REUTERS AND AP, ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
Nick Swisher homered twice in the New York Yankees’ 11-4 pounding of the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, their 10th victory in 11 games.
A.J. Burnett (10-4) held the Rays to two hits and one run over seven innings. He struck out five and walked two in gaining his fifth consecutive win.
Swisher said Burnett gave the Yankees a boost whenever he pitched.
“He’s one of those guys that you hate facing, but you love him on your team,” the New York outfielder said. “He’s a gamer. Everybody sees how he goes about his business. On game day, you don’t even talk to him. He’s just completely focused all day, and tonight, he went out there and did an awesome job for us.”
Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria, who was hitless in three at bats, agreed.
“He didn’t really give us many opportunities to score,” Longoria said. “He’s tough. He throws to both sides of the plate and throws hard.”
The victory kept New York 2.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The third-placed Rays dropped to 7.5 games back.
Robinson Cano and Swisher hit back to back home runs to stake the Yankees to a 5-0 lead in the sixth inning.
The margin grew to 11-3 in a four-run ninth inning when Swisher added a solo home run and three batters later Johnny Damon smacked a three-run homer to right field.
The Yankees tagged loser James Shields for nine of their 15 hits and five runs in five-plus innings.
New York scored three runs off Shields in the second inning on a double by Jorge Posada, Cano’s triple and Swisher’s ground out.
The Yankees added two more on the homers by Cano and Swisher in the sixth and took a 7-1 lead in the eighth when Alex Rodriguez celebrated his 34th birthday with a two-run double.
RED SOX 8, ATHLETICS 3
At Boston, Josh Beckett became the American League’s first 12-game winner when the Boston Red Sox snapped out of a slump with 14 hits in an 8-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
Also on Monday it was:
• Twins 4, White Sox 3
• Royals 5, Orioles 3
• Rangers 5, Tigers 2
• Indians 8, Angels 6
• Blue Jays 11, Mariners 4
AP, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI
Chris Carpenter wrapped up an undefeated month and Brendan Ryan matched a career high with four hits as St Louis defeated Los Angeles 6-1.
Matt Holliday lined an RBI double off the base of the center-field wall in his first home at-bat and Mark DeRosa homered for the fifth time in 13 games with St Louis. The third newcomer to the lineup, Julio Lugo, had an RBI infield hit in the second to help the Cardinals shake off a 2-5 trip that knocked them out of the NL Central lead.
The Dodgers activated Taiwanese left-handed relief pitcher Kuo Hong-chih from the 60-day disabled list on Monday in time for the opener of the four-game series against the Cardinals.
Kuo had been on the disabled list since May 2 with a left elbow strain and replaced infielder Blake DeWitt, who was optioned to minor league Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Kuo is 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in seven appearances this season.
Also on Monday it was:
• Giants 4, Pirates 2
• Reds 6, Padres 4
• Mets 7, Rockies 3
• Nationals 14, Brewers 6
• Cubs 5, Astros 1
• Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 2