a strained abdominal muscle.

Heath Bell (4-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win despite allowing hits to the first two batters he faced in the seventh, including a tying two-run double to pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs, who was caught in a run-down following Willy Taveras' infield single.

Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances.

Ramon Ramirez (2-2) gave up a double to Michael Barrett and an infield single to Milton Bradley with one out in the eighth. Jeremy Affeldt allowed a run-scoring double to Gonzalez, and Khalil Greene added a sacrifice fly off Jorge Julio.

Young threw two perfect innings and had tossed five warmups to start the third when manager Bud Black and trainer Todd Hutcheson were summoned to the mound. He threw two more warmups before walking to the dugout.

Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 3

At Phoenix, Livan Hernandez won for the first time in 10 starts and the Diamondbacks won for the fourth time in a row.

Orlando Hudson's disputed home run ignited a four-run fourth inning against Florida starter Sergio Mitre (4-5), who lasted just three-plus innings.

Dan Uggla homered twice for Florida, his fourth multi-home run game of the season and fifth of his career.

Hernandez (6-6) had gone 0-4 with five no-decisions since his complete-game victory May 27 at home against Houston. He blanked the Marlins for five innings before giving up Uggla's home run to lead off the sixth. The veteran Cuban right-hander gave up one run on seven hits i

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