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AL roundup: Yankees stung by Rays’ Shields

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Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano helped shut down the New York Yankees on Sunday.

Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano helped shut down the New York Yankees on Sunday.

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — James Shields worked into the eighth inning to outpitch CC Sabathia, prolong Alex Rodriguez's quest for his 600th homer and help Tampa Bay beat the New York Yankees 3-0 on Sunday.

Carl Crawford and Kelly Shoppach drove in runs for the Rays, who took two of three games during a matchup between the teams with the top two records in baseball.

The Yankees intended for Rodriguez to take a day off. But with Shields (10-9) sailing along with a three-run lead in the seventh, manager Joe Girardi inserted the slugger as a pinch-hitter with a runner on and two outs.

Rodriguez took a third called strike. He remained in the game at third base but didn't get to the plate again.

Shields walked one and struck out 11 while limiting the World Series champions to four hits over 71?3 innings.

Rays reliever Chad Qualls, acquired Saturday from Arizona, got Lance Berkman to hit into a double play to end the eighth. Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth, finishing the five-hitter for his 30th save in 32 opportunities.

Sabathia (13-5) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings, losing his second consecutive start after winning nine straight decisions.

Tampa Bay won for the eighth time in nine games, trimming New York's lead in the AL East to one game.

Rodriguez went 0 for 8 in the series and is 9 for 38 (.237) with eight RBIs in 10 games since hitting No. 599. His next chance at the milestone comes Monday night at home against Toronto.

ANGELS 4, RANGERS 1: At Anaheim, Calif., Jered Weaver outpitched Cliff Lee with seven sharp innings in a matchup of the AL's strikeout and ERA leaders, and Los Angeles beat Texas to win two of three in their weekend series. The Rangers' lead in the AL West was shaved to eight games by the three-time defending division champs, who avoided falling at least 10 games out of first place for the first time since the end of the 2003 season. Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect eighth and Brian Fuentes got three outs for his 20th save in 24 attempts. Lee (9-4) went the distance for the seventh time this season, allowing nine hits over eight innings. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, who has pitched at least eight innings in each of his last nine starts, is 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in five outings with the Rangers after joining them in a trade from Seattle on July 9. Overall, his ERA is a league-best 2.51.

TWINS 4, MARINERS 0: At Minneapolis, Francisco Liriano matched a season high with 11 strikeouts, Jason Kubel snapped out of a slump with a three-run double and the streaking Minnesota Twins beat Seattle 4-0 for the second consecutive day. Playing without sluggers Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, the Twins won their eighth straight and completed a three-game sweep. They remained a half-game behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central. Liriano (10-7) went seven innings to extend his shutout streak to 21. He has allowed only two runs in his last 28 2-3 innings. Luke French (0-2) held Minnesota scoreless through five innings before getting into trouble in the sixth.

RED SOX 4, TIGERS 3: At Boston, pinch-runner Darnell McDonald scored the winning run when Marco Scutaro's bunt single was thrown away by pitcher Robbie Weinhardt, and Boston won in its last at-bat for the second straight game. After Clay Buchholz outpitched Tigers ace Justin Verlander in a matchup of All-Stars, Jonathan Papelbon (4-4) got the win despite giving up Miguel Cabrera's two-run double and a game-tying single by Jhonny Peralta in the ninth. Brad Thomas (4-1) took the loss after allowing Jed Lowrie's leadoff single in the ninth and walking Eric Patterson.

WHITE SOX 4, ATHLETICS 1: At Chicago, Gavin Floyd carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before settling for another outstanding outing, leading Chicago over Oakland. Brent Lillibridge hit a three-run triple for the White Sox, who have won six of seven. They improved to 20-2 in their last 22 games at U.S. Cellular Field. Floyd (7-8) allowed one run and four hits in seven-plus innings, improving to 5-2 with a 1.06 ERA in his last 11 starts. The right-hander hasn't allowed more two earned runs in a game since a loss to Texas on June 2. Floyd walked Cliff Pennington with none out in the sixth, then gave up a one-out single to Matt Carson. Bobby Jenks struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 24 opportunities. Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez (9-7), selected by the White Sox in the first round of the 2004 draft, pitched eight innings for his first career complete game. He had a career-high 11 strikeouts without a walk, and yielded six hits.

INDIANS 5, BLUE JAYS 4: At Toronto, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer, Jason Donald added a solo shot and Cleveland beat Toronto for the sixth time in seven games. Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 32nd home run for the Blue Jays. Aaron Hill and Yunel Escobar also had solo shots for Toronto, which leads the majors with 161 homers. The Blue Jays have gone deep in 13 consecutive games, hitting 31 during that span. Called up from Triple-A Columbus to make his second big league start, Jeanmar Gomez (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. Five Cleveland relievers combined to work the final four innings. Chris Perez wrapped it up in the ninth for his 12th save and second in two games. Jesse Litsch (1-5) allowed four runs and six hits in four-plus innings. He has won just once in nine outings since coming off the disabled list June 9.

ROYALS 5, ORIOLES 4: At Kansas City, Mo., Alex Gordon homered and Bruce Chen won for the first time since July 3 to lead Kansas City past Baltimore. Chen (6-5), who was 0-3 in his previous four starts, went five innings. He allowed three runs and seven hits. Royals reliever Kanekoa Texeira worked out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the sixth, allowing only one run to score on a double-play grounder. Joakim Soria escaped a ninth-inning jam for his 29th save in 31 chances. He has converted 22 straight. Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton homered for Baltimore in the final game for Juan Samuel as Orioles interim manager. He finished with a 17-34 record. Buck Showalter will take over Tuesday. Baltimore starter Kevin Millwood (2-11) gave up five runs and 11 hits.