Sonnanstine hurls Rays to 6th straight
Rays 3, Royals 0: Andy Sonnanstine pitched seven strong innings, Ben Zobrist homered again, and the host Rays beat Kansas City Saturday night for their sixth straight win.
Zobrist homered for the third game in a row as the Rays increased their AL East lead to a season-high four games over second-place Boston. Tampa Bay has won 10 of 11.
Sonnanstine (10-3) won his fourth consecutive decision. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two.
J.P Howell pitched the eighth inning, and Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his third save.
Akinori Iwamura put the Rays ahead 2-0 with a two-out, two-run double in the second off Zack Greinke (7-5). Royals center fielder Joey Gathright made a dive and just missed catching the ball.
Zobrist homered in the seventh.
Yankees 2, Red Sox 1: Mariano Rivera pitched himself in and out of trouble, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth inning and preserving a home victory over the Red Sox. After Mike Mussina pitched six shutout innings, Rivera took over in the ninth with a 2-0 lead. The Red Sox quickly scored a run and were poised to get more, but Rivera struck out Coco Crisp, got Jason Varitek on a popup and fanned Julio Lugo for his 23rd save. Mussina (11-6) allowed four hits and walked one in his first win over the Red Sox since June 5, 2006.
Blue Jays 7, Angels 5: Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer, Alex Rios went 3-for-5 with two RBI and three stolen bases, and the host Blue Jays beat the error-plagued Angels. Roy Halladay (10-6) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, struck out seven and recorded only three of his outs on flyballs to the outfield. The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed only one runner past first base after giving up a two-run homer to Vladimir Guerrero in the fourth. The Angels committed four errors, matching their season high on June 20 at Philadelphia. John Lackey (6-2) gave up six runs — five earned — over six innings with seven strikeouts.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 4: Outfielder Rick Ankiel slapped a two-run, two-out single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a three-run rally and lead the Cardinals to a home win over the Cubs. Ankiel, who had three hits and three RBI, also added a solo homer in the sixth inning. In the ninth, he picked on an 0-1 slider from closer Kerry Wood to give St. Louis its fifth win in the last eight outings. Wood (4-2) blew his fifth save in 27 tries.
”I was just looking for a pitch to drive up the middle,“ Ankiel said. ”Kerry Wood is tough; he throws hard.“