Yankees pound Rays

Four home runs back sharp Burnett

Manager Terry Francona talked baseball with a young fan at Fenway Park. Manager Terry Francona talked baseball with a young fan at Fenway Park. (Jim Davis/ Globe Staff)
Associated Press / July 28, 2009

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A.J. Burnett gave up two hits in seven innings and Nick Swisher homered twice last night, leading the New York Yankees to an 11-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The AL East leaders improved to 10-1 since the All-Star break, with Burnett (10-4) earning his fifth straight decision.

The switch-hitting Swisher homered from both sides of the plate for the second time this season. Robinson Cano and Johnny Damon also went deep, while Derek Jeter had three hits and Alex Rodriguez contributed a two-run double on his 34th birthday.

Cano had a RBI triple in the second inning, then led off the sixth with his 15th homer off Rays starter James Shields (6-7). Swisher hit his 15th off the righthander two pitches later and added No. 16 off lefty Brian Shouse with a solo shot in the ninth.

Damon finished New York’s 15-hit night with his 200th career homer, a three-run blast that made it 11-3.

Burnett limited the Rays to B.J. Upton’s third-inning single until giving up an unearned run in the sixth.

Giants 4, Pirates 2 - Tim Lincecum looked like his old self, pitching a four-hitter and bouncing back from a rough outing with a career-high 15 strikeouts in host San Francisco’s victory. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner (11-3) provided the Giants with a much-needed boost on the heels of a disappointing 3-7 road trip that saw them lose their wild card lead.

Cubs 5, Astros 1 - Alfonso Soriano redeemed himself for failing to run out a grounder in the 11th by hitting a game-ending grand slam in the 13th inning to lead host Chicago.

Reliever Chris Sampson (4-2) gave up a leadoff walk on four pitches to Derrek Lee in the 13th, and Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to put runners on first and third. After an intentional walk to Milton Bradley loaded the bases, Soriano followed with a long homer - his fourth career slam - over the center-field wall to end it.

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 2 - Jamie Moyer pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings and Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer as visiting Philadelphia stretched its lead in the NL East to a season-high seven games over Atlanta and Florida, which were idle.

Cardinals 6, Dodgers 1 - Chris Carpenter wrapped up an undefeated month and Brendan Ryan matched a career high with four hits to spark host St. Louis. Newcomer Julio Lugo had an RBI infield hit in the second to help the Cardinals shake off a 2-5 trip that knocked them out of the NL Central lead.

Rangers 5, Tigers 2 -Rookie Tommy Hunter pitched a career-high seven innings, and Nelson Cruz and Michael Young homered as host Texas beat AL Central-leading Detroit for the first time in seven tries this season.

Twins 4, White Sox 3 - Michael Cuddyer’s two-run homer in the sixth inning helped Minnesota hand Chicago its 12th loss in the last 14 games at the soon-to-be-vacated Metrodome.

Mets 7, Rockies 3 - Fernando Tatis hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning, and host New York rallied to its third straight victory.

Royals 5, Orioles 3 - Billy Butler had a career-high five hits and drove in three runs, and Brayan Pena beat out a run-scoring infield single to snap a seventh-inning tie as visiting Kansas City won for just the second time in 13 games.

Indians 8, Angels 6 - Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer off Los Angeles closer Brian Fuentes in the ninth inning, giving shorthanded Cleveland a stunning victory on the road.

Reds 6, Padres 4 - Brandon Phillips hit the first of Cincinnati’s four homers, a three-run shot that helped end the host Reds’ longest losing streak of the season at six games.

Blue Jays 11, Mariners 4 - Marco Scutaro matched his career high with four hits and visiting Toronto took advantage of Felix Hernandez’s worst start of the season to beat slumping Seattle.

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