Burnett buries Blue Jays

Six-hitter capped by A-Rod’s 567th homer

A.J. Burnett has kept a vow made last month after losing to the Red Sox. A.J. Burnett has kept a vow made last month after losing to the Red Sox. (Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 4, 2009
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After he was knocked out in the third inning at Fenway Park in early June, A.J. Burnett vowed to improve.

Has he ever.

Burnett scattered six hits over seven innings to win for the third time in four starts, and the Yankees opened the long holiday weekend at home with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

“When you’re clicking, everything just flows,’’ Burnett said. “When you’re clicking on pitches, you don’t even think about anything. You know, it’s just all confidence out there.’’

Robinson Cano homered leading off the second and Alex Rodriguez starting the eighth. The Yankees rebounded from Thursday night’s 8-4 loss to Seattle for their eighth win in nine games following a 1-5 slide.

Burnett (7-4) allowed both runs, struck out seven and walked two. Since the loss in Boston, he’s allowed just three earned runs in 27 1/3 innings (0.99 ERA).

Cardinals 7, Reds 4 - Albert Pujols hit his club-record fourth grand slam of the season and Jarrett Hoffpauir drove in the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning with his first career hit as St. Louis beat traveling Cincinnati to take over sole possession of first place in the NL Central.

Hoffpauir, playing his first major league game after being recalled Wednesday from Triple A Memphis, capitalized on shortstop Paul Janish’s two-out error with a bases-loaded single off Daniel Ray Herrera (1-4) to snap a 4-4 tie.

The homer was the 350th of Pujols’s career, making him at 29 years 168 days old the third-youngest player to reach that mark. Only Alex Rodriguez (28 years, 282 days) and Ken Griffey Jr. (28 years, 308 days) were younger.

Pujols, who leads the majors with 31 home runs and 82 RBIs, added a run-scoring double in the ninth.

Tigers 11, Twins 9 - Placido Polanco hit a pair of extra-inning RBI singles, the second giving Detroit the lead for good in a road victory over Minnesota in 16 innings.

Polanco drove in a run in the top of the 14th inning off R.A. Dickey, but Michael Cuddyer’s RBI single in the bottom half tied it at eight.

The Twins rebounded from a 7-2 deficit with a five-run sixth inning, highlighted by Denard Span’s two-run triple. Span finished with a career-high five hits.

Phillies 7, Mets 2 - Rodrigo Lopez took a three-hitter into the seventh inning in his first outing in two years, helping Philadelphia snap a six-game home losing streak with a victory over New York.

Lopez (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings to earn his first win since July 7, 2007. The righthander hadn’t pitched in the majors since having elbow surgery 23 months ago.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 0 - Jorge De La Rosa pitched eight innings, Ian Stewart hit a solo homer, and host Colorado beat slumping Arizona.

The Rockies have won a season-best six straight at Coors Field, and gone 24-9 since Jim Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle as manager.

Indians 15, Athletics 3 - Shin-Soo Choo homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs allowing host Cleveland to snap a five-game losing streak.

Cleveland, with the AL’s worst record, won for only the third time in 16 games.

Dodgers 6, Padres 3 - Rafael Furcal had a season-high four hits, Russell Martin drove in two runs, and Hiroki Kuroda and four relievers combined to hold host San Diego to four hits as the Dodgers welcomed back a hitless Manny Ramírez.

Orioles 6, Angels 4 - Aubrey Huff hit a three-run homer, Luke Scott doubled home two runs, and visiting Baltimore dropped Los Angeles into a first-place tie with Texas in the AL West.

Braves 9, Nationals 8 - Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning and visiting Atlanta beat Washington for its season-high fifth straight win.

Pirates 7, Marlins 4 - Brandon Moss and Ramon Vazquez homered and Charlie Morton pitched six shutout innings giving up just one hit to help visiting Pittsburgh beat Florida.

Rangers 3, Rays 1 - Tommy Hunter earned his first career victory on his 23d birthday and Hank Blalock homered as host Texas won its third in a row.

Giants 13, Astros 0 - Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer as San Francisco snapped a six-game losing streak to the visitors.

White Sox 5, Royals 0 - John Danks threw 7 1/3 shutout innings as visiting Chicago won its seventh straight game.

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