The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"For me, I gave you guys something to talk about and write about in the 11th inning and I didn't have to open my mouth."
-- Yankees third baseman and media lightning rod Alex Rodriguez
New York Yankees 6, Minnesota Twins 4 (11)
Alex Rodriguez delivered a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to carry the Yankees past the Twins. The hit was Rodriguez's first at the new Yankees Stadium as New York collected its fourth win in a row. For the second straight game the Twins got home runs out of both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Unfortunately for Minnesota, it was also the second straight game that they lost in the final at-bat as the Yankees rallied against closer Joe Nathan in the bottom of the ninth Friday.
Baltimore Orioles 3, Kansas City Royals 2
Rich Hill went 5 2/3 innings and gave up just two runs on seven hits to go with six strikeouts as he won his season debut. Hill had been beset by elbow pain this spring but proved to be a shot in the arm for the Orioles. Kansas City starter Kyle Davis struggled early, walking leadoff hitter Brian Roberts on four consecutive pitches. Roberts then stole second and third and finally scored on a wild pitch. Davies would ultimately settle down and pitch seven innings but took the loss. The Orioles bullpen threw 3 1/3 no-hit innings and George Sherrill collected his seventh save of the season.
Toronto Blue Jays 2, Chicago White Sox 1
Chicago got on the board first but couldn't hold Toronto down as the Blue Jays scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning for the win. Toronto got another solid start from a young pitcher as Robert Ray went eight innings, allowing just the one run and three hits. For all of the praise heaped on the Blue Jays' offense, their pitching has been impressive as well, especially given all their injuries. Toronto has had nine different pitchers get two or more starts yet still has the best record in the American League.
Texas Rangers 5, Los Angeles Angels 3
John Lackey certainly knows how to make an entrance. Lackey kept his first start of the season short but not so sweet as Lackey was ejected from Saturday's game after exactly two pitches. Lackey's first pitch was thrown behind Texas leadoff batter Ian Kinsler, his second pitch hit Kinsler in the side and that would be all. Kinsler had hit two home runs against the Angels on Friday night. Shane Loux came in relief of Lackey (is it really relief if you enter facing the game's first batter?) and took the loss. Vicente Padilla continued his dominant stretch, allowing three runs while scattering 10 hits over eight innings. Padilla has now gone six or more innings in each of his last five starts.
Tampa Bay 4, Cleveland Indians 2
Carl Pavano took the loss for the first time in his past four outings as Tampa Bay's Matt Garza kept Cleveland's bats in check. The Indians had blown nine- and seven-run leads in the past two games but the bullpen had little effect on the outcome of this game. B.J. Upton is beginning to show signs of life as the Rays outfielder hit a home run for the second straight game to lift his average to a still putrid, but improving .192.
Detroit Tigers 9, Oakland Athletics 1
The Tigers used a five-run fifth inning against Athletics starter Dallas Braden to pound Oakland. Braden gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings to pick up his third straight loss. Ryan Raburn hit a home run for Detroit for the second straight game and closed out Saturday by going 2 for 4 with two runs and three RBI. Placido Polanco, Miguel Cabrera and Gerald Laird each had three hits for a Tigers team that got another solid start out of rookie Rick Porcello. Porcello improve to 4-3 on the year by allowing just one run and three hits over six innings.
Boston Red Sox 5, Seattle Mariners 3
Boston scored all five of its runs via three home runs as the Red Sox ripped Seattle starter (and former Oriole) Garrett Olson on Saturday night. Jonathan Papelbon got his AL-leading 10th save of the season in relief of Josh Beckett who collected his fourth win. Olson was pitching in a pinch as Erik Bedard (hey, another former Oriole!) was a late scratch with a sore hamstring. Jason Bay continued his assault on American League pitching as he blasted his 11th home run in the first inning.
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