Jeremy Hellickson won his major league debut, Matt Joyce had two RBIs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-2, last night in St. Petersburg, Fla., to move into a first-place tie with the Yankees in the AL East.
Hellickson (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings, helping the Rays win for the ninth time in the last 10 games. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Hellickson’s spot start was to give the rotation an extra day off. The righthander was optioned back to Triple A Durham afterward.
Tampa Bay went up, 4-1, in the fifth when Carl Crawford hit a run-scoring double, and Joyce drove in two more off Carl Pavano (13-7) with a double during a 12-pitch at-bat. Joyce has 15 RBIs over his last 17 games.
Jason Kubel homered and had two RBIs for the Twins, who had an eight-game winning streak end. Pavano gave up four runs and nine hits over six innings, after going 8-0 in his previous 10 starts.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer was out of the lineup for the second straight game after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Saturday. The reigning American League MVP, dealing with tendinitis, could start today.
Braves 4, Mets 1 — Tim Hudson pitched six solid innings and Rich Ankiel drove in two runs with his first hit as a Brave, a two-out, two-run single in a three-run first that helped host Atlanta defeat New York.
Chipper Jones added a solo homer in the seventh as the Braves increased their NL East lead to three games over the idle Phillies.
Hudson (12-5) allowed six hits, one run, walked three, and struck out three. Johan Santana (8-6) gave up nine hits and four runs, walked two, and had a season-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings.
Brewers 18, Cubs 1 — Prince Fielder drove in five runs and had five of Milwaukee’s season-high 26 hits, and Yovani Gallardo (10-5) tied his season high with 12 strikeouts in Chicago.
The Cubs tied a franchise record for hits allowed, matching the total given up in a loss to the Milwaukee Braves on Sept. 2, 1957.
Padres 10, Dodgers 5 — Chase Headley had four hits, including a three-run homer, and Will Venable drove in four runs as visiting San Diego bumped up its lead in the NL West to two games over the idle Giants.
Astros 9, Cardinals 4 — Jeff Keppinger had two hits and four RBIs, including a key hit during a three-run eighth, and visiting Houston won its sixth straight to spoil Jake Westbrook’s St. Louis debut.
Nationals 3, Diamondbacks 1 — Adam Dunn hit his 26th homer and Livan Hernandez (8-7) baffled batters into the eighth with slow curveballs, lifting Washington over host Arizona.
Athletics 6, Royals 0 — Trevor Cahill threw a three-hitter for his first complete game, and Rajai Davis hit a two-run homer for host Oakland. Cahill (11-4) walked four and struck out three.
Reds 4, Pirates 0 — Reds rookie Travis Wood limited host Pittsburgh to two singles over seven innings, and fill-in first baseman Miguel Cairo drove in two runs for Cincinnati.