TORONTO – Cody Ross hit a tiebreaking grand slam, Chris Coghlan had a career-high four hits and the Florida Marlins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Friday night.

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez returned to the starting lineup after missing one game with a sore groin and went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

Ross’ third grand slam of the season and fifth of his career came off Blue Jays right-hander Brandon League (1-3).

Indians 7, Cardinals 3

CLEVELAND – Shin-Soo Choo got the job done again – this time without any avian assistance.

A day after his winning hit glanced off a gull in the outfield, Choo drove in three runs for the Indians to help rookie David Huff get his second big league win in Cleveland’s 7-3 win Friday night over the St. Louis Cardinals. Huff (2-2), making his sixth major league start, gave up a leadoff homer to Albert Pujols in the fourth and left with one out in the eighth after allowing three runs.

Tigers 3, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH – Rick Porcello threw seven crisp innings and had a pair of RBI singles for his first major league hits, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Placido Polanco went 4 for 4 for AL Central-leading Detroit, which has won six of eight. Porcello (7-4) allowed one run and six hits. The Pirates and Tigers opened a weekend interleague series on the same night the Pittsburgh Penguins were playing the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals at Detroit. The crowd at PNC Park was announced at 18,369.

Twins 7, Cubs 4

CHICAGO – Joe Mauer rediscovered his power stroke with a homer and three RBIs, Kevin Slowey became the majors’ second nine-game winner and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago Cubs 7-4 Friday.

Slowey (9-2) allowed three runs on four hits over six innings, striking out 10 and walking one. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

Jason Kubel homered and Brendan Harris had three hits for the Twins.

Braves 7, Orioles 2

BALTIMORE – Brian McCann tied a career high with four hits, Tommy Hanson recorded his first major league victory and the Atlanta Braves beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 on Friday night.

McCann’s third hit, a bases-loaded single, scored Nate McLouth and gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. Garret Anderson followed with a run-scoring walk.

Hanson (1-0) struggled in his second major league start but managed to limit the Orioles to two runs despite yielding nine hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Royals 4, Reds 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Luke Hochevar tossed a three-hitter in his first career complete game and Alberto Callapso hit a two-run homer, helping the Kansas City Royals return home from a miserable road trip to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 Friday night. The Royals went 2-7 on their road trip and had lost 23 of 30 overall, in dire need of something positive in their first game at Kauffman Stadium this month.

Hochevar (3-2) did his part, needing just 80 pitches for his second straight solid outing. There wasn’t much offense, but homers by Callapso and Billy Butler were enough to beat Reds starter Matt Maloney (0-1) in his second career start.

Rangers 6, Dodgers 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – Vicente Padilla worked five effective innings, Hank Blalock homered and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 Friday to record shutouts on consecutive nights at home for the first time in 29 seasons.

Texas, which beat Toronto 1-0 on Thursday night, had never posted shutout victories on back-to-back nights at home since Rangers Ballpark opened in 1994. The last time the Rangers held visitors scoreless on consecutive days was April 1981, when they had four in a row.

Rays 4, Nationals 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – One pitch after an error prolonged his at-bat, Gabe Kapler hit a pinch-hit home run that snapped an eighth-inning tie and gave the Tampa Bay Rays a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

Kapler, mired in a 3-for-31 slump that dropped his batting average to .234, went deep against Ron Villone (3-2) after first baseman Nick Johnson dropped a pop foul that would have been the third out.

Yankees 9, Mets 8

NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez slammed his bat and then threw it. The first Subway Series game at new Yankee Stadium was over.

And then it wasn’t.

Second baseman Luis Castillo dropped A-Rod’s lazy popup with two outs in the ninth inning as two runs scored, and the Yankees escaped with a wild 9-8 victory over the Mets on Friday night. David Wright had put the Mets ahead 8-7 with an eighth-inning double off Mariano Rivera (1-2), and Francisco Rodriguez (1-1) appeared to escape a ninth-inning jam on the popup by A-Rod, just 1 for 17 in his career off K-Rod, including the postseason.

But Castillo allowed the ball to pop out of his glove as he tried for a one-handed catch on the right field grass. The Yankees ran onto the field as Derek Jeter scored from second and Mark Teixeira from first.

Jeter had singled with one out and stole second as pinch-hitter Johnny Damon struck out on the ninth pitch. Teixeira was intentionally walked and Alex Rodriguez got ahead 3-0 before taking a strike and then popping up.

Teixeira ran hard from first the entire way and easily beat the throw. It was the first blown save by K-Rod in 17 chances this season.

On a night the Mets brought some real energy to Yankee Stadium, known thus far for home runs and empty premium seats, the crowd of 47,967 was the largest since opening day but again short of a sellout. Fans saw five more home runs at the Bronx bandbox, raising the total to a major league-leading 110 in 30 games.

Gary Sheffield homered for the Mets, and Robinson Cano, Teixeira, Jeter and Hideki Matsui connected for the Yankees, who wasted leads of 1-0, 3-2 and 7-6 before winning. Matsui turned 35 and homered on his birthday for the second straight year – last year he hit a grand slam off Oakland’s Joe Blanton.

Rivera made a rare eighth-inning appearance in a tie game when he relieved with two outs and the score 7-7.

Carlos Beltran reached on just the third walk off Rivera in 26 2-3 innings this year. With the count 2-2, Beltran took off for second and Wright turned on a pitch over the middle of the plate. The ball hit the wall in right-center on a hop, and Beltran scored without a throw as Rivera hung his head and grimaced. Wright is hitting .633 (19 for 30) in his last eight games, raising his major league-leading average to .364.

AP-ES-06-12-09 2318EDT


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