Major Leagues: American Roundup

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2008

Associated Press
The American League Roundup …NEW YORK ó Music boomed in the clubhouse ó a sound almost never heard during the Joe Torre era. The New York Yankees may be in last place, but they’re starting to play better.
Andy Pettitte struck out nine to win for the first time in more than a month, Shelley Duncan hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and the Yankees roughed up Erik Bedard and the woeful Mariners during an eight-run fifth inning in a 13-2 laugher Friday night.
“That gives us a feeling of what we’re capable of doing, what we need to do and that we can do it,” Duncan said. “That confidence, I think it’s really building.”
Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui added two-run hits against Bedard (3-3), who gave up a career-high nine runs and lost a series opener at Yankee Stadium for the second time in three weeks.
New York (23-25) is 3-1 since Alex Rodriguez returned from the disabled list and has won three straight games in which opponents started left-handers. The Yankees began the year 3-9 in games started by opposing southpaws.
Pettitte (4-5) had gone 0-4 in his five starts ó all New York losses ó since April 20.
“I’m starting off the game and I feel like my stuff is just so good, it’s kind of still mind-boggling to me why it’s taking me so many pitches to get through six innings,” Pettitte said.
Blue Jats 7, Royals 1
TORONTO ó Roy Halladay won for the third time in four starts, Marco Scutaro matched a career high with four RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Kansas City 7-1 on Friday night, handing the Royals their fifth straight loss.
Halladay (5-5) threw his major league-leading fifth complete game and his first since a run of four straight ended April 29 at Boston. He is 8-3 in 13 career starts against the Royals.
Rays 2, Orioles 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. ó Matt Garza took a four-hitter into the eighth inning and Carl Crawford snapped a scoreless tie with a fifth-inning single to help Tampa Bay.
The Orioles have been shut out two of the past three games and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Garza (3-1). They’ve been outscored 12-1 during a three-game losing streak and haven’t homered in 28 1-3 innings.
Twins 9, Tigers 4
DETROIT ó Kevin Slowey pitched seven shutout innings for Minnesota.
Last-place Detroit (20-28) scored 30 runs in a three-game sweep of Seattle, but Slowey (1-4) pushed them back into a slump. The Tigers had scored 14 runs in their previous seven games before clobbering the Mariners.
Angels 3, White Sox 1
CHICAGO ó Joe Saunders took a shutout into the ninth inning, Torii Hunter homered and the Angels snapped Chicago’s eight-game winning streak.
Gavin Floyd (4-3) took the loss despite holding Los Angeles to three hits in his first career complete game. He had a rocky fifth inning, when Hunter hit a solo shot. The right-hander also hit Maicer Izturis and Gary Matthews Jr. with bases-loaded pitches.
That was enough for Saunders (8-1), who is emerging as a star after splitting the past two seasons with the Angels and Triple-A Salt Lake. He needed just 10 starts to match last year’s win total and moved into a tie with Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka for the American League lead in victories.
Rangers 13, Indians 9
CLEVELANDó Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his first career grand slam to help the Texas Rangers beat Cleveland 13-9 as the Indians lost their seventh in a row and pitcher Fausto Carmona to injury.
Cleveland also lost an apparent three-run homer by Ben Francisco. The play was ruled an RBI double, the latest in a string of home run calls botched by big league umpires recently.