Rays Take Top of East
New York (ap) — Jeremy Hellickson retired Yankees newcomer Alfonso Soriano with the bases loaded to preserve an early lead and the streaking Tampa Bay Rays tagged CC Sabathia once again, beating New York 10-6 Friday night.
The Rays have won 20 of 23 and took sole possession of the AL East lead for the first time since June 10, 2012. Tampa Bay moved a half-game ahead of Boston.
Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar and Evan Longoria doubled during a six-run burst in the second inning, and James Loney later homered and drove in four runs.
Well-supported all season, Hellickson (10-3) won his sixth straight decision. Fernando Rodney, the Rays’ fourth pitcher in a three-run ninth, got the last out for his 25th save.
Trying to add power, the Yankees acquired Soriano from the Chicago Cubs before the game, trading a minor league pitcher to get the seven-time All-Star and lots of cash to cover much of his contract.
Soriano got his chance to make a sudden impact, batting with the bases loaded, two outs in the third and the Yankees trailing 6-1. With Tampa Bay’s infield overshifted to the left side, he ran the count full before lofting a routine fly to right that ended the inning.
The 37-year-old Soriano, who began his career with the Yankees in 1999 and drew a big ovation in his return, went 0-for-5, scored once and drove in a run. He got an RBI with a bases-loaded forceout in the ninth.
Soriano did more on defense, catching a fly to start the game, making a throw that helped nail a runner and running down a foul ball.
Royals 5, White Sox 1
Chicago — James Shields tossed seven shutout innings and rookie David Lough homered and drove in another run to lead Kansas City over Chicago.
The Royals (49-51) have won four straight and six of eight since the All-Star break. The White Sox (40-60) have lost four of five.
Shields (5-7) allowed eight hits and walked two but faced only one real scoring threat, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning.
Indians 11, Rangers 8 (11)
Cleveland — Ryan Raburn’s three-run homer in the 11th inning off Jason Frasor gave Cleveland a wild and sloppy win over Texas.
After Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana singled off Frasor (0-2), Raburn pulled a 2-1 pitch onto the home-run porch in left to rescue the Indians, who blew a 7-1 lead and nearly lost to a Texas team that committed three errors and had three wild pitches.
As he neared home plate, Raburn flipped his helmet high into the air and was pummeled by his teammates who doused him with water.
Blue Jays 12, Astros 6
Toronto — Edwin Encarnacion hit two home runs in one inning, including his sixth career grand slam, Jose Reyes, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie also went deep as Toronto beat Houston.
Encarnacion became the first Blue Jays player in nearly 20 years to homer twice in the same inning when he accomplished the feat in the seventh against Paul Clemens (4-4) and Hector Ambriz. For Encarnacion, the home runs were his 27th and 28th of the season, the third-most in baseball behind Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera.
Tigers 2, Phillies 1
Detroit — Alex Avila’s two-run double in the fifth inning put Detroit ahead, and Doug Fister pitched eight impressive innings for the Tigers in a victory over Philadelphia.
Cole Hamels (4-13) was trying to protect a 1-0 lead for the Phillies when he allowed the bottom of Detroit’s batting order to break through. After a one-out walk to Hernan Perez, Ramon Santiago and Avila hit back-to-back doubles.
Santiago was playing third base in place of slugger Miguel Cabrera, who hasn’t played since Monday because of an injured left hip.
Fister (9-5) allowed three hits and an unearned run. Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances.
Darin Ruf grounded out with a man on third to end it.