Yankees belt pair in 9th for 11-9 win
NEW YORK — Javier Vazquez made his first relief appearance in four years. Marcus Thames got the third game-ending hit of his career.
Only Alex Rodriguez was used to this sort of late-inning madness.
"We did it the hard way today," the slugger said.
Rodriguez hit a tying homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning and Thames connected moments later for a two-run shot of his own, giving the New York Yankees a wild 11-9 victory over the Boston Red Sox last night.
With one out and a runner on third, Rodriguez hit the first pitch into the visitors' bullpen in left-center to tie it at 9. Papelbon (1-3) got Robinson Cano to fly out but hit Francisco Cervelli with a pitch before Thames drove his next delivery over the wall in left.
"I knew I had that one," Thames said. "I've hit a few and that one felt pretty good."
Vazquez (2-4) got a most unlikely victory, striking out Kevin Youkilis with runners on the corners for the final out of the ninth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi only went to the struggling starter for his third career relief appearance because his depleted bullpen was without David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain.
"I really don't know what I'm doing out there as a reliever," said Vazquez, who last came out of the bullpen on July 9, 2006, for the Chicago White Sox against Boston. "I just tried to make good pitches against him."
Rays 4, Indians 3: Jason Bartlett laid down a bunt to drive in the winning run in the 11th inning as host Tampa Bay beat Cleveland. John Jaso hit a one-out infield single against Jamey Wright (1-2) and went to third on Gabe Kapler's hit-and-run single to right. Bartlett then laid down a bunt on the first-base side of the mound that Wright fielded and was forced to make a toss toward the plate that went over catcher Mike Redmond's head.
Twins 8, Blue Jays 3: Justin Morneau homered twice, Delmon Young also went deep and visiting Minnesota beat Toronto. Morneau went 3 for 4 with a walk and four RBIs. He hit a solo homer off Rommie Lewis in the sixth inning and added a two-run drive off Shawn Camp in the eighth.
Royals 4, Orioles 3: Kyle Davies allowed two runs in six innings, and visiting Baltimore beat Kansas City before 9,299, the second-smallest crowd in the 19-year history of Camden Yards. Davies (3-2) gave up seven hits and a walk to earn his first win in four starts since April 26.
Rangers 4, Angels 3: Derek Holland pitched into the sixth inning, Nelson Cruz drove in two runs, and host Texas beat Los Angeles. Holland (2-0) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings in his second start since being recalled from Triple-A on May 12.
Athletics 8, Mariners 4: Kevin Kouzmanoff and Adam Rosales each hit two-run homers, Gio Gonzalez pitched a four-hitter over seven innings and host Oakland ended a five-game losing streak. Gonzalez (4-3) gave up three runs on four hits.
Reds 6, Brewers 3: Jonny Gomes' three-run homer completed a five-run rally in the seventh inning, and host Cincinnati beat Milwaukee. Gomes' homer off Todd Coffey (1-1) sent the Reds to their eighth victory in nine games. They moved into first place in the NL Central on Sunday — they haven't been there this deep into a season since 2006.
Phillies 12, Pirates 2: Kyle Kendrick pitched eight impressive innings, Ryan Howard hit a grand slam and had six RBIs, and host Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh. Pitching in a steady rain, Kendrick (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits, striking out four.
Cardinals 6, Nationals 2: Albert Pujols had three hits and helped fuel a four-run first inning from the cleanup slot with a single, the first of four consecutive hits, as host St. Louis beat Washington. The big inning came with Pujols batting fourth for the first time since May 30, 2003.
Cubs 4, Rockies 2: Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, his first home run in more than a month, lifting host Chicago over Colorado. Starlin Castro opened the 11th with a single off Matt Belisle (1-1). After Derrek Lee lined out, Ramirez lined a 1-0 pitch into the left-field bleachers.
Dodgers 6, Astros 2: John Ely pitched his third straight game of six or more innings without issuing a walk, Casey Blake and Blake Dewitt each drove in two runs, and host Los Angeles extended its winning streak to eight games. Ely (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings with eight strikeouts.
Mets 3, Braves 2: Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets a lift with 7 2/3 strong innings and visiting New York beat Atlanta to end a five-game losing streak. Pelfrey (5-1) improved to only 3-10 in 19 career starts in the month of May.
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 1: Edwin Jackson struck out a career-high 12 in eight shutout innings to lead visiting Arizona over Florida. Jackson (2-5), who went 13-9 with Detroit last season, came in with a 1-5 record and 7.43 ERA.
Padres 3, Giants 1: Adrian Gonzalez homered off Matt Cain, Clayton Richard and two relievers combined on a four-hitter, and host San Diego stayed atop the NL West. Richard (3-2) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings.