MINNEAPOLIS — Brian Duensing pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game, outdueling Trevor Cahill and leading the Minnesota Twins past the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Saturday night.

Cahill (12-5) matched a modern major league record with his 20th straight start of five innings or more and allowing six hits or fewer. Nolan Ryan did the same in 1972-73 for the California Angels.

Mariners 9, Indians 3

CLEVELAND — Josh Bard hit his first career grand slam and added a double and two singles, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Cleveland Indians 9-3 Saturday night.

Jason Vargas (9-5) pitched seven innings to earn his third straight win for the Mariners, now 4-1 since interim manager Daren Brown replaced the fired Dan Wakamatsu.

Rays 7, Orioles 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kelly Shoppach hit his second career grand slam and a solo homer Saturday, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, Sean Rodriguez had an RBI double before Shoppach hit his slam to make it 5-3. Shoppach’s solo shot in the eighth was just his third extra-base hit since June 30.

Yankees 8, Royals 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Rodriguez hit three home runs in a game for the fourth time in his career, putting on a late power show that led the New York Yankees past the Kansas City Royals 8-3 Saturday night.

A-Rod drove in five runs, taking over the major league RBIs lead with 97. He picked on three different pitchers for his deep drives, which all traveled more than 400 feet in the hot, humid Midwestern air.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2

CHICAGO — Alex Avila hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off substitute closer J.J. Putz on Saturday night, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox have lost six of nine games to go from leading the AL Central by 1½ games to trailing the Minnesota Twins by two. The Tigers won for only the eighth time since the All-Star break and remain 10½ games out.

Putz (5-4), working the ninth inning as Bobby Jenks sat out with back spasms, opened by giving up Brandon Inge’s single.

Phillies 4, Mets 0

NEW YORK — The Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of some shoddy defense to scratch out their first runs at Citi Field this season, and Roy Halladay made the meager offense look insurmountable in a 4-0 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night.

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was booed when he pitched for the first time since his arrest on a charge of third-degree assault against his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field. The Mets had suspended him for the previous two games.

Giants 3, Padres 2

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants have had so much trouble beating the San Diego Padres that it took a heady play and a fortunate bounce to pull out an extra-inning win.

Buster Posey legged out a double after his slow bouncer caromed off second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. and then scored the winning run on Juan Uribe’s single in the 11th inning to give the Giants a 3-2 win over the Padres on Saturday.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

ST. LOUIS — Carlos Zambrano may no longer be the Chicago Cubs’ stopper, but he played the role Saturday in a ballpark where he’s had a lot of success.

Zambrano won for the first time since his banishment for a dugout tantrum in June, helping the Cubs win for just the third time in 17 games, 3-2 over St. Louis, snapping the Cardinals’ four-game winning streak.

D-backs 9, Nationals 2

WASHINGTON — Miguel Montero hit two of Arizona’s four home runs and Ian Kennedy pitched seven strong innings and singled twice as the Diamondbacks beat the Washington Nationals 9-2 Saturday night. The Diamondbacks have hit lots of home runs this week. On Wednesday, they tied a major league record by connecting for four consecutive homers. This night, they hit four more.

Montero, who hit the second of the four on Wednesday, started things by launching a long, two-run shot in the second off Jason Marquis (0-5).

Astros 3, Pirates 2

HOUSTON — Bud Norris had a career-high 14 strikeouts and Hunter Pence homered and drove in the tiebreaking run, leading the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.

Pence homered in the fourth and had and RBI double in the seventh inning, and Norris (5-7) survived a shaky first inning to beat the Pirates at Minute Maid Park for the eighth straight time this season.

Reds 5, Marlins 4

CINCINNATI — Mike Leake snapped his three-start losing streak and drove in a run, Drew Stubbs homered and the Cincinnati Reds moved back into a tie for the NL Central lead by beating the Florida Marlins 5-4 Saturday night.

The Reds went into the game knowing division-leading St. Louis had lost to Chicago. The last few innings of that game were shown on the scoreboard at Great American Ball Park, with fans groaning at every Chicago miscue and cheering as the Cubs wrapped up their 3-2 win.

Dodgers 2, Braves 1

ATLANTA — Ted Lilly threw six scoreless innings for his third straight win, newly installed closer Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a perfect ninth and the Dodgers beat the Braves 2-1 on Saturday night.

Kuo struck out Brian McCann and Matt Diaz before ending the game on Brooks Conrad’s fly ball to center field. Kuo earned his fourth save in his first opportunity since Jonathan Broxton was removed from the closer’s role by manager Joe Torre on Friday.

Lilly (6-8) left the game with a 1-0 lead after giving up three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.


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