Twins earn 9th straight victory

Morneau, Baker bring down Padres

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Associated Press / June 27, 2008

Minnesota was down, 3-0, against the lowly Padres in San Diego for the second time in less than 24 hours when Justin Morneau hit an impressive two-run homer.

An inning later, the game was tied. One more and the Twins had gone ahead.

That's how it's been going for the streaking Twins, who beat the Padres, 4-3, yesterday for their ninth straight win, all against National League teams.

The Twins will be sad to see interleague play end.

"It seems like it's somebody different every game coming up with that big hit," Morneau said. "We don't usually do it too flashy but it seems like we find a way to get it done. It's fun to watch."

Morneau went 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs. Twins starter Scott Baker also had a big day. Baker (4-2) got his first big league hit and scored his first run while holding the Padres to three runs and six hits in six innings. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.

The Twins swept the Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks and now the Padres. Prior to that, they won two of three against Milwaukee. Minnesota is 12-3 overall against the NL this season going into their final interleague series at home this weekend against the Brewers.

The Padres lost their fifth straight game and for the 10th time in 12 games.

Tigers 3, Cardinals 2 - Clete Thomas drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning to give host Detroit the win over St. Louis, spoiling Albert Pujols's return.

St. Louis reliever Mike Parisi (0-4) gave up a leadoff single to Curtis Granderson and intentionally walked Carlos Guillen and Miguel Cabrera before Thomas drew his second run-scoring walk of the day.

Pujols, in his first game back from the disabled list, hit an RBI single in the ninth to give the Cardinals the lead. But Gary Sheffield, who returned Tuesday from the disabled list, answered with a solo homer for Detroit in the bottom of the inning.

Athletics 5, Phillies 0 - Rich Harden struck out a career-high 11, allowing two hits in eight innings to lead Oakland over visiting Philadelphia.

Harden (5-0) retired his first 14 batters before Shane Victorino singled cleanly into center field. Victorino got Philadelphia's other hit off Harden, an infield single with one out in the eighth.

Harden's previous strikeouts high was 10 against Tampa Bay Aug. 31, 2003.

Orioles 11, Cubs 4 - Aubrey Huff had four hits and two RBIs, Jay Payton drove in three runs and Baltimore beat Chicago to become the second team to win a series at Wrigley Field this season.

Brian Roberts had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games as Baltimore roughed up Jason Marquis, who hadn't lost in his previous seven starts.

The Orioles broke it open with five runs in the third inning, winning the rubber game of their first-ever trip to Wrigley. Milwaukee is the only other team to win a series at the Cubs' home this year.

Indians 4, Giants 1 - Cliff Lee struck out a career-high 11 over eight innings, and host Cleveland avoided a three-game sweep by San Francisco.

Jamey Carroll and Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs apiece to support Lee (11-1), who tied Arizona's Brandon Webb and Joe Saunders of the Angels for the major league lead in wins.

Blue Jays 7, Reds 1 - Scott Rolen hit a two-run homer off Edinson Volquez, Jesse Litsch pitched eight sharp innings, and host Toronto beat Cincinnati.

Volquez (10-3) entered with a major league-best 1.71 ERA but was tagged for a season-high seven runs, five earned, and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season. Volquez's ERA rose to 2.08.

Astros 7, Rangers 2 - Wandy Rodriguez pitched eight solid innings and tied a career high with nine strikeouts, leading Houston over visiting Texas.

Hunter Pence had a bases-clearing triple to help the Astros to a 2-1 series win over their state rivals, Houston's second straight series win after taking two of three from Tampa Bay over the weekend.

White Sox 2, Dodgers 0 - John Danks pitched six sharp innings and combined with four relievers for a five-hitter, leading visiting Chicago over Los Angeles.

Danks (5-4) won for the first time since May 29 after getting a no-decision in each of his previous four starts. The 23-year-old lefthander allowed four hits and issued a season-high four walks as the White Sox won the rubber game of the series.

The New York Yankees-Pirates game was postponed by rain in Pittsburgh and will be made up July 10.

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