NEW YORK – Zoilo Almonte provided much-needed pop in his first major league start, homering and adding two singles Friday night to lead the New York Yankees over the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-2.
Almonte started in place of slumping left fielder Vernon Wells and quickly delivered, a day after getting a pinch single for his first hit. The 24-year-old rookie was promoted from Triple-A this week, joining an injury-ravaged team that’s had trouble scoring.
Almonte also showed off a strong arm in helping the Yankees win for the third time in 10 games.
David Phelps (5-4) beat Roberto Hernandez (4-8) and the Rays for the second time in a month. Tampa Bay was trying for its first three-game winning streak in June.
BLUE JAYS 7, ORIOLES 6: Rajai Davis singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and host Toronto rallied for its ninth straight win.
Munenori Kawasaki hit his first career home run, a tying two-run shot in the seventh, while Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion also connected for the Blue Jays. Former Deering High School standout Ryan Flaherty homered for Baltimore.
Casey Janssen (2-0) worked one inning for the win as Toronto evened its record at 36-36.
INDIANS 5, TWINS 1: Scott Kazmir allowed one run in seven strong innings and Jason Kipnis drove in three, leading host Cleveland over Minnesota.
Kazmir (4-4) gave up just a leadoff homer to Brian Dozier in the sixth and four other hits. The left-hander struck out seven, including five in his final two innings.
WHITE SOX 9, ROYALS 1: Hector Santiago shut down the host Royals’ punchless offense for a career-best eight innings, and Chicago roughed up Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie in a rout.
Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer and Alejandro de Aza added a two-run shot for the White Sox, who snapped a three-game skid with their best offensive output in nearly two weeks.
They scored twice in the first inning and five times in the third, when they chased Guthrie (7-5) from the game.
METS 4, PHILLIES 3: Juan Lagares hit a go-ahead double, Jeremy Hefner pitched six effective innings and New York won at Philadelphia.
Hefner (2-6) gave up three runs — two earned — and 10 hits to help the Mets snap a five-game losing streak against the Phillies.
NATIONALS 2, ROCKIES 1: Stephen Strasburg struck out nine over seven innings, Ian Desmond homered in the seventh to help give the righty his first win in June and host Washington beat slumping Colorado.
Making his 14th start of the season, Strasburg (4-6) allowed one run on five hits for his first victory since May 31.
Colorado lost its fifth straight.
BREWERS 2, BRAVES 0: Jean Segura homered and Wily Peralta allowed two hits in seven innings to lead host Milwaukee to its second shutout of the season.
Peralta (5-8) won for the second time in his last eight starts, giving up two singles to go with four strikeouts and four walks.
CUBS 3, ASTROS 1: Matt Garza pitched into the ninth inning and Anthony Rizzo hit his first homer since May 18 to lead host Chicago after a rain delay that lasted more than three hours.
RANGERS 6, CARDINALS 4: Nelson Cruz snapped a ninth-inning tie with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield and Texas won at St. Louis in the opener of a series between 2011 World Series opponents.