NEW YORK – Nick Green hit a go-ahead, three-run homer, Scott Kazmir pitched seven solid innings and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays rebounded from an embarrassing defeat with a 5-3 victory Wednesday over the New York Yankees.

Less than 18 hours after allowing 13 runs in the eighth inning of a 20-11 loss, the last-place Devil Rays improved to 6-3 against the Yankees, who got another home run from Gary Sheffield but little else.

Jonny Gomes hit a two-run shot for Tampa Bay, which is 3-2 at Yankee Stadium this season and 4-27 in all other road games.

With the Yankees leading 3-2 in the seventh, Carl Pavano (4-6) issued a leadoff walk to Gomes. Two outs later, the right-hander hit Toby Hall with a pitch for the second time.

Green, the No. 9 batter, stunned the crowd of 48,452 by driving a 1-2 pitch over the left-field fence, beyond a leaping Ruben Sierra, for a 5-3 lead.

It was the 16th home run allowed this year by Pavano, matching his total last season with Florida. Signed to a $39.95 million, four-year contract in the offseason, he has given up 120 hits, most in the major leagues.

White Sox 5, Royals 1

CHICAGO – Mark Buehrle won his career-high eighth straight decision, and Carl Everett backed him with a three-run homer to lead the Chicago White Sox to their seventh straight victory, 5-1 over the Kansas City Royals.

Buehrle (9-1) allowed five hits, his scoreless streak ending at 25 1-3 innings when the Royals scored an unearned run in the eighth. He walked one and struck out six in eight innings.

J.P. Howell (1-2) allowed five runs and seven hits in his third major league start for the Royals, who were swept in the three-game series.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 2

TORONTO – Pete Walker won as a starter for the first time since 2002 and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Wednesday night.

Baltimore’s Rafael Palmeiro hit his 561st career homer, two from tying Reggie Jackson for ninth on the all-time list. Palmeiro is also 17 hits shy of 3000.

Walker (3-0) pitched in Japan last year and was working out of the bullpen this season before being inserted into the rotation because David Bush and Chad Gaudin were struggling.

Tigers 8, Twins 1

MINNEAPOLIS – Nate Robertson pitched Detroit’s second complete game in a row and Omar Infante had a home run and three RBIs to lead the Tigers to a 8-1 victory over the slumping Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

The Tigers roughed up Twins starter Joe Mays (3-3), scoring six runs on eight hits in just four innings, snapping Mays’ eight-game winning streak against Detroit and extending the Twins’ losing streak to a season-high four games.

Robertson (3-5) scattered five hits and struck out six to win for the first time since May 27, a span of five starts.

The Tigers, who have been energized since acquiring Placido Polanco in a trade with Philadelphia, have now won four in a row and seven of eight, including Jeremy Bonderman’s complete-game win over the Twins on Tuesday night.

Mays had not lost a game to the Tigers since Sept. 29, 2000, and even that performance was a gem. He gave up just one run in eight innings of a 1-0 loss.

But he was dreadful on Wednesday night. He gave up five earned runs, walked three, had a wild pitch that led to a run and basically got beat up by a team that entered the night ranked 11th in the American League in hits and runs scored.

It was the second straight start that Mays failed to reach the fifth inning. He gave up six runs and 10 hits in four innings of a no decision against the Giants last week.

He’s not the only starter struggling for the Twins, who have not had a starting pitcher record a victory in nine games. Twins’ starters are 0-6 with a 6.10 ERA during that span.

Detroit broke the game open with a three-run fourth that began with a solo homer by Infante.

Nook Logan singled and scored on a double by Brandon Inge, who scored three batters later when a sharp grounder from Rondell White hit off third baseman Michael Cuddyer’s glove and dribbled into left field for a 6-1 lead.

That was more than enough for Robertson against the Twins’ anemic offense. Minnesota has scored just 12 runs in their last five games, an average of 2.4 per game.

Robertson was only too happy to take advantage of the hibernating Twins’ hitters after going 0-2 with 17 runs allowed in his previous four starts. It was his second career complete game, with the other coming last August against Kansas City.

After giving up an RBI-single to Lew Ford in the first – unearned because Dmitri Young committed and error in the inning, Robertson allowed just three hits and no runners past second base the rest of the game.

With no production at the plate, and not much more from their starting pitching, the three-time defending AL Central champions have fallen 10 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the division.

Notes: Twins pitchers combined to walk a season-high nine batters. … Tigers 1B Young left the game in the second inning with an injured right index finger. Jason Smith filled in, playing at first base for the first time this season. X-rays were negative and Young is day to day. … The Tigers sent RHP Matt Ginter to Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday and purchased the contract of RHP Sean Douglass. … Logan’s fourth-inning single broke an 0-for-17 slump. … The Twins haven’t trailed by 10 games in the AL Central since they finished the 2000 season in fifth place, 26 games behind the White Sox. … Twins SS Juan Castro went 0-for-3 on Wednesday and is currently in an 0-for-23 slump. … Twins 3B Cuddyer had two errors, both leading to runs.

AP-ES-06-22-05 2253EDT


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