Tigers take apart Indians

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DETROIT – Curtis Granderson drove in a career-high five runs and the Detroit Tigers won their seventh straight game, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-3 Friday night.

Detroit, which hadn’t won seven in a row since 1993, has now done it twice this season.

Nate Robertson (5-2) moved to 4-0 in his last seven starts, allowing three runs – two earned – and seven hits in six-plus innings. He walked one and struck out two.

Jake Westbrook (4-3) lost for the seventh time in 10 career decisions against Detroit, giving up seven runs, seven hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings. Westbrook has a 6.54 ERA in 16 games against the Tigers.

Rangers 5, Athletics 3

ARLINGTON, Texas – Hank Blalock hit a two-run single with two outs in the eighth inning to lead the Texas Rangers a 5-3 victory over Oakland on Friday night, the Athletics’ seventh straight loss.

Chad Gaudin (0-2), the third Oakland pitcher, struck out the first two batters in the eighth, then walked the bases loaded. Ron Flores relieved and surrendered the hit to Blalock.

Gary Matthews Jr. had put Texas ahead 3-2 in the sixth with a solo homer to left-center off reliever Randy Keisler. Eric Chavez’s sacrifice fly off Rangers reliever Francisco Cordero (4-3) tied the score 3-3 in the top of the eighth.

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Twins 3, Mariners 1

MINNEAPOLIS – Rookie Francisco Liriano out-dueled fellow young gun Felix Hernandez, and Joe Mauer homered to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

Fans got a glimpse into the future when two of the hottest prospects in baseball squared off, and neither team should be disappointed with what they saw.

The 22-year-old Liriano (3-0) pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing four hits against the Mariners’ beleaguered offense.

Blue Jays 8, White Sox 2

TORONTO – Troy Glaus homered and made three plays in his first major league start at shortstop, and Alex Rios homered and had three hits in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

Vernon Wells and Reed Johnson also connected for the Blue Jays, who have won five of six.

Toronto manager John Gibbons wanted more offense against White Sox starter Freddy Garcia, and didn’t think his third baseman would see many grounders with fly ball pitcher Ted Lilly on the mound.

The 6-foot-5 Glaus cleanly fielded two grounders and caught a popup in his 11th career appearance at shortstop and first since June 6, 2002, with the Angels.

Royals 7, Yankees 6

NEW YORK – Angel Berroa hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning, Andrew Sisco escaped a jam in the ninth and the Kansas City Royals stopped their 13-game losing streak by holding off the New York Yankees 7-6 Friday night.

Derek Jeter got his 2,000th career hit for the Yankees, who had won 14 straight home games against Kansas City since Aug. 6, 2002.

Reggie Sanders homered to help the Royals improve to 3-20 on the road and 11-35 overall, the worst record in the major leagues.

Scott Elarton, who questioned his teammates’ desire to win last weekend, earned his first victory of the season.

National League

Pirates 12, Astros 5

PITTSBURGH – Jason Bay homered for the fourth consecutive game and drove in four runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates had a season-high 16 hits in beating Houston 12-5 Friday night, the Astros’ fourth consecutive loss.

Pirates rookie Ronny Paulino, enjoying a much better game than the opposing catcher did against the Astros the day before, had his first four-hit game in the majors. Craig Wilson and Jose Castillo also homered during a three-homer third inning against Taylor Buchholz (3-4), who shut out the Pirates for 8 2-3 innings the last time he opposed them.

Braves 6, Cubs 5

CHICAGO – A pair of high fly balls to right field ruined the Chicago Cubs: One of them got lost in the sun and cost Carlos Zambrano his no-hit bid, the other led to a misplay and cost them the game.

The Atlanta Braves rallied for three runs in the ninth inning, taking the lead when second baseman Neifi Perez mishandled a relay and then threw it away, and beat the Cubs 6-5 Friday.

Zambrano overcame early wildness and held Atlanta hitless for 6 2-3 innings before pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit lofted a fly that right fielder Jacque Jones lost in the glare. His back to the wall, he could only throw up his arms as the ball hit the ivy-covered wall for a double.

Brewers 6, Phillies 5

PHILADELPHIA – Prince Fielder’s RBI single off Tom Gordon in the 10th inning sent the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

Ryan Howard had a tying, two-run double in the ninth against Derrick Turnbow, who blew his second save in 16 chances. But the Brewers answered against Gordon (2-2).

Nationals 10, Dodgers 4

WASHINGTON – Even the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers were no match for the resurgent Washington Nationals, who pounded Brett Tomko in his worst outing of the season Friday night, a 10-4 victory.

Alfonso Soriano hit his 17th homer and two doubles, scored three runs and got his league-leading ninth outfield assist, and Brian Schneider went 2-for-4 in his return from the disabled list as the Nationals won their fourth straight and stopped the Dodgers’ seven-game winning streak.

Livan Hernandez (3-5) allowed six hits over seven innings – two through the first six – to win his second straight start. The Nationals have won six of seven and did it this time without any unusual drama. There was no weird balk, such as the one that threw Houston’s Roy Oswalt off his game on Wednesday, and no mid-inning catching change to drive manager Frank Robinson to tears, as happened against the Astros on Thursday.

Marlins 5, Mets 1

MIAMI, Fla. – Josh Johnson outpitched Pedro Martinez and had a career-high eight strikeouts to lead the Florida Marlins to their fourth straight victory, 5-1 over the New York Mets on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 rookie allowed two hits over seven innings in his longest outing for the Marlins (15-31). The only run allowed by Johnson (4-2) was unearned. Martinez (5-1) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings, striking out 10. It was the 108th time the three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out at least 10.

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