Twins edge Cardinals 3-1 as AL slams NL
Minnesota closer Glen Perkins wriggled out of trouble in the ninth inning to extend his perfect record this season and guide the Twins to a 3-1 win against majorsleading St. Louis on Wednesday.
The victory for the Twins was part of a pattern on a day of interleague play, with the American League teams getting the better of National League outfits in games between leading teams.
Texas came out on top against the Los Angeles Dodgers to hand a defeat to ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw in his first-ever appearance against his hometown team; Toronto blanked the New York Mets on a turnaround performance by pitcher Drew Hutchison; and Tampa Bay also held its opponent Washington scoreless.
Minnesota starter Tommy Milone (3-1) gave up one run in seven innings with five strikeouts but his good work looked like it could be undone when St. Louis got two runners on base with no outs in the ninth inning.
However, Perkins preserved the victory with two strikeouts then a groundout to make it 23 saves from as many opportunities this season.
Eduardo Nunez had two hits and two RBIs to help the reeling Twins, who had lost seven of their previous eight games.
Texas’ rookie slugger Joey Gallo hit a two-run homer off Kershaw, and Prince Fielder also went deep to lead the Rangers over the Dodgers 5-3.
Kershaw (5-4) allowed four runs through six innings, and struck out 10, after having gone 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA over his previous four starts. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner was born in Dallas.
Toronto’s Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer and Kevin Pillar had a solo shot to power the Blue Jays past the Mets 8-0.
Pillar went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Blue Jays, whose 369 runs scored this season is the most in the majors by a long way. The next best is Arizona with 291.
Starter Drew Hutchison (6-1) pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one walk in a marked contrast to his previous start when he gave up a career- worst eight runs at Boston.
Tampa Bay’s Steven Souza Jr. hit his 13th home run of the season and Curt Casali blasted the first of his career to help the Rays beat Washington 5-0.
Souza and Casali each had three hits, with Souza doing so while returning to his former home park.
Matt Andriese (2-1) pitched four scoreless innings of relief to take the victory for the Rays, who elected not to use a regular starting pitcher. Steve Geltz, normally a reliever, threw two scoreless innings to start the game before being replaced.
The Nationals had just two hits, one night after belting out 23 in a 16-4 victory over the Rays.
Houston continued its power surge with four home runs in an 8-4 win at Coloardo.
Carlos Correa, Chris Carter, Preston Tucker and Jake Marisnick all homered for the first-place Astros, who have won four straight and lead the majors with 95 home runs.
Houston starter Brett Olberholtzer (2-1) followed up his eight scoreless innings against Seattle on Friday with another strong outing. He allowed three runs, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in 6 1-3 innings.
Pittsburgh won 3-2 at the struggling Chicago White Sox to extend their winning streak to seven games.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke (4-3) allowed just two runs in six innings and produced a season-high eight strikeouts.
Jung Ho Kang hit a two-run home run for Pittsburgh and helped to inflict a sixth successive defeat on Chicago.
Seattle ace Felix Hernandez bounced back impressively from the worst outing of his career and pitched eight scoreless innings to guide the Mariners to a 2-0 victory over San Francisco.
Hernandez (10-4) gave up eight runs and only lasted one-third of an inning in his previous start, but against the Giants he only allowed a runner beyond first base twice, and both times ended the threat swiftly by inducing groundouts.
The game was scoreless until the sixth when Austin Jackson tripled home Mike Zunino.
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and Welington Castillo each hit a solo home run and the Diamondbacks held on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2.
Seattle Mariners’ Mike Zunino, left, gets in ahead of the tag from San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey to score during the sixth inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, June 17.