AL ROUNDUP: Twins’ Bass picks up first major league victory

MINNEAPOLIS — Craig Monroe hit a two-run homer off Justin Verlander and Brian Bass got his first major league win in relief of injured starter Scott Baker, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

Bass (1-0) allowed three hits in four scoreless innings, Pat Neshek and Jesse Crain combined to work the eighth, and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances.

Verlander (1-5) retired the first 10 batters he faced but ran into trouble in the fourth. Mike Lamb singled with one out, Joe Mauer doubled and Justin Morneau was intentionally walked to load the bases. Lamb scored on Cuddyer’s groundout to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.

Royals 4, Indians 2

CLEVELAND — Billy Butler’s tiebreaking single keyed Kansas City’s four-run seventh.

C.C. Sabathia (1-5) took a shutout into the seventh before the Royals strung together six hits against the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and three relievers.

Luke Hochevar (2-1) held the Indians to two runs and three hits in six innings. Joakim Soria, the Royals’ fourth pitcher, pitched the ninth for the save. The right-hander has converted all seven of his save chances and hasn’t allowed a run in 12 innings.

Red Sox 12, Rays 4.

BOSTON — Manny Ramirez singled in two runs in the first inning to end his longest RBI drought with Boston and Josh Beckett pitched eight innings.

Ramirez also threw out a runner at the plate. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each had three hits and Jason Varitek drove in three runs for Boston, which has won four of five after a five-game losing streak.

Beckett (3-2) allowed four runs and seven hits, struck out five and walked one.

James Shields (3-2) tossed a two-hit shutout in his previous start Sunday against the Red Sox, but he gave up three runs before retiring a batter Saturday night. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on 10 hits.

Angels 3, Orioles 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jon Garland pitched three-hit ball for eight innings, Gary Matthews Jr. drove in two runs and the Angels beat Baltimore with slumping slugger Vladimir Guerrero on the bench.

Only four Orioles reached base against Garland (4-3), who allowed one run and retired 18 of his last 19 batters. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save, breaking a tie with Baltimore’s George Sherrill for the major league lead.

Los Angeles pulled ahead 2-1 with a pair of runs in the seventh against Daniel Cabrera (2-1).

Matthews started in right field for the Angels in place of Guerrero, who was given the day off by manager Mike Scioscia. Guerrero is in an 0-for-15 drought, the first time in his career he’s gone hitless in five consecutive games.

Blue Jays 5, White Sox 2

TORONTO — Vernon Wells drove in three runs and Marco Scutaro homered for Toronto.

Jesse Litsch (4-1) gave up two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings for Toronto, which has won three straight after losing eight of nine.

Scott Downs got two outs in the eighth and B.J. Ryan worked the ninth for his fourth save.

Chicago’s Jermaine Dye ended an 0-for-15 streak with a solo home run in the seventh, snapping a streak of 24 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings by Blue Jays pitchers. Toronto had not given up a run since the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Boston.

John Danks (2-3) gave up two runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings for the White Sox, who have lost a season-high four straight.

Rangers 6, Athletics 3

OAKLAND, Calif. — A.J. Murray made the most of his chance in the Texas starting rotation, allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings a day after being called up from the minors to help the Rangers beat Oakland.

David Murphy hit a three-run homer and Chris Shelton added a solo shot for the Rangers, who have won four straight and six of eight following a seven-game losing streak that raised questions about the job stability of manager Ron Washington.

The Rangers, who came into the game with a major league-worst 5.29 ERA, got their third straight strong pitching performance from an unlikely source. Texas has allowed just four earned runs the past three games.

Staked to a 3-0 lead before stepping on the mound behind Murphy’s first-inning homer against Chad Gaudin (3-2), Murray pitched confidently and challenged the A’s hitters. He held Oakland scoreless until Mike Sweeney’s two-run double in the fifth cut Texas’ lead to 5-2.

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