AL Roundup

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 16, 2012

Associated Press
The American League roundup …
BOSTON — James Shields allowed four hits in 8 1-3 innings, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 Monday to avoid a four-game sweep.
The only run came when Daniel Bard (0-2) walked Evan Longoria on four pitches with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Shields (2-0) led the majors with 11 complete games last year and had a chance for another until he walked Dustin Pedroia with one out in the ninth. Fernando Rodney retired the next two batters for his fourth save in four chances.
Shields gave up four singles and two walks while striking out five as the Rays finally shut down the team that had outscored them 31-11 in the previous three games. Only one Boston runner got past first base.
The loss was Bobby Valentine’s first at Fenway Park as Boston’s manager. Fans booed when he went back to the dugout after lifting Bard for Justin Thomas following the run-scoring walk.
NEW YORK — Carl Pavano quieted an unfriendly Yankee Stadium crowd with seven solid innings, Justin Morneau played in the field for the first time this season and hit a long homer, and Minnesota earned a rare victory in New York.
Joe Mauer had three hits, including two doubles, and every position player had a hit in a tweaked Minnesota lineup. Josh Willingham batted fourth for the first time this season and was one of seven Twins to drive in a run.
Minnesota won for just the sixth time in 34 regular-season games in the Bronx since Ron Gardenhire took over as manager in 2002.
In just his second outing in New York since an injury-wrecked four years with the Yankees ended after the 2008 season, Pavano (1-1) gave up three runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Yankees fans showed they can hold a grudge. They were relentless with their boos when Pavano was introduced before the game. After a rocky first, in which he gave up back-to-back homers to Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson to start the inning, Pavano mostly hushed the Yankees’ bats.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Justin Verlander beat Kansas City once again, surviving a shaky ninth inning Monday night to deliver the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Royals.
Austin Jackson hit a leadoff homer and Brandon Inge added a two-run shot in the fifth for the Tigers, giving their reigning AL Cy Young winner enough support when things got tight.
Verlander (1-1) allowed an RBI single by Humberto Quintero with two outs in the ninth, and then loaded the bases when he walked Mitch Maier and plunked Alcides Escobar on the elbow. Verlander came back to strike out Alex Gordon looking, sending the Royals to their fifth consecutive loss.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland had closer Jose Valverde warming up in the ninth, but he decided to stick with the AL MVP even after things got tense. Verlander ended up throwing 131 pitches while improving to 14-2 in his career against the Royals.
Danny Duffy (1-1) did his best to hang tough against Verlander, keeping the Tigers’ potent lineup at bay most of the game. He allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in 6 1-3 innings.
Jackson staked the Tigers to an early lead when he hit a 3-1 pitch from Duffy into the seats in left field, his second of the season and the fifth leadoff homer of his career.
Detroit nearly added to the lead when Brennan Boesch singled and Miguel Cabrera worked a walk. But slugger Prince Fielder grounded into a double play and Delmon Young flied out, ending the threat and keeping Kansas City within striking distance.
Gordon eventually matched the run when he doubled in the bottom half of the inning, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Billy Butler’s base hit.
Verlander changed speeds and took advantage of the corners to flummox the young Kansas City lineup. Verlander retired 11 straight between the first and fifth innings, and after running into a spot of trouble, came back to set the Royals down in order in the sixth. He struck out nine overall.