American LeaguePitching with the poise of an experienced ace, Wang Chien-ming (
The Taiwanese pitcher shut down the Cleveland Indians' powerful lineup, Robinson Cano homered off hard-luck loser Paul Byrd and New York ended its four-game skid by squeaking out a 1-0 victory on Tuesday.
"We needed to win that game," Derek Jeter said. "Wang deserves all the credit."
Meeting for the first time this season, the Indians and Yankees entered tied for the major league lead with 359 runs apiece.
But Wang and Byrd silenced the offenses in an old-fashioned pitchers' duel, and New York's bullpen closed it out.
"That's one thing that has never changed in this game -- pitching can control the hitting," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
After stranding five runners in his first two at-bats, Cano connected on a 1-1 pitch from Byrd (5-5) with one out in the sixth, sending a drive over the right-field fence.
The Indians had their best scoring chance in the top half, when Grady Sizemore led off with a double off the center-field fence and moved to third on a long flyout.
But after an intentional walk to Travis Hafner, Wang got streaking slugger Victor Martinez to ground into an inning-ending double play.
"It worked out perfect for them," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "That kid has a real heavy sinker, too. It has some run on it as well as some down to it."
Aaron Boone reached on an infield single to start the eighth and advanced on a sacrifice, chasing Wang.
Mike Myers and Kyle Farnsworth got out of the inning unscathed, and Mariano Rivera fanned two in a hitless ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.
"Mo's got that glare about him right now," Torre said.
In his second major league season, the 26-year-old Wang (7-2) pitched five-hit ball for 7 1-3 innings -- improving to 6-1 with a fill-in save in his past nine appearances.
"We needed him and he came through," Rivera said.
Wang walked one, struck out three and has allowed only one run in 14 1-3 innings over his last two starts -- against Boston and Cleveland.
"Most guys, if they make it to second, they say how good he is," Jeter said.
This performance was especially important for the Yankees, who had dropped four straight, all at home, to match their longest skid of the year.
"He goes out there and just goes about his business. I don't think he gets too concerned about what's going on," catcher Jorge Posada said. "You can call any pitch and you know where he's going to be."
Tigers 7, Devil Rays 1
At Detroit, Kenny Rogers earned the 199th victory of his career, leading Detroit over Tampa Bay for its fourth straight win.
Rogers (9-3) allowed a run, four hits and a walk and struck out nine, one short of his career high, in eight innings. He's 199-134 in 18 major league seasons.
The four-time Gold Glove winner also helped himself with a spectacular defensive play in the seventh. Jorge Cantu's hard grounder hit the 41-year-old and rebounded to the first-base line, but he chased it down and made a diving toss to first for the out.
Seth McClung (2-9) was the loser.
White Sox 5, Rangers 2
At Arlington, Texas, Paul Konerko broke a tie with a three-run homer in the sixth and Jon Garland (5-3) pitched 5 1-3 innings to help Chicago beat Texas and win for the sixth time in eight games.
Bobby Jenks got three outs for his 19th save in 20 chances. Rangers starter Kameron Loe (3-6) allowed Konerko's 17th homer.
Twins 5, Red Sox 2, 12 innings
At Minneapolis, rookie Jason Kubel hit a grand slam in the 12th inning off Julian Tavarez to give Minnesota the victory over Boston.
Kubel's homer put a thrilling ending on a game in which Curt Schilling and Johan Santana dueled to a standstill for eight innings.
Julian Tavarez (1-2) hit Michael Cuddyer with one out in the 12th, Justin Morneau hit a ground-rule double to right-center and Torii Hunter was intentionally walked to the load the bases. Kubel followed with a shot that just got over the big baggie in right field and sent the crowd into a frenzy. Kubel was mobbed at home plate by his teammates, including Santana, who struck out a season-high 13.
Dennys Reyes (1-0) got one out for the win after Jesse Crain gave up an RBI-groundout in the top of the 12th.
Athletics 2, Mariners 0
At Oakland, California, Joe Blanton pitched into the ninth and Jay Payton homered to help Oakland blank Seattle and win its fifth straight game.
