Baseball

Tampa Bay takes over AL East lead

Tampa Bay surged into first place in the American League East on Monday night.

In the National League, Philadelphia and Atlanta won in the East, keeping the Phillies in first.

Cincinnati gained a game on St. Louis in the Central by beating Arizona while St. Louis fell to the Cubs.

In the wild West, San Diego gained a half-game lead over San Francisco by halting Colorado's 10-game winning streak.

Rays 1, Yankees 0 (11) _ Reid Brignac homered on a full count pitch leading off the bottom of the 11th inning for Tampa Bay.

Brignac connected off Sergio Mitre (0-3), the fourth Yankees reliever that followed CC Sabathia, who pitched eight scoreless innings in pursuit of his major league-leading 20th win.

Grant Balfour (2-1) pitched one inning to get the win for the Rays, who pulled ahead of the defending world champions for the division lead.

The Yankees have lost a season-high four straight and managed just four hits — three off 17-game winner David Price — as the teams began a stretch in which they'll meet seven times over 11 days.

With first place and baseball's best record on the line, Sabathia and Price were at their best before a crowd of 26,907 — about 10,000 shy of capacity — at Tropicana Field. The left-handers are the top two winners in the AL and showed why, with neither allowing a runner past second base.

Sabathia, who walked two and struck out nine over eight innings, limited the Rays to Kelly Shoppach's third-inning single until Sean Rodriguez opened the eighth with a sharp grounder into centerfield for Tampa Bay's second hit.

After hitting Shoppach with a pitch to put runners at first and second with one out, the Yankees ace struck out B.J. Upton and got Jason Bartlett to ground into a force play to send a scoreless game to the ninth.

Price, second in the AL with 17 wins, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four over eight innings. He kept the game even, working out of a jam in the seventh by getting Alex Rodriguez to pop to second and Marcus Thames to fly to center after Robinson Cano singled and Mark Teixeira walked with one out.

It was the second career matchup between Sabathia and Price. They also met last Oct. 2 at Tropicana Field, with Price limiting the Yankees to one run and two hits over seven innings to win 13-4 and deny Sabathia a 20th win in his final start of last season.

Price faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings this time, with Derek Jeter being erased on a double play after a first-inning single and Jorge Posada caught stealing after walking on a 3-1 pitch with two outs in the fifth.

Sabathia was just as impressive, breezing through the first eight batters before Shoppach singled and B.J. Upton walked with two outs in the third. Bartlett lined out to end the inning as Sabathia settled into a groove again and retired 12 in a row before walking Ben Zobrist with two outs in the seventh.

Both teams had a chance to win in the 10th. The Yankees threat ended abruptly when pinch-runner Bret Gardner was caught trying to steal third. The Rays wasted their opportunity when pinch hitter Brad Hawpe struck out to leave the bases loaded against Yankees reliever Chad Gaudin.

Phillies 11, Marlins 4 — Carlos Ruiz matched a career-high with four RBIs, Joe Blanton allowed one run in six innings and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their September sizzle.

Ruiz, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley and Greg Dobbs all homered for the NL East-leading Phillies, who are 10-3 in September.

Philadelphia's Ryan Howard reached the 100-RBI mark for the fifth straight season, while Werth and Utley each scored twice. Blanton (7-6) struck out eight and walked two.

Dan Uggla hit his 30th home run for Florida, making him the first second baseman in major league history to reach that plateau four straight times.

Braves 4, Nationals 0 —Derek Lowe set a career high with 12 strikeouts and combined with Billy Wagner on a six-hitter to lead the Atlanta Braves past the Washington Nationals 4-0 on Monday night.

Lowe (13-12) was 0-3 with a 6.11 ERA in his first three starts against Washington this season before delivering an impressive win marked by two personal milestones.

The right-hander earned an ovation from the small crowd of 18,647 with his 1,500th career strikeout against Ian Desmond in the fourth. Lowe struck out Wilson Ramos in the eighth for his 12th of the game.

Lowe gave up six hits and no walks in eight innings.

Padres 6, Rockies 4 — Miguel Tejada tied a season high with four RBIs for San Diego.

Tejada hit a two-run homer in the first inning and drove in two more with a two-out single in the fifth.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 1 — Jeff Samardzija pitched shutout ball in his first major-league start this season and drove in a run for Chicago.

The Cardinals fell seven games behind first-place Cincinnati.

Samardzija (1-1) filled in admirably for Carlos Silva, scratched due to pain in his pitching elbow. In his first big league appearance since April 19, the former Notre Dame football star allowed six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 2 — Jay Bruce returned from a two-week layoff and homered in each of his first two at-bats as the Reds hit five homers.

Cincinnati secured its first winning season since 2000.

The Reds' nine-year streak of losing seasons was their longest in a half-century. With each win, the NL Central leaders close in on another breakthrough — their first playoff appearance since 1995.

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