NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez gave Will Smith a rude welcome to the major leagues Wednesday night, hitting two homers off the rookie to back another strong start for Andy Pettitte and lead the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 8-3.
A-Rod snapped a 52 at-bat homereless drought and drove in three runs for New York. Curtis Granderson also connected off Smith and the Yankees scored three times in the fifth with help from some inept relief pitching.
Derek Jeter had three hits to tie Paul Waner for 15th with 3,152. Before the Jeter singled in the eighth, Waner had been the only player who reached a higher hits milestone than Jeter in a Yankees uniform. "Big Poison" got just one hit with New York, his final one in a career spent mostly in Pittsburgh.
BALTIMORE — Daniel Nava and Kelly Shoppach hit sixth-inning homers to turn a tie game in Boston's favour, and the Red Sox withstood two home runs by Nick Johnson in a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.
Scott Podsednik also homered for the Red Sox, who climbed back to .500 (22-22) with their 10th win in 13 games. Boston took two of three from the Orioles, who were seeking to win a fourth straight series against the Red Sox for the first time since 1960.
It was 2-all in the sixth before Nava, the No. 7 hitter in the order, drove a 2-0 pitch from Jake Arreita (2-5) over the right-field wall. Podsednik followed with a single, and No. 9 hitter Shoppach greeted Luis Ayala with a drive to left.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Alberto Callaspo hit a go-ahead two-run double in the 11th inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 on Wednesday.
Kendrys Morales drew a one-out walk in the 11th against Justin Norberto (0-1) and was lifted for pinch-runner Peter Bourjos, who moved to third on Howie Kendrick's two-out single. Callaspo then drove them both home with a double to left.
Jordan Walden (1-1) pitched a 1-2-3 10th and Ernesto Frieri finished for his first major league save on a day the Angels couldn't deliver enough to back starter Jered Weaver.
Weaver allowed one run and three hits in eight innings but missed a chance to become the majors' first seven-game winner.
Weaver surrendered a tying solo home run to Seth Smith in the sixth and gave the Angels another strong performance following a one-hitter by C.J. Wilson and Frieri a night earlier in the Angels' 4-0 win.
SEATTLE — Alex Liddi hit the first grand slam of his career, and second grand slam ever by an Italian-born player, Kevin Millwood threw six shutout innings and the Seattle Mariners took two of three from division-leading Texas with a 5-3 win over the Rangers on Wednesday.
Liddi made Texas manager Ron Washington pay for the decision to pitch around Dustin Ackley with one out in the fifth inning. Ackley was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Liddi lined the first pitch from Scott Feldman (0-2) just over the yellow line on top of the left-field wall for his third homer this season. He also doubled and scored Seattle's first run.
Millwood (3-4) was brilliant for a third consecutive start. Coming off a two-hitter at Colorado, Millwood gave up three hits in six innings. Only a high pitch count ended his day early.
CLEVELAND — Jason Kipnis had three hits and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Wednesday night.
Kipnis singled off the glove of Phil Coke (1-1) with one out and took third on a double into the left-field corner by Asdrubal Cabrera.
Travis Hafner then grounded to first baseman Prince Fielder, whose low throw handcuffed catcher Gerald Laird for an error as Kipnis dove into the plate to score. Carlos Santana's sacrifice fly scored Cabrera.
Vinnie Pestano (2-0) got out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the top half.
Chris Perez pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th consecutive save after blowing a lead in the season opener April 5.
CHICAGO — Chris Sale pitched seven sharp innings and Paul Konerko and Alex Rios backed him with home runs, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
Sale (5-2) held the Twins to two hits and two walks, striking out six. He has allowed three runs or less in all eight of his starts in his first year as a member of the Chicago rotation.
Still showing a black eye after getting hit in the face by a pitch last Friday, Konerko had three hits and scored three times. He connected for his ninth homer of the season and extended his hitting streak to nine games, during which he's batting .548 (17 of 31).
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — B.J. Upton hit an RBI double in the 11th inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Wednesday.
Rich Thompson was hit by a pitch from Darren Oliver (0-2) to start the 11th and scored on Upton's one-out drive into the left-field corner.
Jake McGee (1-1) struck out two during a perfect 11th.
Tampa Bay took 2 of 3 from the Blue Jays, and have won 15 consecutive home series against Toronto.
The Rays nearly won it in the ninth on Drew Sutton's two-out infield single, but second baseman Omar Vizquel threw out Carlos Pena, who tried to score from second on the play.