Rodriguez slugs No. 30 for Yanks


NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano hit three-run homers and New York hammered its way into the All-Star break.

Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 30th homer and drove in four runs. Still recovering from a strained left hamstring, he’ll sit out Monday’s Home Run Derby in San Francisco but play in the All-Star game the next night.

Chien-Ming Wang (9-4) threw 6 1-3 scoreless innings for his sixth straight victory. Despite winning five of seven, the Yankees headed into the break under .500 for the first time since 1995.

The AL West-leading Angels matched their most-lopsided shutout loss in 20 years, and fell for the eighth time in 12 games.

Ervin Santana (5-10) gave up nine runs and sevens hits in three innings. He is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA at Anaheim this season, and 1-8 with an 8.59 ERA elsewhere. He wound up with his fourth straight loss, matching a career worst.

White Sox 6, Twins 3

CHICAGO – Rob Mackowiak, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko homered during a five-run third inning Sunday to help Javier Vazquez win his third straight start for Chicago.

Vazquez (6-5) allowed eight hits over eight innings, including Justin Morneau’s 24th homer, for his second straight complete game and 22nd in his career. He struck out eight – including the last two batters of the game – and walked none.

The disappointing White Sox finished 39-47 at the All-Star break. Minnesota, the defending AL Central champion, goes into the break 45-43 and in third place behind Detroit and Cleveland.

All three Chicago homers, including back-to-back shots by Thome and Konerko, came off Carlos Silva (6-10), who gave up 10 hits and six runs in five innings on a 90-degree day at U.S. Cellular Field.

Blue Jays 1, Indians 0

TORONTO – Alex Rios hit an RBI single in the ninth inning to lift Toronto over Cleveland.

Reed Johnson hit a one-out double in the ninth, chasing Cleveland starter Paul Byrd. Rafael Betancourt came on to face Rios, who lined a 1-1 pitch up the middle.

Byrd (7-4) allowed four hits, struck out two and walked none in his longest outing of the season.

Blue Jays starter Josh Towers retired the first 17 batters he faced before Josh Barfield singled to left in the sixth. Towers struck out four and walked none over eight-plus innings, his longest start of the season.

Jeremy Accardo (2-3) got two outs for the win.


Royals 12, Devil Rays 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tony Pena Jr. drove in four runs and Jorge De La Rosa won his third consecutive start for Kansas City.

Pena had three doubles to help send Tampa Bay to its 13th loss in 14 games. The Devil Rays finished their road trip with a 1-9 record, the worst three-city trip in franchise history.

De La Rosa (7-9) went 5 2-3 innings, striking out seven to match his career high. He gave up two runs and five hits with three walks, and hasn’t lost since June 22 against Milwaukee.

Scott Kazmir (5-6) took the loss, giving up five runs – four earned – and seven hits with three walks. He struck out four and lasted only five innings, once again struggling with high pitch counts.

Rangers 2, Orioles 1

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kenny Lofton hit a tiebreaking homer, Kevin Millwood won for the fourth time in five starts and Texas claimed another series.

The Rangers took two of three games from Baltimore and are unbeaten in seven consecutive series for the first time since 2001, when they also went 6-0-1 during one stretch. But they are still in last place in the AL West and 15 games behind the Los Angeles Angels.

Lofton, the 40-year-old center fielder who had missed three games with a sore left knee, was 2-for-2 with two walks and scored both Texas runs. His sixth homer of the season was a two-out shot in the sixth off Daniel Cabrera (6-10) that snapped a 1-1 tie.

Millwood (6-7) allowed one run and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked three, two of those coming in the sixth when he got out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a groundball by Jay Payton.

Mariners 7, Athletics 3

OAKLAND, Calif. – Mariners outfielder Jason Ellison started a four-run rally and then touched off a benches-clearing shoving match in Seattle’s win.

After Raul Ibanez hit a bases-clearing double, the relay throw from shortstop Bobby Crosby got by A’s catcher Jason Kendall. As Oakland starter Joe Blanton tried to retrieve the ball near the Seattle dugout, he shoved Ichiro Suzuki, who had scored on the play.

Ellison, the closest player to the incident, apparently took exception and went after Blanton, and the dugouts cleared. Blanton and Mariners pitcher Miguel Batista were ejected from the game.

Blanton (8-5) saw his three-game winning streak end after allowing six runs and a career-high 12 hits over six-plus innings.

Sean Green (2-1) got the win after pitching 1 2-3 scoreless innings of relief.