MLB capsules: Thome hits No. 585, Twins win

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
Updated 3/1/2011 5:38 PM

Twins 5, Royals 4

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Kubel hit a go-ahead homer and Jim Thome launched his 585th career home run moments later, powering the Minnesota Twins past the Kansas City Royals.

 

The fifth-inning shots by Kubel and Thome kept the Twins 3½ games ahead of Chicago in the AL Central.

Thome's blast hit off the top of the American flagpole beyond the right-field bleachers at Target Field. He is one homer shy of Frank Robinson for eighth all-time.

The homer by Thome traveled so far and was so high, it required multiple viewings by the Twins public relations staff to get an accurate estimated distance. It was eventually announced at 480 feet.

Jeff Manship (2-0) gave up two runs in two innings. Matt Capps needed just eight pitches in the ninth to record his 10th save in 12 chances with the Twins.

Sean O'Sullivan (2-5) took the loss.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3

NEW YORK -- Brian Matusz won his fourth straight start and Brian Roberts hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning off struggling A.J. Burnett, leading the Baltimore Orioles over the New York Yankees.

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Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in two runs to reach 100 RBIs for the 13th straight season and record 14th time overall. He surpassed Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx, who each reached 100 RBIs 13 times.

Baltimore had been 0-6 at Yankee Stadium, but the AL-worst Orioles came to New York for the first time under Buck Showalter and won their third in a row, improving to 20-13 under their new manager.

Matusz (8-12) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Matt Albers, Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara finished, with Uehara getting his seventh save.

Burnett (10-13) lost for the fifth time in six decisions, giving up four runs, seven hits and four walks in seven innings.

Red Sox 12, Rays 5

BOSTON -- Ryan Kalish hit a grand slam, David Ortiz had a two-run shot and Jon Lester pitched six solid innings to lead the Boston Red Sox over Tampa Bay, preventing the Rays from climbing closer in the AL East race.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Rays lost their third straight and remained 2½ games behind the first-place Yankees. Boston moved within 6½ games of Tampa Bay in the wild-card standings.

Adrian Beltre added a solo homer for the Red Sox. Lester (16-8) gave up two runs and four hits while striking out 10 for his fifth win in six decisions.

Boston took control by scoring three runs in each of the first two innings, and broke it open when Kalish hit his slam in a five-run fourth.

Ortiz and Beltre hit consecutive homers three pitches apart in the first to put the Red Sox ahead 3-1.

In the second, Victor Martinez had a two-run single to chase a struggling Jeff Niemann (10-6).

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2

TORONTO -- Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer, Aaron Hill had a two-run shot and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Texas, handing the reeling Rangers their seventh loss in nine games.

Yunel Escobar added a solo drive for Toronto, which leads the majors with 211 homers.

Tommy Hunter (12-3) struggled early as the Rangers lost their fourth straight. Texas leads the AL West by seven games over Oakland.

Ricky Romero (12-8) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings.

In the seventh, a fan was struck on the right shoulder by a falling metal letter "B'' after a foul ball by Jose Bautista hit a sign honoring Jackie Robinson. The man was treated with ice packs and returned to his seat.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coco Crisp and Matt Carson each hit solo home runs to back Brett Anderson, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners.

Anderson (4-6) allowed four hits in a season-high 7 2-3 innings and left to a standing ovation. He ended a four-game losing streak that matched the longest of his career.

Then again, most everyone seems to be shutting down Seattle lately. The Mariners have scored three or fewer runs in 11 straight games.

Crisp homered in the first, Oakland's first leadoff homer of the season. Jason Vargas (9-9) lost his fourth straight start and was done after 4 1-3 innings, matching his shortest outing of the year.

Indians 3, Angels 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Shin-Soo Choo drove home Michael Brantley with a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat the Los Angeles Angels.

Brantley's two-out double off Angels closer Fernando Rodney (4-2) started the final surge for the last-place Indians, who have won three of five on a West Coast road trip.

Torii Hunter hit a tying homer in the sixth for the punchless Angels, who have lost 10 of 14.

Jensen Lewis (4-2) earned the victory with three pitches, striking out Mike Napoli with a runner on base in the eighth. Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 23 chances.

National League

Pirates 3, Braves 1

PITTSBURGH -- Neil Walker hit a two-run homer, Brian Burres limited Atlanta to one run over six innings in his first start in more than three months and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the slumping Braves 3-1 on Monday.

