Yankees claim 7th straight

Hot A-Rod homers; Jays halt Rays’ streak

Blue Jays’ Ricky Romero delivers to the Rays in the first inning yesterday; he went eight shutout innings and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 20 frames. Blue Jays’ Ricky Romero delivers to the Rays in the first inning yesterday; he went eight shutout innings and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 20 frames. (Fred Thornhill/Reuters)
Associated Press / July 2, 2009
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Alex Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking homer and Andy Pettitte pitched seven strong innings, leading the host New York Yankees over the Seattle Mariners, 4-2, last night for their seventh consecutive victory.

A fatigued Rodriguez, who had hip surgery in March, was held out of the lineup June 19-20 in Florida. Soon after, his swing started to come around.

Now, the three-time MVP is on a hitting tear. In his last seven games, he is 10 for 23 (.435) with four homers, 13 RBIs, and 10 walks.

“I’m feeling better. I feel more energized out there,’’ said Rodriguez, who also got a mini-break last night as the designated hitter.

Blue Jays 5, Rays 0 - Ricky Romero pitched four-hit ball over eight innings, Rod Barajas, Adam Lind, and Scott Rolen each homered and host Toronto ended Tampa Bay’s seven-game winning streak.

Rookie lefthander Romero (6-3), who took a no-hitter into the seventh in his last start, matched the longest outing of his career in winning his third straight start. He walked four, struck out seven, and lowered his ERA to 2.85. He allowed just two hits through the first six innings.

Romero is 5-1 in his past six starts and has not allowed a run in 20 innings.

Dodgers 1, Rockies 0 - Rafael Furcal had a pinch hit RBI single in the eighth inning, helping host Los Angeles beat Colorado in the final game of Manny Ramírez’s 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.

The Dodgers were 29-21 during Ramírez’s absence. The 12-time All-Star will return to the lineup tomorrow night for the start of a three-game series at San Diego.

Mets 1, Brewers 0 - New York ended a season-worst five-game losing streak even though Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo had a career-high 12 strikeouts at home.

The Mets’ Mike Pelfrey (6-3) gave up six hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, and Ryan Church came through with an RBI single in the sixth. Gallardo (8-5) gave up five hits in seven innings.

Twins 5, Royals 1 - Joe Mauer went 3 for 3 in visiting Minnesota’s victory over Kansas City, improving his average to .392. He’s eight plate appearances short of the 3.1 per game needed to qualify for the batting race.

With Michael Cuddyer hitting a long home run and Glen Perkins holding the Royals to one run, the Twins ended a 6-3 road trip.

Athletics 5, Tigers 1 - Jason Giambi and Jack Cust hit two-run homers and Dallas Braden ended a four-start winless stretch for host Oakland.

Giambi’s drive in the sixth off Justin Verlander (8-4) was home run No. 407, tying him with Duke Snider for 43d place. Giambi, who has been dealing with sore legs, entered the game with an American League-low .197 batting average.

White Sox 6, Indians 2 - Jose Contreras got a rare road win as the righthander, shipped to the minors earlier this season, pitched eight superb innings and Chicago won its fifth straight.

Contreras (3-7) improved to 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA since being recalled from Triple A Charlotte, a month-long demotion prompted by the 37-year-old opening the season 0-5. Contreras had been just 1-6 in his previous 10 road starts.

Braves 11, Phillies 1 - Jair Jurrjens allowed his first hit with two outs in the seventh inning on a night host Atlanta finally gave him some run support.

Jurrjens (6-6) began the night with the seventh-lowest run support in the majors, including only five runs in his last four losses.

Astros 7, Padres 1 - Brian Moehler fanned eight over six strong innings and Houston scored six runs in the fourth inning en route to a win in San Diego.

Rangers 9, Angels 7 - After Los Angeles’s Juan Rivera hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth to tie it, Hank Blalock blasted a two-run shot off Justin Speier with two outs in the bottom of the inning to lift Texas.

Cardinals 2, Giants 1 - Rookie Colby Rasmus hit a leadoff homer in the 10th inning after rookie third baseman Pablo Sandoval dropped his foul pop fly earlier in the at-bat, giving St. Louis the victory at Busch Stadium.

Cubs 4, Pirates 1 - Derrek Lee and Kosuke Fukudome homered to support Randy Wells’s seven effective innings and Chicago won another series from division opponent Pittsburgh.

Marlins 5, Nationals 3 - Hanley Ramirez extended his RBI streak to 10 games, pinch hitter Wes Helms beat out a potential double-play ball to put host Florida ahead in the eighth inning, and the Marlins remained unbeaten vs. Washington this season (9-0).

Reds 1, Diamondbacks 0 - Righthander Johnny Cueto settled in after two wild innings and Joey Votto singled home a sixth-inning run to lift host Cincinnati.

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