The Tampa Bay Devil Rays stretched their franchise-record winning streak to nine, beating Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-2, last night in Phoenix behind Jose Cruz Jr.'s three-run homer.
Rey Sanchez added a run-scoring triple and Geoff Blum an RBI double for the Devil Rays, who have won 20 of 26 overall. They also snapped Johnson's six-game winning streak in the first meeting between these 1998 expansion teams.
John Halama (3-1), inserted into the rotation after 21/2 months in the bullpen, allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in five innings in his first start since Sept. 4, when he pitched for Oakland in a 7-5 loss at Baltimore.
The victory was Halama's first as a starter since beating the Orioles, 6-4, in Oakland on Aug. 28.
Jorge Sosa pitched three scoreless innings in relief for Tampa Bay.
Johnson (9-5) started his best winning streak in three years with a perfect game against Atlanta on May 18. He retired his first seven batters last night, but the Devil Rays got to him for three runs in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth.
* BLUE JAYS 3, PADRES 2: Frank Menechino homered on David Wells's fifth pitch and Ted Lilly became the latest starter to shut down San Diego, leading visiting Toronto over the slumping Padres.
The Blue Jays snapped their four-game losing streak, winning for just the fourth time in their last 14 road games.
The Padres lost their season-high sixth straight.
* ASTROS 5, ANGELS 0: Pete Munro combined with three relievers on a five-hitter, and Jeff Kent drove in three runs to lead host Houston to victory.
The Astros snapped a four-game losing streak and gave Manager Jimy Williams his 900th career victory. Williams is 900-778 in the majors.
Munro (1-0) allowed three hits, struck out three and walked one in 61/3 innings.
* BREWERS 4, TWINS 1: Ben Sheets pitched four-hit ball for six innings, and Chad Moeller homered to lead host Milwaukee.
Keith Ginter drove in two runs, and Brady Clark had an RBI single for the Brewers, who snapped Minnesota's three-game winning streak. The AL Central-leading Twins lost for only the third time in 11 games.
* ATHLETICS 2, CUBS 1: Mark Kotsay homered and drove in another run, and visiting Oakland spoiled Sammy Sosa's return from a month on the disabled list.
Sosa, who went 0 for 4 in his first game since May 15, had a chance to tie the score with two outs in the ninth. With fans standing and chanting "SAM-MY! SAM-MY," Sosa grounded out to short to end the game.
"You guys expect me to hit two or three home runs in one at-bat. You're talking about over a month I've been out," Sosa said.
The loss snapped Chicago's season-high six-game winning streak.
Sosa had been out with a sprained ligament in his back brought on by two violent sneezes. "I'm going to hit no matter what," Sosa said. "I'm just happy to be in the show again. I don't worry about hitting."
* MARINERS 5, PIRATES 4: Jamie Moyer pitched six solid innings and hit a two-run single, leading visiting Seattle to victory.
Moyer (6-2) hasn't pitched in the NL since 1991, but he seems to enjoy facing his old league. He's allowed one run in 13 innings in consecutive interleague starts, shutting out the Expos for seven innings in a 3-0 victory last Saturday.
* WHITE SOX 11, EXPOS 7: Carlos Lee went 4 for 6 with four RBI to send host Montreal to its seventh consecutive loss.
Lee, who fell a triple short of the cycle, drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth with an RBI single off Luis Ayala (0-6) that made it 8-7.
Chicago added three more runs in the inning, reaching double digits in runs for a major league-leading 13th time.
* ROYALS 10, PHILLIES 4: Matt Stairs homered twice and Benito Santiago hit a three-run shot, leading visiting Kansas to victory.
Chris George (1-0) allowed four runs and nine hits -- all singles -- in 62/3 innings, helping the Royals win their third straight game -- each by the same score.
* RANGERS 8, MARLINS 1: John Wasdin won his first start in nearly six years, Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs and visiting Texas snapped a four-game losing streak.
Brad Fullmer's ninth homer, a three-run shot in the seventh, put the game out of reach.
* INDIANS 4, BRAVES 2: Cliff Lee outpitched Mike Hampton to win for the first time in six starts, and Casey Blake hit a tiebreaking homer to lift visiting Cleveland over Atlanta in their first meeting since the 1995 World Series.
* METS 3, TIGERS 2: Mike Cameron homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give host New York the win.
On a night in which a convention of Hall of Fame catchers showed up to honor Mike Piazza, it was Cameron who had the big hit for the Mets.
Cameron's ninth home run -- and second in as many nights -- came on a 2-2 pitch from reliever Danny Patterson (0-4) and sent the Mets to their second win in a row.
* CARDINALS 4, REDS 3: Ken Griffey Jr. came up empty again in his bid to hit his 500th homer. So did Cincinnati, which lost its eighth straight on the road.
Albert Pujols homered off Mike Matthews to lead off the bottom of the 10th to extend St. Louis's winning streak to five. The NL Central leaders have won 14 of 18 overall. Griffey finished 0 for 4.
* DODGERS 6, YANKEES 3: Jeff Weaver beat his former team, Juan Encarnacion drove in the go-ahead run and Los Angeles won its first regular season meeting between two of baseball's most storied franchises.
Playing before 55,207, the largest regular season crowd in Dodger Stadium history, the Yankees lost back-to-back games for the first time since May 21-22 at Texas.
The teams hadn't played in a game that meant anything since the 1981 World Series, which the Dodgers won 4-2 by sweeping the final four games. Of their 11 World Series meetings, the Yankees won eight. Seven of the Dodgers' appearances came when they played in Brooklyn.
* RED SOX 14, GIANTS 9: Pinch hitter Kevin Millar hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fifth, and visiting Boston powered past San Francisco.
David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez also homered in the fifth, and Trot Nixon and Doug Mirabelli hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth for Boston.
Tickets for this series sold out in 20 minutes in February. They were being listed on eBay for more than $1,500.