NEW YORK – Kris Benson and Kevin Millar, coming off stints with the Yankees’ biggest rivals, boosted Baltimore to a win in their first New York appearances with the Orioles.
Benson pitched just well enough to escape trouble and Millar hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth inning in Baltimore’s 6-5 victory Friday night.
Dealt by the Mets to Baltimore during the offseason, perhaps because of attention-grabbing wife Anna, Benson (2-2) never retired the side in order. He allowed four runs – three earned – and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, and rookie reliever Sandy Rleal got out of a two-on jam he inherited in the sixth.
Chris Ray loaded the bases in the ninth before getting his sixth save in six chances.
Rangers 13, Devil Rays 7
ARLINGTON, Texas – Michael Young had five hits with a career-high five RBIs and Kevin Mench hit a grand slam to lead the Texas Rangers to a 13-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday night. Mench capped a five-run first for the Rangers with his first home run of the season and second career grand slam. He also knocked in five runs to match a career high.
White Sox 7, Twins 1
CHICAGO – Mark Buehrle outpitched Johan Santana, Jim Thome homered in the sixth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 for their sixth straight victory.
Buehrle (3-0) allowed four hits over eight innings to get his third straight victory as the defending World Series champions captured their 10th win in 11 games. He lost his shutout when Lew Ford hit a two-out homer in the eighth.
The White Sox were finally able to beat Santana (0-3), who is winless in four starts this season.
Cardinals 9, Cubs 3
ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first inning for his 1,000th career hit and finished with four RBIs to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 9-3 on Friday night.
The game was the first for the Cubs since losing NL batting champion Derrek Lee for at least two months with two broken bones above his wrist. Lee’s bat could not have saved the Cubs in the opener of a three-game series, with starter Jerome Williams getting pounded for seven runs in 1 1-3 innings.
Marlins 4, Phillies 3
PHILADELPHIA – Scott Olsen allowed one earned run over 6 2/3 stellar innings, Dan Uggla stole home and the Florida Marlins extended Philadelphia’s home-field misery with a 4-3 win Friday night.
Olsen (1-1) was sharp and efficient in his second start of the season. Seven of the eight hits he allowed were singles. He walked two and struck out only one, but threw 52 of his 82 pitches for strikes.
Astros 3, Pirates 2
HOUSTON – Morgan Ensberg homered in his franchise-record sixth straight game, hitting a two-run shot to back Wandy Rodriguez and lead the Houston Astros over the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Friday night.
Ensberg has seven home runs in the last six games and leads all major league third basemen with eight home runs. He entered the game hitting an NL-best .415 and went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Reds 3, Brewers 1
MILWAUKEE – Bronson Arroyo struck out eight in eight innings to outpitch Ben Sheets, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
Arroyo (3-0) allowed a home run on his first pitch, then limited the Brewers to five hits over the rest of his outing. He retired 10 in a row at one point to pin the loss on Sheets (0-2), who struck out 10 in seven innings.