SEATTLE – Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro became the 26th player to reach 3,000 career hits on Friday night, curling an RBI double into the left field corner in the fifth inning off Seattle starter Joel Pineiro.

Palmeiro also has 566 home runs over his 20-year career, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.

Palmeiro tied Roberto Clemente for 25th place on the all-time list, both with 3,000 hits.

He was cheered each time he batted, and flashbulbs popped on every pitch. Teammates rushed onto the field from the dugout and bullpen after the milestone hit, and Palmeiro received a lengthy standing ovation from the Safeco Field crowd.

As the Orioles left the field, Palmeiro raised his helmet and thanked the fans.

Palmeiro, who walked in the first inning and grounded out in the third, went into a four-game series at Seattle only two hits short of 3,000. He was 1-for-3 with a walk in the series opener, lining a single to right field in the fourth inning Thursday.

Rickey Henderson was the most recent player to reach 3,000 hits, accomplishing the feat Oct. 7, 2001 for San Diego.

White Sox 7, Indians 1

CLEVELAND – Freddy Garcia pitched seven strong innings and Pablo Ozuna had a career-high four hits to help the Chicago White Sox defeat the Cleveland Indians 7-1 Friday night.

Chicago scored four runs in the first inning off C.C. Sabathia (6-6) and Garcia (9-3) made it stand up. The right-hander allowed only six hits and three walks to improve to 6-0 in 11 starts since losing to Baltimore on May 14.

The White Sox improved to 28-5 against AL Central teams, including 8-3 against Cleveland. The Indians fell to 15-23 in the division, lost for the seventh time in eight games overall and fell 13 games behind first-place Chicago. Garcia struck out four as he improved to 14-2 with a 2.69 ERA over his last 18 road starts since the start of the 2004 season.

Angels 3, Twins 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Darin Erstad had two hits, two runs and an RBI, Paul Byrd pitched seven smooth innings and the Los Angeles Angels handed the Minnesota Twins another one-run loss, 3-2.

Steve Finley drove in a run and stole a homer from Joe Mauer with a leaping catch above the center field wall for the Angels, who equaled a season high with five straight road wins.

They also beat the Twins by one run for the fifth time this year, dropping Minnesota’s mark in those games to 17-17. Last year, the Twins went 24-16 while winning their third straight AL Central title.

Byrd (9-5) improved to 5-1 over his last eight starts despite a complete-game five-hitter by Minnesota’s Brad Radke. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth and recorded his 19th save in 21 tries.

With strong starting pitching, deep bullpens and lineups without much power, these teams are quite similar – and the results have proven it.

Their eight meetings this season have been decided by a total of 12 runs.

Radke (6-9) retired the last 12 batters and struck out four without a walk. But he faced a familiar challenge – little run support from his teammates and just enough key hits by the opposition to take a lead.

Blue Jays 11, Devil Rays 6

TORONTO – Shea Hillenbrand homered to highlight a six-run third inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays ended a four-game losing skid with an 11-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Orlando Hudson had three RBIs for the Blue Jays, who won for the first time since ace Roy Halladay broke a bone in his lower left leg. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks.

Tigers 4, Royals 1

DETROIT – Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and Nate Robertson won at home for the first time this season as the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1.

Robertson (4-7) won for the first time in nine home starts, giving up one run and five hits in five innings. He is 1-4 at Comerica Park with a 2.50 ERA.

Two relievers finished for the Tigers with Kyle Farnsworth pitching the ninth for his second save. Farnsworth took over as Detroit’s closer when Troy Percival went on the disabled list Thursday with an elbow injury.

National League

Reds 4, Rockies 3

CINCINNATI – Ken Griffey Jr. hit a tiebreaking solo homer and Aaron Harang pitched seven solid innings Friday night for his first win since May 30, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Griffey’s 519th career homer off Jason Jennings (5-9) snapped a 1-all tie in the sixth and decided a matchup of the NL’s two worst teams. Adam Dunn added a two-run shot in the eighth inning, his 24th.

Griffey also made a lead-saving defensive play in the eighth, throwing Eddy Garabito out at the plate when he tried to score from second base on Aaron Miles’ single to center.

Cubs 11, Pirates 1

CHICAGO – Jerry Hairston hit his first career grand slam, and Kerry Wood pitched six strong innings to lead the Chicago Cubs to an 11-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Aramis Ramirez hit his 20th homer, a three-run shot, as the Cubs got solid starting pitching and offensive production in their fifth straight victory. During the streak, they’ve scored 42 runs.

Every player in the Cubs starting lineup had at least one hit as Chicago collected 16 against five Pittsburgh pitchers.

Marlins 9, Phillies 7

PHILADELPHIA – Miguel Cabrera had four hits, Alex Gonzalez added three and Paul Lo Duca homered to lead Florida’s 17-hit effort in the Marlins’ 9-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Cabrera doubled twice, and Lo Duca, Carlos Delgado and Juan Pierre all drove in two runs for the Marlins, who snapped a four-game losing streak and won for only the third time in nine games.

Braves 2, Mets 1

NEW YORK – John Smoltz won his first matchup with old pal Tom Glavine, leading the Atlanta Braves over the New York Mets 2-1 for his sixth straight victory.

The game between the longtime teammates and former Cy Young Award winners was not decided until after Glavine left for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. Roberto Hernandez (5-3) replaced him and surrendered singles to Marcus Giles and Andruw Jones to open the eighth.

Julio Franco hit into a double play, but Wilson Betemit’s grounder took a bad hop past shortstop Jose Reyes for an RBI single, giving the Braves the lead. It was the first run allowed by Hernandez in 18 appearances, dating to May 25.

Glavine and Smoltz were teammates in Atlanta for 15 years and won 11 division titles over that stretch. They are best friends and offseason golf buddies, and on Friday faced each other for the first time.

Smoltz (10-5) gave up just four hits through seven with one walk and five strikeouts, including the 2,500th of his career, before turning the game over to the bullpen in the eighth.

Chris Reitsma pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances.

Brewers 4, Nationals 3

MILWAUKEE — Mike Stanton balked home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 win over the slumping Washington Nationals.

Stanton, making his first appearance for the Nationals, who signed him Wednesday after he was waived by the New York Yankees, tried to pick off Rickie Weeks from first base before he even threw a pitch.

Weeks was caught in a rundown but first base umpire Paul Schrieber ruled a balk, allowing Chris Magruder to score from third.

Magruder led off the inning with a pinch-hit double off loser Luis Ayala (7-6) and advanced on Brady Clark’s sacrifice. Ayala intentionally walked Weeks and gave way to Stanton with Lyle Overbay due up.

Nationals manager Frank Robinson argued the balk call as the umpiring crew walked off the field.

Julio Santana (2-3) picked up the win with a perfect 10th as the Brewers won for just the second time in 36 games in which they’ve trailed after seven innings.


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