Careless Rays give NY break

Associated Press / July 11, 2011

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James Shields, B.J. Upton, and CC Sabathia threw the Yankees into the All-Star break on quite the roll.

Shields and Upton made egregious throwing errors that let Robinson Cano score the only run yesterday, sending New York to a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

“You usually don’t win a 1-0 game like that,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Shields and Sabathia (13-4) staged a classic pitchers’ duel, matching zeros until the bottom of the seventh inning.

Cano led off with a single and Jorge Posada’s pop to shallow center was gloved on the run by Upton, who rocketed a throw well over first baseman Casey Kotchman’s head. Cano moved to third on the error.

Shields (8-7), one of the toughest pitchers to run against in the game, then tried to pick Cano off. He fired wide into the tarp, and Cano trotted home.

“All I had to do was lob the ball over there and I ended up airmailing the play,’’ Shields said.

Sabathia finished with a four-hitter for his 12th career shutout. The big lefthander struck out nine and walked one. Both Sabathia and Shields were named to the American League All-Star team, but are ineligible to participate in tomorrow’s game because they pitched yesterday.

The Yankees almost grabbed the lead in the third. Eduardo Nunez and Derek Jeter, who got his 3,000th career hit Saturday, started the inning with consecutive singles and both runners moved up on Curtis Granderson’s sacrifice. But Nunez tried to tag up on Mark Teixeira’s fly ball to center, and Upton cut him down at the plate.

Upton himself was picked off in the fourth, caught by Sabathia in a rundown.

That was before his throw opened the door for the Yankees.

“It’s unfortunate that that play ended up pretty much deciding the game,’’ Upton said.

Angels 4, Mariners 2 - Alberto Callaspo hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth, Dan Haren (10-5) fell one out short of his second straight complete game, and host Los Angeles won for the 14th time in 17 games.

Rangers 2, Athletics 0 - Adrian Beltre homered in his third consecutive game and host Texas extended its winning streak to a season-best seven games.

Tigers 2, Royals 1 - Pitching in 100-degree heat in Kansas City, Mo., Justin Verlander (12-4) struck out nine over 7 2/3 innings, and Detroit took over first place in the AL Central.

Blue Jays 7, Indians 1 - Brett Cecil (2-4) gave up one unearned run over six innings and Eric Thames’s two-run homer in a five-run third put visiting Toronto ahead to stay.

Twins 6, White Sox 3 - Fill-in starter Anthony Swarzak dominated over six innings and visiting Minnesota ended its series in Chicago with three wins in four games.

Marlins 5, Astros 4 - Mike Cameron smacked a tying two-run homer for his first hit with the Marlins, and Florida completed a four-game sweep of Houston in Miami.

Phillies 14, Braves 1 - Cole Hamels (11-4) had it easy over his eight innings thanks to a season-high 20 hits by host Philadelphia. Raul Ibanez homered and drove in six runs.

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 2 - Jaime Garcia (9-3) won for the sixth time at home and David Freese belted his first home run in almost three months for St. Louis.

Brewers 4, Reds 3 - Mark Kotsay tied the game with a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the ninth and Craig Counsell, another pinch hitter, later delivered a sacrifice fly that won it for Milwaukee.

Giants 4, Mets 2 - Nate Schierholtz had four hits and an RBI from the cleanup spot and Matt Cain (8-5) pitched six scoreless innings for San Francisco at home.

Pirates 9, Cubs 1 - Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in five runs in support of Paul Maholm (6-9), and host Pittsburgh improved to 47-43, its best record this late in the season since 1992.

Nationals 2, Rockies 0 - Jordan Zimmermann (6-7) took a shutout into the seventh and host Washington pulled into the break with a non-losing record for the first time since 2005.

Dodgers 4, Padres 1 - Andre Ethier went deep twice to snap a 10-game homer drought for host Los Angeles.

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