Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: Springing into Mutterings

American League roundup

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[April 23, 2009]  BOSTON (AP) -- Brad Penny left the National League and found happiness and clutch hitting. The Boston Red Sox supported him with five extra-base hits as they completed a doubleheader sweep with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night in his third game in the AL.

They had eight extra-base hits in their 10-1 win in the afternoon opener that was stopped in the seventh inning because of rain.

"In the National League, you give up two or three runs, you might get a loss that night," said Penny, who spent nine seasons in the NL before signing with Boston after four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Here, who knows what's going to happen? It's an exciting game. It's an offensive division over here and this team's a lot of fun to be a part of."

Penny (2-0) saw that in his previous start when he gave up eight runs in three innings, but Boston rallied for a 10-8 win over the Baltimore Orioles.


On Wednesday, the Twins scored two runs in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-2 and the Red Sox got those two back in the bottom of the inning on the way to their seventh straight win after a 2-6 start.

"It's definitely something I'm not used to consistently like they're hitting the ball," said Penny, who allowed two earned runs and six hits in six innings.

Tim Wakefield, now in his 15th season with Boston, has seen that plenty of times.

In the opener, he held the Twins to five hits, and Kevin Youkilis, Nick Green and Mike Lowell hit two-run homers in each of the first three innings.

Wakefield (2-0) is the oldest pitcher to throw back-to-back complete games since fellow knuckleballer Charlie Hough, who was 44 when he did it in 1992 for the Chicago White Sox.

The makeup of a Tuesday washout was called after a 1-hour, 25-minute rain delay.

And rain pushed back the start of the second game by 47 minutes.

"It was a long, good day of baseball," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "I think we felt fortunate even to play that second game."

It wasn't so good for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

"Very long day," he said after the two-game series, Minnesota's only trip to Boston this season. "Our starters just didn't give us a good chance here."

Scott Baker (0-2) allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings in the afternoon. Francisco Liriano (0-4) gave up seven in four innings at night and already has lost more games than he did as a rookie in 2006 when he went 12-3.


"Yeah, it's bothering me, but it's a long season," he said.

Liriano gave up a three-run homer in the second inning to Jeff Bailey, who had been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. David Ortiz had a two-run double in the third, and the Red Sox scored twice in the fourth on Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI groundout and Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly.

Minnesota lined into two double plays and sent Ellsbury deep in center field to make several catches.

"We hit a bunch of rockets at people," Gardenhire said, "and they turned into outs."

Yankees 9, Athletics 7

At New York, Melky Cabrera ended a home run-filled opening homestand at the new Yankee Stadium with a two-run drive in the 14th inning off Dan Giese (0-2) -- his second of the game.

The Yankees overcame another shaky outing from CC Sabathia on a rainy afternoon that featured five more home runs.

Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter also homered for New York.

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Royals 2, Indians 0

At Cleveland, Brian Bannister and two Kansas City relievers outpitched reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee.

Lee (1-3) allowed two runs and nine hits over eight innings, but matched his loss total of last season. A year ago, the left-hander went 5-0 against the Royals on the way to a 22-3 record and 2.54 ERA.

Bannister (1-0) allowed four hits and walked only one in six innings.

Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

White Sox 8, Orioles 2

At Baltimore, Jim Thome hit his 545th career homer to back a superb pitching performance by John Danks.

Danks (2-0) allowed one run, four hits and no walks in seven innings.

Thome's opposite-field solo shot to left was his fourth homer of the season, and it put the 38-year-old slugger within three of 13th-place Mike Schmidt on the career list.

Jeremy Guthrie (2-1) gave up five runs and eight hits in six-plus innings.


Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7, 11 innings

At Toronto, Kevin Millar singled home the winning run in the 11th inning over a drawn-in outfield for the Blue Jays.

Toronto's Rod Barajas hit a pair of two-out, two-run homers and Jason Frasor (3-0) worked two scoreless innings for the victory.

C.J. Wilson (0-2) took the loss.

Tigers 12, Angels 10

At Anaheim, Calif., Curtis Granderson homered again, Brandon Inge also went deep and Detroit used a five-run seventh inning.

Angels reliever Scot Shields (0-2) threw 18 pitches in the seventh without retiring a batter.

Juan Rincon (1-0) got the win, allowing a run and two hits in an inning of relief.

Rays 9, Mariners 3

At Seattle, Carl Crawford had four hits and Evan Longoria had three to back the strong pitching of rookie Jeff Niemann for Tampa Bay.

Niemann (1-2) allowed just three hits and two earned runs before leaving with one out in the sixth. He didn't allow a baserunner until shortstop Jason Bartlett's error the open the fifth, and didn't give up a hit until Jose Lopez hit a three-run homer two batters later.

Chris Jakubauskas (1-2) allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in 3 1-3 innings.

[Associated Press; By HOWARD ULMAN]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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