Despite losing its fourth in five games, Atlanta was assured of remaining in first place in the NL East for at least another day when Florida beat Philadelphia in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Atlanta had won five of its previous six against the Pirates, who lead the majors with 91 losses. But the Braves did almost nothing against Burres (3-3), who limited them to David Ross' sacrifice fly during his first start since losing to Atlanta 6-3 on May 29.

Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Tommy Hanson (9-11) held the Pirates to an unearned run over five innings. Jose Tabata singled to start the sixth and Walker followed with a drive to center that made it 3-1. Walker's 10th homer extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

Marlins 7, Phillies 1, 1st game

Phillies 7, Marlins 4, 2nd game

PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Oswalt pitched seven effective innings, helping Philadelphia beat Florida to split their day-night doubleheader.

Placido Polanco had a double, triple and two RBIs and Chase Utley also drove in a pair as the Phillies moved within a half-game of NL East-leading Atlanta.

In the opener, Adalberto Mendez pitched one-hit ball for six scoreless innings before injuring himself in his major league debut.

Oswalt (11-13) allowed four runs and six hits, striking out seven. The three-time All-Star is 5-1 since joining the Phillies in a trade with Houston on July 29. Philadelphia is 7-1 in his starts.

Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez and Cameron Maybin each homered off Oswalt, who gave up just one run in his previous 21 1-3 innings.

Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth for his 21st save in 26 chances.

After scoring only nine runs in their last four games, the Phillies put up five against Anibal Sanchez (11-9) in the second to take a 5-1 lead.

Mendez (1-0) left the first game in the seventh after hurting his right quadriceps running to first base on a single. He said he just cramped up and would be fine.

The Phillies, held to one hit three times already this season, finished with three overall.

Stanton and Chad Tracy homered and Dan Uggla drove in three runs for Florida. Marlins rookie Logan Morrison, hit in the face by a foul ball from teammate Emilio Bonifacio while in the on-deck circle Sunday, went 1 for 4 and scored a run.

Vance Worley (0-1) allowed two runs and six hits over five innings in his first career start for Philadelphia.

Rockies 10, Reds 5

DENVER -- Ubaldo Jimenez won his club-record 18th game despite a wild performance and the surging Colorado Rockies rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Cincinnati.

Even though he leads the NL in victories, Jimenez (18-6) hadn't won since Aug. 4. He snapped his four-game losing streak while struggling through a 123-pitch effort.

Jimenez allowed seven hits and matched a season high with six walks, one intentional, in six innings. Troy Tulowitzki homered, tripled and drove in three runs for the Rockies, who have won four straight against division leaders. Carlos Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games and finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs, raising his batting average to .340.

The Reds' cushion in the NL Central was cut to six games over St. Louis.

Tulowitzki broke a 4-all tie in the fifth when he homered off Bill Bray (0-2).

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0, 11 innings

PHOENIX -- Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run triple in the 11th inning and San Francisco inched closer in the playoff race by beating Arizona.

Madison Bumgarner matched zeros with Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy into the eighth inning and the Giants pulled it out in the 11th when Schierholtz followed singles by Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey with his triple to center off Aaron Heilman (5-7).

Santiago Casilla (6-2) struck out the side in the 10th and Brian Wilson earned his 41st save to seal San Francisco's sixth victory in eight games. The Giants pulled within a game of Philadelphia, which leads the wild-card standings.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 6

MILWAUKEE -- Yadier Molina's grand slam capped a six-run eighth inning and St. Louis overcame Corey Hart's two homers to beat Milwaukee.

It was 2-all in the eighth when an error by Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee on a hard grounder by Albert Pujols helped St. Louis break away. Matt Holliday singled home the go-ahead run.

The Cardinals won for the third time in four games. Mitchell Boggs (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo bounced back from three consecutive poor starts to pitch seven solid innings, but St. Louis broke loose against the bullpen. Zach Braddock (1-2) took the loss.

Rickie Weeks hit his 26th homer for Milwaukee.

Nationals 13, Mets 3

WASHINGTON -- Nationals rookie Danny Espinosa drove in six runs, hitting a grand slam, a solo homer and getting two other hits to help Washington rout New York for its third straight victory.

Espinosa, called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, has three homers in his last four games. Washington scored 13 unanswered runs to post its 60th win of the season, eclipsing the Nationals' total from both 2008 and 2009.

Ivan Rodriguez's two-run double sparked a five-run rally in the fourth. Michael Morse hit a tiebreaking single off Mike Pelfrey (13-9) as the Nationals came back from a 3-0 deficit. Rodriguez finished with three RBIs.

Scott Olsen (4-8) earned the win with four hitless innings of relief.