BALTIMORE – Ramon Hernandez hit a tiebreaking solo homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Baltimore Orioles past the Los Angeles Angels 6-5 Friday night.
Hernandez connected on a 3-2 pitch from Scot Shields (1-1). It was his first home run with Baltimore and the fourth by the Orioles in a game that featured eight homers.
Los Angeles trailed 5-4 in the ninth when LaTroy Hawkins entered for Baltimore, seeking his first save. He struck out Tim Salmon and Casey Kotchman and went to 3-2 on Jeff Mathis before the rookie drove a fastball into the left-field seats for his first major league homer.
It was a redemptive home run for Mathis, whose passed ball helped Baltimore take the lead in the eighth.
Tigers 5, Indians 1
DETROIT – Kenny Rogers won his home debut for the Tigers and Brandon Inge homered twice Friday night, leading Detroit over the Cleveland Indians 5-1.
Rogers (2-1) allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings, struck out five and walked three. Fernando Rodney finished with a one-hit ninth for Detroit, which had lost four straight following a 5-0 start under new manager Jim Leyland.
Chris Shelton had a triple and a double, and he is hitting .512 with a 1.293 slugging percentage. Detroit has 13 extra-base hits in its last two games.
Jake Westbrook (2-1) allowed five runs – two more than in his first two starts combined – and nine hits in six innings. Cleveland lost its third in a row.
Devil Rays 7, Royals 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Jorge Cantu hit a go-ahead, three-run double with two outs in the seventh inning, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat Kansas City 7-2 Friday night to extend the Royals’ losing streak to five.
Trailing 2-0, Tampa Bay loaded the bases against Scott Elarton with one out in the seventh on two walks and a bunt single. Elmer Dessens relieved and retired Carl Crawford on a grounder, and Cantu doubled to center for a 3-2 lead.
Toby Hall hit an RBI single in the eighth and Crawford’s two-out grounder was misplayed by first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz – a seventh-inning defensive replacement – for a three-run error.
Twins 5, Yankees 1
MINNEAPOLIS – Scott Baker pitched seven strong innings in his first start against the New York Yankees, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 5-1 victory Friday that extended their winning streak to four.
Baker gave up one run, three hits and one walk while striking out four – silencing an offense that scored 40 runs while winning its previous four games. Baker (1-1) turned in the Twins’ second straight quality start, after the staff went the first eight games without one.
Juan Castro’s two-out RBI single pushed the Twins’ lead to 3-1 and chased Yankees starter Mike Mussina in the seventh. In the eighth against Kyle Farnsworth, Morneau drove in Torii Hunter with a single and Tony Batista doubled in Hunter to make it 5-1.
Cubs 11, Pirates 6
PITTSBURGH – Matt Murton’s bases-loaded triple and Todd Walker’s four hits helped give Chicago a six-run lead, and the Cubs held off a Pittsburgh comeback to beat the Pirates 11-6 Friday night.
Chicago withstood three homers in a span of four batters in the sixth inning – by Nate McLouth, Craig Wilson and Jason Bay – to win its eighth in a row at Pittsburgh. The Cubs have won 12 of 13 there since May 30, 2004.
It was a familiar theme for the Pirates, too, as they dropped their ninth in 12 games under new manager Jim Tracy. Poor starting pitching again put them in a big hole – Victor Santos (1-2) gave up six runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Braves 5, Padres 4
ATLANTA – Jeff Francoeur appears to have snapped out of his early-season slump.
Francoeur homered for the second night in a row, hitting a two-out shot in the eighth inning that gave the Atlanta Braves a 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
After starting the season with only two hits in 36 at-bats, last year’s rookie sensation homered twice Thursday in a loss to Philadelphia. He followed up with three hits against the Padres, including a liner off Scott Linebrink (0-1) that barely cleared the left-field wall.
Oscar Villareal (4-0) became the first four-game winner the majors with a scoreless eighth. Chris Reitsma worked around two hits in the ninth to earn his fourth save, retiring Terrmel Sledge for the final out with runners at second and third.
Marlins 5, Nationals 3
MIAMI – Dontrelle Willis got his first win of the season and also drove in a run with a bunt to help the Florida Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Friday night.
Josh Willingham homered, Chris Aguila had a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera an RBI single for the Marlins, who have won consecutive games for the first time under new manager Joe Girardi.
Willis (1-0), 22-10 last year, had no-decisions in his first two starts. He improved his career April record to 9-0 despite giving up three runs (two earned), eight hits, two walks and three hit batters in 5 2-3 innings.
Reds 1, Cardinals 0
ST. LOUIS – Aaron Harang stymied the St. Louis Cardinals for seven shutout innings and drove in his fourth career run in the Cincinnati Reds’ 1-0 victory on Friday night.
Harang (2-1) allowed four hits with four strikeouts and one walk to the only batter he faced in the eighth to beat the Cardinals for the first time in four career decisions. Plus, he got the only RBI off NL Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter on a fifth-inning bloop single that fell just in front of center fielder Jim Edmonds.