REUTERS AND AP, LOS ANGELES AND ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA
The Minnesota Twins ended the Los Angeles Angels’ eight-game winning streak with a 10-1 victory on Sunday, powered by Justin Morneau’s two home runs.
Morneau, the Twins’ designated hitter, belted a two-run homer in the first inning and gave Minnesota an 8-1 lead with a solo homer in the seventh.
“As Morneau goes, we go,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters. “When he is swinging like that we go pretty good.”
The win ended a four-game losing streak for Minnesota.
Denard Span drove in four more runs with a two-run single in a four-run, fourth inning and a two-run homer in the eighth, and Nick Punto had three runs batted in.
The Twins had 12 hits against the American League West-leading Angels, rocking Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana (3-6) for six runs and six hits in three-and-two-thirds innings.
Minnesota’s Anthony Swarzak (3-3) got the win by holding the hosts to four hits and one run over six-and-two-thirds innings.
“We haven’t seen him before,” Angels leadoff batter Chone Figgins said of Swarzak. “He made his pitches. He kept throwing strikes, kept the ball out of the middle of the plate. We took some good rips against him. We just couldn’t get some hits and get guys on base.”
The Angels’ lone run came on a solo homer by Kendry Morales in the fourth.
“The Angels beat up on us pretty good for three days and it was nice to go out there and get the win,” the Twins’ Punto said. “It was one of those road trips where a lot of things didn’t go our way, but I feel like we picked ourselves up.”
YANKEES 7, ATHLETICS 5
At New York, Derek Jeter hit a go-ahead single and Mariano Rivera earned a four-out save as New York capped a stellar homestand in which they grabbed the AL East.
Robinson Cano had an early three-run double and the Yankees got a strong effort from the bullpen, as they wrapped up a 9-1 start to the second half. After winning for the 22nd time in 28 games, the Yankees hit the road for 19 of their next 26.
Phil Hughes provided more spotless relief, Phil Coke (2-3) go the win even though he gave up a go-ahead homer to Mark Ellis, and Brian Bruney got the ball to Rivera to close out the game.
RANGERS 7, ROYALS 2
At Kansas City, Missouri, Dustin Nippert allowed one hit in a stellar job of relief pitching as Texas scored seven times off the Kansas City bullpen.
Nippert was forced into action when Rangers starter Kevin Millwood left after two innings with tightness in his left gluteus.
He gave up a run in the seventh on Alex Gordon’s single, the only hit he allowed. Nippert (3-0) walked two, hit a batter and struck out one in four-and-two-thirds innings.
Ron Mahay (1-1), the first of four relievers, faced two batters and gave up two hits to take the loss for the Royals. They’ve lost 11 of 12 overall.
In other AL play, it was:
• Orioles 6, Red Sox 2
• Blue Jays 5, Rays 1
• Indians 12, Mariners 3
• White Sox 5, Tigers 1
AP, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez all hit two-run home runs to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 9-2 win over the St Louis Cardinals in the National League on Sunday.
Joe Blanton (7-4) had another effective outing, allowing two runs and he struck out six over eight innings. Blanton has allowed two runs or less and pitched at least seven innings in five of his last six starts for the NL East leaders.