The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"This is as bad as it gets as a relief pitcher."
-- Rays reliever J.P. Howell whose wild pitch scored the winning run for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the ninth inning
Marco Scutaro scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a wild pitch from Tampa Bay reliever J.P. Howell as the Blue Jays avoided being swept at home. While Howell may have been feeling remorse, several of the game's umpires were feeling pain. The game's first home plate umpire left after two innings with back spasms. His replacement left in the sixth inning after getting hit in the chest by a Scott Kazmir fastball that seemed to cross up Tampa Bay catcher Gregg Zaun. Kazmir earned a no-decision despite throwing six innings of one-run ball for the Rays and picking up his third straight quality start for the first time this season.
The Orioles put an end to the Twins' five-game winning streak as starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie picked up consecutive wins for the first time since his first two starts of the season. Guthrie pitched seven solid innings as the American League-leader in home runs allowed gave up just one run - scored off of a Justin Morneau double. Baltimore catcher Chad Moeller, known more for his glove than his bat, drove in two runs and Felix Pie hit a solo home run off of Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn.
David Ortiz's second home run of the game came in the bottom of the ninth and just wrapped around the Pesky Pole to deliver a walk-off win for the Red Sox. The ninth-inning blast was Ortiz's 10th game-winning homer with Boston - a franchise record. Tim Wakefield returned from the disabled list for the Red Sox and threw seven innings of one-run ball but didn't collect the win. All three of Boston's runs came courtesy of solo shots including two off of Chicago starter Gavin Floyd who avoided a loss. The White Sox are currently mired in a four-game losing streak but are still tied for second place in the AL Central with the Twins, as both are 4½ games behind the Detroit Tigers.
The Yankees powered up against the Rangers, scoring three runs in the second inning and five in the seventh to slam visiting Texas. Jorge Posada delivered a two-run blast while Jerry Hairston hit a solo home run for AL East-leading New York. Rangers starter Derek Holland gave up more than two runs for the first time in his past four starts as he was charged with six earned runs in six innings to take the loss. The defeat put Texas 2½ games back of the Red Sox for second place in the AL wild-card race.
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