Tigers' ace Verlander snares 19th win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Justin Verlander became the first 19-game winner in the majors, Alex Avila hit his 15th homer and the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Monday night.

Verlander (19-5) won his seventh consecutive start, giving up one run and three hits in seven innings. The 19 wins match his career high, set in 2009.

The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the second when Avila hit a two-run shot off Jeff Niemann (8-5). The All-Star catcher is 25 for 59 (.424) with five homers and 14 RBIs this month.

Niemann, who was 7-0 in his 10 previous start, allowed four runs and six hits over 71/3 innings.

Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton left with a right shoulder strain after running into the wall on Delmon Young's eighth-inning double.

Mariners 3, Indians 2

At Cleveland, Franklin Gutierrez lifted a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and the Mariners scored the go-ahead run without getting a hit to beat the Indians.

The Indians, swept by AL Central-leading Detroit over the weekend, lost their fourth in a row.

Cleveland closer Chris Perez (2-6) hit both Miguel Olivo and Brendan Ryan with pitches to start the ninth. Perez then compounded his problems by dropping a sacrifice bunt by Trayvon Robinson, loading the bases with no outs.

Orioles 4, Twins 1

At Minneapolis, J.J. Hardy homered against the team that traded him in the offseason, Zach Britton won for the first time in 10 weeks and the Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Twins.

Matt Wieters also homered, Ryan Adams added an RBI after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and Nick Markakis delivered an RBI double.

Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 0

At Arlington, Texas, C.J. Wilson threw 62/3 scoreless innings for his 13th victory and Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer as the AL West-leading Rangers returned home with a victory over the Red Sox.

Wilson (13-5) struck out four while limiting the Red Sox to four singles.

Napoli's 21st homer, in the sixth off Erik Bedard (4-9), extended the Rangers' 1-0 lead and his hitting streak to a season-best 11.

Phillies 10, Mets 0

At Philadelphia, Cliff Lee threw seven sharp innings, John Mayberry Jr. and Hunter Pence each hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 10-0 Monday night.

The Phillies rocked Dillon Gee (11-5) to earn their major league-best 82nd win. They have a comfortable lead over Atlanta in pursuit of their fifth straight NL East title.

Lee (14-7) allowed three hits, walked three and struck out seven. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner is 4-0 with a 0.58 ERA this month.

Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 1

At Washington, Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer, Ross Detwiler took a four-hitter into the seventh inning and the Nationals beat Arizona to extend the Diamondbacks' losing streak to a season-high six games.

Henry Blanco homered for the Diamondbacks, who have scored only seven runs in their last six games. Mired in its longest skid since a seven-game run in July 2010, Arizona now leads second-place San Francisco by just one game in the NL West.

Brewers 8, Pirates 1, 1st game

Pirates 9, Brewers 2, 2nd game

At Pittsburgh, Ryan Doumit homered and drove in two runs as the Pirates ended more than a year of futility against the Brewers with a win in the second game of a doubleheader.

The Brewers took the opener for their 13th straight victory over Pittsburgh, but the Pirates pounded Milwaukee ace Zack Greinke in the second game.

Greinke (12-5) gave up seven runs and seven hits in 61/3 innings in losing for the first time in a month. The defeat was just the fourth in the last 23 games for the NL Central-leading Brewers.

Braves 3, Cubs 0

At Chicago, Jair Jurrjens pitched in and out of trouble for 61/3 innings, Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman homered and the Braves beat the Cubs for their fifth straight win.

Jurrjens (13-5) allowed eight hits and walked five. The Cubs stranded 11 runners in the first six innings.

Uggla's two shots gave him 30 home runs for the fifth straight season. No other second baseman in major league history has reached 30 homers more than three times overall.

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1

At St. Louis, Aaron Miles' RBI triple keyed a two-run, ninth inning rally and the Dodgers came from behind to beat the Cardinals.

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, who has never lost to Los Angeles, dominated the Dodgers for eight innings, shutting them out on five hits. Carpenter took a 1-0 lead into the ninth, but then hit Juan Rivera to start the frame.

Manager Tony La Russa brought in Arthur Rhodes, who struck out Andre Ethier. La Russa then went back to his bullpen, but that move backfired when Miles tripled to right center off Fernando Salas (5-5) to tie the game at 1-1.

Rockies 9, Astros 5

At Denver, Jhoulys Chacin threw seven solid innings and had a two-run double while Carlos Gonzalez homered and drove in three runs to help the Rockies beat the Astros.

All nine starters reached base for Colorado, which won its third straight. It's just the second time since June 18 the Rockies have won three in a row.

Brian Bogusevic had three hits, including a homer, Matt Downs also homered for the Astros.

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