Jason Kendall added an RBI single as the A's matched their best winning streak of the season. They have won eight of nine and 10 of 12, including a three-game weekend sweep of New York at Yankee Stadium.
Blanton (6-6) bounced back with a great outing following an 11-2 loss last Wednesday at Cleveland in which he gave up two homers and six earned runs in five innings. The right-hander didn't allow a baserunner past first until giving up a single and a double to start the ninth and giving way to closer Huston Street, who finished for his 15th save. Jamie Moyer (3-6) lost in his 499th career start.
Chris Carpenter held Pittsburgh to three hits and struck out a career-high 13 in seven shutout innings in his best start since April, and Scott Rolen had four hits in the St. Louis Cardinals' 2-1 victory Tuesday.
Rolen doubled and scored on Juan Encarnacion's single in the fourth, then doubled again an inning later to drive in the Cardinals' second run after So Taguchi drew a two-out walk from Oliver Perez (2-8). Rolen went 4-for-4 with two doubles and is hitting .481 (13-of-27) since Cardinals star Albert Pujols went on the 15-day disabled list June 4 because of a strained muscle in his right side.
Carpenter (5-3) is 8-1 against the Pirates in his career and 3-0 this season, allowing the NL Central rival only two runs in 21 innings.
Jason Isringhausen allowed two hits and Craig Wilson's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning but he struck out Ronny Paulino with the potential tying run on third for his 21st save. It was the 161st save of Isringhausen's career, one more than Lee Smith's previous career record for the Cardinals.
Mets 9, Phillies 7
At Philadelphia, Billy Wagner earned his first save in Philadelphia since leaving the Phillies to sign with New York during the offseason, and David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado homered for the Mets.
Wagner got the final five outs for his 13th save in 16 chances.
Tom Glavine failed to win his 10th game and allowed four homers for just the second time in his career, but the NL East-leading Mets overcame the left-hander's shortest outing of the season to win their sixth straight game. New York (40-23) has the best record in the NL and leads second-place Philadelphia by 7-1/2 games.
Jimmy Rollins connected twice off Glavine and Bobby Abreu, Rowand and David Dellucci also went deep for the Phillies, who have lost four of five.
Chad Bradford (3-2) was the winner. Ryan Madson (6-4) took the loss.
Astros 9, Cubs 2
At Chicago, Chris Burke went 4-for-4 and scored five times to match Craig Biggio's Houston record, and Andy Pettitte allowed five hits in seven strong innings to beat Chicago.
Pettitte (6-7) earned his first career victory over the Cubs, retiring 12 straight after he was struck by Juan Pierre's line drive leading off the third inning. The lefty did not give up another hit until Phil Nevin's leadoff homer in the seventh.
Burke's second homer of the season, a solo shot, got the Astros started in the first, and Lance Berkman's two-run double knocked Chicago rookie Sean Marshall (3-5) out in the fifth as Houston built a 5-0 lead. Houston has won six of its last seven to move back over the .500 mark for the first time since May 30.
Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1
At Phoenix, rookie Enrique Gonzalez gave Arizona a lift, allowing one hit in seven innings to beat San Francisco and snap a seven-game losing streak.
Omar Vizquel's first-inning single was Giants' only hit off Gonzalez, making his third major league start. Vizquel was erased on Ray Durham's double-play grounder.
Padres 9, Dodgers 1
At San Diego, Mike Cameron hit a three-run homer and also tripled and doubled to finish a single short of becoming the first San Diego player to hit for the cycle.
Cameron hit a three-run shot to left off Jae Seo with one out in the fifth to give the Padres an 8-1 lead. Cameron doubled in the second, tripled in the fourth and walked in the seventh. Eric Young also homered for the Padres.
Park Chan-ho (4-3) beat his former team, holding Los Angeles to one run and three hits. Aaron Sele (3-1) was the loser.
The Dodgers came in with sole possession of the NL West lead, but dropped into a tie with Arizona, which beat San Francisco.
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