MINNEAPOLIS – Joe Crede capped another Minnesota comeback with a two-run, two-out single in a six-run seventh inning that ruined Justin Verlander’s strong start and sent the Twins past the Detroit Tigers 6-5 on Thursday to finish a three-game sweep.

Crede’s blooper into shallow center against struggling reliever Zach Miner, who walked Michael Cuddyer to load the bases, put the Twins ahead about 14 hours after his grand slam in the 13th ended Wednesday night’s game.

After a five-run, two-out rally in the sixth by the Tigers against starter Scott Baker, Minnesota’s bullpen held up. Craig Breslow (1-1) got five outs, Matt Guerrier got one and Joe Nathan notched his sixth save with a perfect ninth.

Verlander struck out a career-high 13, fanning Crede on a high heater to start the seventh, but he needed 122 pitches to get through 6 1-3 innings and was removed for Bobby Seay (0-1) after a single and a walk.

Matt Tolbert’s walk forced in the first run, Joe Mauer knocked in another with a grounder and Justin Morneau cut the lead to 5-3 on a sharp single. Jason Kubel’s double to right-center bounced over the wall and pulled Minnesota within one, prompting Tigers manager Jim Leyland to summon Miner.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire drew his first ejection of the season for arguing with plate umpire Paul Nauert during Cuddyer’s at-bat, claiming that Miner’s second pitch clipped Cuddyer.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2

TORONTO – Back from nagging injuries, Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui delivered key hits to lead CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees past the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2.

Jeter tied the score with an RBI single in the seventh inning, Matsui put New York ahead with a solo homer in the eighth and Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.

Sabathia (3-3) allowed five hits in eight innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. He walked four, one intentional, and struck out five to help the Yankees take two of three from Toronto, the surprise leader in the AL East.

Sabathia, who pitched a four-hit shutout at Baltimore last Saturday, improved to 8-3 in 11 career games against the Blue Jays.

Orioles 9, Royals 5

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cesar Izturis and Nick Markakis each drove in three runs and the Baltimore Orioles won again in their favorite road ballpark, beating the Kansas City Royals 9-5.

Baltimore has won 15 of 18 against Kansas City and is 43-15 against the Royals since 2001, including 24-7 at Kauffman Stadium. The Orioles did it this time with a big night offensively – 12 hits – and a just-good-enough start from Jeremy Guthrie (3-3). Aubrey Huff homered and Melvin Mora had two RBIs for the Orioles, who won for just the second time in 11 road games overall.

Indians 11, Rays 7

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Victor Martinez had four hits and drove in four runs, raising his batting average to .400 and helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-7.

Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera also had four hits apiece, with Choo driving in three runs in support of right-hander Fausto Carmona, who made it interesting after being staked to a nine-run lead.

Martinez hit a two-run double off James Shields (3-4) in the fifth, an RBI double off Joe Nelson in the sixth and a run-scoring single off Grant Balfour in the eighth. Choo’s career-best, four-hit night included an RBI double off Shields and a two-run homer off Nelson that made it 9-0 in the sixth.

Rangers 3, Mariners 2

ARLINGTON, Texas – Chris Davis hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Texas Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on to complete a three-game sweep.

The Rangers didn’t score until Hank Blalock led off the ninth against closer Brandon Morrow (0-3) with a home run into the second deck of right-field stands. After David Murphy’s one-out double, Davis homered to center to give AL West-leading Texas its 10th win in 12 games.

Felix Hernandez pitched seven shutout innings for Seattle and David Aardsma had a 1-2-3 eighth against the top of the Texas order. Morrow had seven saves and hadn’t blown a chance until Wednesday night, when Blalock hit a two-run double in the 11th for a 6-5 victory.

National League Astros 5, Rockies 3

DENVER – Wandy Rodriguez struck out a career-high 11 and Michael Bourn became the latest player to steal home, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. Carlos Lee homered in the eighth inning and swiped second base in the first on the front end of a double steal with Bourn, one of baseball’s fastest runners.

Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth recently pulled off straight steals of home. Ellsbury took off while Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte was in the windup, while Werth darted home on a return throw to the mound by Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3

PHILADELPHIA – Russell Martin hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and Matt Kemp followed with an RBI double to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3.

Chad Durbin (1-1) retired the first two batters, then walked Andre Ethier. Martin doubled for a 4-3 lead and after an intentional walk, Kemp delivered.

The Dodgers, minus the suspended Manny Ramirez, won two of three in a rematch of the NL championship series.

Jonathan Broxton (4-0) earned the win despite blowing a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth. Ramon Troncoso pitched a scoreless 10th to earn his second save, striking out Ryan Howard with a runner on to end it.

Cubs 11, Padres 3

CHICAGO – Bobby Scales drove in four runs with two doubles and Ryan Dempster excelled with both his arm and bat as the Chicago Cubs took advantage of 10 walks for an 11-3 victory over the skidding San Diego Padres.

Adrian Gonzalez homered for the fourth consecutive game but couldn’t prevent San Diego from losing its 11th straight on the road, its longest skid in 38 years. Since starting the season 10-6, the Padres are 3-16.

Brewers 5, Marlins 3

MILWAUKEE – Prince Fielder hit a go-ahead home run and Dave Bush turned in another strong start as the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins with a 5-3 victory.

Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his eighth save, and has yet to give up a run in nine innings this season. The Brewers have won nine of 11 and begin a nine-game road trip at St. Louis on Friday night.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Marlins and a short afternoon for Josh Johnson, who walked five in only four innings.

With the score tied at 3 in the fifth, Fielder clubbed a 2-2 pitch from reliever Burke Badenhop (2-2) just over the wall in left-center field.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH – Colby Rasmus’ two-run homer in the second inning gave St. Louis’ slumping offense a lift and the Cardinals avoided being swept by last-place Pittsburgh, getting a strong effort from their bullpen in a 5-1 victory.

The Cardinals had lost five consecutive games in Pittsburgh and were in jeopardy of being swept in a three-game series for the first time since Sept. 12-14, also in PNC Park.

Depleted by injuries, St. Louis had lost four of five and seven of 10.

Cardinals starter Mitchell Boggs didn’t pitch long enough to get the victory, but helped out an offense that was held to three runs in the first two games of the series by lining a double for his first major league hit and scoring on Shane Robinson’s sacrifice fly.in the fifth.


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