Blue Jays pound Burnett, Yankees

Orioles keep Rays from playoff berth

Associated Press / September 28, 2010

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Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer, John Buck added a solo shot, and the Blue Jays pounded A.J. Burnett, then held on for a 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees last night in Toronto.

Toronto assured itself of at least a .500 finish and temporarily denied the Yankees the chance to clinch a playoff berth.

Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer and Curtis Granderson added a two-run drive for the Yankees, who have lost five of six.

The Blue Jays lead the major leagues with 243 home runs this season, one shy of the team record set in 2000.

Toronto lefthander Marc Rzepczynski (3-4) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season. He walked three and matched a career high with nine strikeouts.

Brian Tallet pitched 1 1/3 innings, Josh Roenicke and Jesse Carlson each got one out, Scott Downs worked the eighth, and Kevin Gregg closed it out in the ninth for his 36th save in 41 chances.

Burnett (10-15), who has lost seven of his last 11 starts, allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings, his second-shortest start of the year. The righthander, who walked one and struck out one, is 0-3 with a 9.61 ERA in four starts against his former team this season.

Orioles 4, Rays 0 — Brian Matusz pitched seven impressive innings and Nick Markakis drove in two runs with a triple and a single, leading visiting Baltimore over AL East-leading Tampa Bay.

Matusz (9-12) allowed three hits, two of them infield singles. The rookie walked one, hit a batter, and matched a career high with eight strikeouts before being replaced by Jim Johnson.

The Rays’ magic number to clinch their second playoff berth in three years remained at one. They retained a half-game lead in the division over the Yankees. The potential clincher drew a crowd of just 12,446 to Tropicana Field — well below the 23,047 Tampa Bay has averaged this season.

Markakis had an RBI triple off rookie Wade Davis (13-9) in the fifth inning. The Orioles scored three times in the seventh, with Markakis and Luke Scott delivering run-scoring singles and Ty Wigginton adding a sacrifice fly.

The loss was the first for Davis since June 27, ending a seven-game winning streak that matched the longest in Tampa Bay history. Jeff Niemann (2008-09) and Mark Hendrickson (2005) are the other pitchers who have won seven straight decisions for the Rays.

Johnson pitched a perfect eighth for the Orioles. Koji Uehara struck out the side in the ninth to finish the three-hitter.

Cubs 1, Padres 0 — Carlos Zambrano won his seventh straight decision since rejoining Chicago’s rotation, combining with two relievers on a four-hitter, and the Cubs held on to beat host San Diego to knock the Padres out of the NL wild-card lead.

The Padres dropped one-half game behind the Braves and fell a game behind idle San Francisco in the NL West race.

Dodgers 3, Rockies 1 — Ted Lilly scattered four hits over eight innings and visiting Los Angeles prevented Ubaldo Jimenez from getting his 20th win.

Casey Blake went 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and scored Los Angeles’s other run as the Dodgers put the Rockies, who fell five games behind idle San Francisco in the NL West, on the brink of elimination.

Braves 2, Marlins 1 — Omar Infante singled home the winning run with two outs in the 11th inning and host Atlanta kept up its push for the NL wild-card spot.

Cardinals 6, Pirates 4 — Matt Holliday homered and drove in three runs as host St. Louis stayed in the NL Central race for at least one more day. A Cardinals loss would have clinched the division for Cincinnati.

In other games — Armando Galarraga went from unhittable to giving up three homers in an 18-pitch span as host Cleveland beat Detroit, 6-3; Justin Smoak homered and had three hits and visiting Seattle edged Texas, 7-5; and Jarrod Dyson hit his first major league home run, helping host Kansas City beat Minnesota, 10-8; Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui tied the game with an RBI single off Justin James, and the Oakland rookie forced in two more runs, helping host Los Angeles beat the Athletics, 6-5.

The game between the Brewers and Mets in New York was rained out. It will be made up as part of a twi-night doubleheader tomorrow.


■Blue Jays lefthander Marc Rzepczynski recorded eight consecutive outs by strikeout against the Yankees.

Martin Prado of the Braves left the game in the fifth inning with a left hip pointer. Prado was removed after swinging at a pitch and grabbing his left side, but he said he originally injured himself while making a diving catch in the fourth inning. He is day to day.

■Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins did not start because rain throughout the day left the outfield grass slick. Rollins pinch hit Sunday after sitting out 14 games with a tight right hamstring.

■The Rangers raised their AL West championship flag in ceremonies before last night’s game. They clinched their first division title since 1999 Saturday in Oakland.

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