Sosa Hits 2 Homers In Rangers' Loss; Yankees Drop Sixth Straight

Friday, April 27th 2007, 7:36 am
By: News On 6

Sammy Sosa did his best to get the Texas Rangers a win. Phil Hughes tried to help the struggling New York Yankees break out of their rut with another weekend series against the Boston Red Sox coming up.

Sosa hit two homers to reach 594 for his career in the Rangers' 9-4 loss to Cleveland on Thursday as Paul Byrd pitched six-plus innings to help the Indians get their fifth straight win.

Sosa's 439-foot drive leading off the sixth inning against Byrd (2-1) made Jacobs Field the 44th major league ballpark in which he has homered. That broke a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. and Fred McGriff for the most in a big league career.

``It's nice to have that record, but if we had won I would have enjoyed it more,'' Sosa said.

At Yankee Stadium, A.J. Burnett allowed four hits in seven innings and Toronto beat New York 6-0, handing the Yankees their sixth straight loss. Hughes (0-1) gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings in his major league debut.

``I don't think you can really ever know what it's going to be like,'' Hughes said. ``I made a few good pitches, but when you're falling behind so much like I was it's hard to put guys away.''

Boston warmed up for its weekend series in New York with a 5-2 victory over the Orioles.

In other AL games, it was: Los Angeles Angels 11, Tampa Bay 3; Minnesota 1, Kansas City 0 in 11 innings; and Seattle 4, Oakland 2. Detroit's game at Chicago was rained out.

Sosa has six homers and 18 RBIs, but he's hitting only .239 in 19 games since sitting out all of 2006. He said he still hasn't got his timing back after the long layoff.

``The more I play, the more adjustments I can make,'' he said. ``If you talk about getting hot, I'm not there yet. ``

Byrd left after yielding a leadoff single in the seventh to Gerald Laird. The right-hander allowed three runs and eight hits, walked one and struck out three.

Trot Nixon's two-run homer capped Cleveland's three-run first off Kameron Loe (1-1).

Missing injured Derek Jeter, the last-place Yankees (8-12) are on their longest skid since also dropping six in a row from May 28 to June 3, 2005. They managed only four singles and are percentage points behind fourth-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Vernon Wells went 3-for-3 with two walks for Toronto, giving him seven hits in his last two games. Frank Thomas drove in two runs, and leadoff batter Alex Rios scored three times and knocked in a run. The Blue Jays have won three straight, all against the Red Sox and Yankees, after losing a season-worst five in a row.

Burnett (2-1) got his first career win at Yankee Stadium. Flashing a fastball in the mid-to-high 90 mph range, he struck out five and walked four in seven impressive innings.

``He's got the capability of doing that every time he goes out there. All we have to do is keep him healthy,'' Wells said.

Jeremy Accardo and Scott Downs completed Toronto's first shutout of the season _ the first time New York was blanked this year. The Yankees began the day leading the majors in runs with 120.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 2

At Baltimore, Wily Mo Pena hit a grand slam in the eighth inning for the Red Sox and Josh Beckett became the majors' first five-game winner.

Boston trailed 2-1 before Pena hit a shot to center off Chris Ray (2-2) that traveled an estimated 430 feet. Pena came into the game batting .120, including 1-for-20 against right-handers.

Beckett (5-0) allowed two runs and eight hits in eight innings, and became the 11th Red Sox pitcher to win his first five starts in a season. Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Angels 11, Devil Rays 3

Bartolo Colon struck out 11 in seven innings, and Vladimir Guerrero homered during a five-run first for the Angels.

Colon (2-0) allowed four hits, including a two-run homer by Carlos Pena in the fourth. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out the side in the seventh and reached 94 mph with his 103rd and final pitch. His strikeout total was his highest since June 4, 2005, when he had 11 in six innings of a 13-6 victory at Boston.

Jae Seo (1-2) gave up six runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings for visiting Tampa Bay.

Twins 1, Royals 0, 11 innings

Mike Redmond hit a run-scoring single in the 11th inning and Minnesota snapped a four-game losing streak.

Justin Morneau and Jason Tyner had back-to-back singles off Todd Wellemeyer (0-1) with one out in the 11th to put runners on first and second. Redmond, who finished 2-for-5, then hit a line drive to right-center field to bring home Morneau.

Juan Rincon (1-0) pitched a scoreless 11th for Minnesota, which also ended a four-game home losing streak.

Twins star Torii Hunter received three stitches to close a cut on the inside of his mouth after he was hit by a pitch from Zack Greinke in the second inning. Hunter said he would play Friday when Minnesota visits Detroit.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2

At Oakland, Calif., Jose Lopez hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning and the Mariners beat the A's for the fourth time in five meetings this season.

Richie Sexson hit an RBI double in the seventh that snapped an 0-for-20 streak, giving Seattle an unearned insurance run. The Mariners went 2-17 against Oakland last season.

Lopez, the Mariners' No. 9 hitter, connected against Kiko Calero (0-2) to put Seattle ahead 3-2. The Mariners won their third straight following a six-game skid.

Miguel Batista (2-2) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings, and J.J. Putz got the final five outs for his second save.