|For the 16th time this season, standout Rays rookie Evan Longoria got to show off his home run trot. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)|
Evan Longoria hit a two-run home run during a four-run third inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays went on to pummel the Kansas City Royals, 9-2, yesterday in St. Petersburg, Fla., for their seventh straight win.
"There's a sense of calmness in our dugout," said Longoria, who has five homers and 17 RBIs in his last 13 games. "It's incredible the things we're doing here."
The Rays, with the majors' best record at 55-32, have won 11 of 12 overall. Their seven-game winning streak is the second longest in team history; Tampa Bay won 12 in a row in June 2004.
James Shields (7-5) gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings to win his third consecutive start. He struck out eight and walked one.
"Right now, we're trying to put together a run and keep it going," Shields said.
Carlos Pena drove in two runs on a two-out double and Longoria followed with a two-run homer, his 16th, off Luke Hochevar (5-7) that gave Tampa Bay a 5-2 lead in the third.
Tampa Bay went ahead, 7-2, on B.J. Upton's two-run double in the fourth. Gabe Gross added a solo homer and Carl Crawford a sacrifice hit to make it 9-2 in the sixth.
Esteban German drove in both runs for the Royals, who have lost seven of nine.
Braves 7, Astros 6 - Mark Teixeira singled off the wall in left-center with the bases loaded in the 17th, lifting Atlanta in the longest game in Turner Field history.
Rain delayed the start of the game by 1 hour 50 minutes, and solid pitching extended the contest past 5 1/2 hours. The Braves tied it with two runs in the eighth.
Gregor Blanco singled off the Astros' Tim Byrdak (2-1) to lead off the 17th. Yunel Escobar followed with a bunt single and Chipper Jones loaded the bases with a base hit to right, before Teixeira's ball went over the head of a drawn-in outfield for the winning hit.
Royce Ring (2-1) pitched the 17th for Atlanta, leaving Carlos Lee stranded at third to end the inning.
Mets 4, Phillies 2 - Fernando Tatis hit a two-run homer in the 12th to lift New York over host Philadelphia in a game that ended more than seven hours after it started.
Jayson Werth hit a two-run shot off Mets closer Billy Wagner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extras after it was delayed 2:50 by heavy rain in the bottom of the eighth.
But the Mets avoided another devastating loss when Tatis connected off Chad Durbin (2-2) with one out in the 12th for his second homer of the season.
Tigers 2, Mariners 1 - Visiting Detroit broke through in the 15th inning against Seattle reliever (and backup catcher) Jamie Burke, who gave up a sacrifice fly to the Tigers' Marcus Thames.
Burke, who last pitched in the minors in 2002, had taken over behind the plate in the ninth, and was Seattle manager Jim Riggleman's choice as the Mariners' seventh pitcher of the game, mainly because his two remaining relievers in the bullpen were Arthur Rhodes, who woke up with a sore arm, and Brandon Morrow, who had pitched four of the previous five days.
The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera took advantage of the situation, doubling to center to lead off the 15th. Pinch runner Michael Hollimon moved to third when Burke tried to throw a curveball that ended up in the backstop netting, then Thames lifted a fly to deep left that easily scored Hollimon.
Twins 4, Indians 3 - Carlos Gomez's RBI ground out capped a three-run seventh against Cleveland's Cliff Lee, and host Minnesota came from behind to deal the Indians their eighth straight loss.
Lee (11-2) lost for the first time in nine starts, hurt by a rare lack of control in the seventh. Lee needed 37 pitches to finish the inning, in which he walked two, including Denard Span with the bases loaded.
White Sox 4, Athletics 3 - John Danks took a no-hitter into the sixth and finished with a career-high nine strikeouts, and host Chicago made it a rough day for Oakland ace Rich Harden.
Danks (6-4) left with one out in the seventh after allowing four hits and two runs - the 15th time in 18 starts he's held the opponent to two runs or fewer. Harden (5-1), who suffered his first loss since last July 7, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings while striking out four and walking four.
Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2 - Arizona's Randy Johnson struck out 10 and gave up just three hits to San Diego over 6 1/3 innings in Phoenix.
Johnson (5-7) moved into sole possession of 24th place on the career victory list with his 289th win, moving ahead of Tommy John. It was his first victory since May 18 and his 211th game with double-digit strikeouts, just four shy of Nolan Ryan's all-time record.
Angels 7, Blue Jays 1 - Jon Garland (8-5) pitched a six-hitter for his 100th major league victory, Jeff Mathis tied a career high with three RBIs, and Los Angeles coasted to a home win over Toronto.
Rangers 11, Orioles 10 - David Murphy's three-run homer in the fourth gave Texas the lead for good, and the Rangers used a five-run eighth to put away host Baltimore.
Reds 6, Nationals 5 - Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer, Edinson Volquez (11-3) survived six shaky innings, and host Cincinnati finished its first four-game sweep of the Nationals since 1973, when the franchise was in Montreal.
Brewers 11, Pirates 6 - J.J. Hardy hit two homers and Ryan Braun added one to power Milwaukee to a three-game home sweep.
Cubs 7, Cardinals 1 - Aramis Ramirez drove in three runs for visiting Chicago and Sean Marshall (1-2) limited St. Louis to one run over six innings.
Dodgers 5, Giants 3 - James Loney doubled twice and drove in three runs as Los Angeles won for the eighth time in its last 10 road games.
Marlins 10, Rockies 5 - Florida's Cody Ross homered and drove in five runs, giving him 15 RBIs in the four-game series in Denver.