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Burnett shines as Yankees rout Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A.J. Burnett allowed two hits in seven innings and Nick Swisher homered twice Monday night, leading the New York Yankees to an 11-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The AL East leaders improved to 10-1 since the All-Star break, with Burnett (10-4) earning his fifth straight decision.

The switch-hitting Swisher homered from both sides of the plate for the second time this season. Robinson Cano and Johnny Damon also went deep, while Derek Jeter had three hits and Alex Rodriguez contributed a two-run double on his 34th birthday.

Cano had a RBI triple in the second inning, then led off the sixth with his 15th homer off Rays starter James Shields (6-7). Swisher hit his 15th off the right-hander two pitches later and added No. 16 off lefty Brian Shouse with a solo shot in the ninth.

Damon finished New York’s 15-hit night with his 200th career homer, a three-run blast that made it 11-3.

Burnett limited the Rays to B.J. Upton’s third-inning single until allowing an unearned run in the sixth, when Upton reached base after striking out on an inside pitch that skipped off Jorge Posada’s glove for a passed ball.

Upton moved to third on Carl Crawford’s single, then scored when Evan Longoria grounded into a double play.

Royals 5, Orioles 3

BALTIMORE — Billy Butler had a career-high five hits and drove in three runs, Brayan Pena beat out a run-scoring infield single to snap a seventh-inning tie and Kansas City beat Baltimore.

Butler led off the seventh with a double to right-center off Matt Albers (1-4), advanced when Miguel Olivo grounded out for the second out and scored when Pena beat Melvin Mora’s throw on a slow chopper to the third-base side of the mound.

Five of Kansas City’s 14 hits were infield singles.

Red Sox 8, Athletics 3

BOSTON — Josh Beckett became the American League’s first 12-game winner and Boston snapped out of a slump with 14 hits in a win over Oakland.

Beckett (12-4) struck out 10 and allowed one walk and eight hits in seven innings before the bullpen extended its streak to 24 scoreless innings since the All-Star game.

Twins 4, White Sox 3

MINNEAPOLIS — Michael Cuddyer’s two-run homer in the sixth inning pushed Minnesota past Chicago, pulling the Twins’ record back to even and sending the White Sox to yet another defeat at the Metrodome.

John Danks (8-7) allowed two earned runs and six hits over seven innings after missing his last start due to a finger blister, but that wasn’t enough to keep the Sox from their 12th loss in the last 14 games at Minnesota’s soon-to-be-vacated dome.

Rangers 5, Tigers 2

ARLINGTON, Texas — Rookie Tommy Hunter pitched a career-high seven innings, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young homered, and Texas finally beat the AL Central-leading Tigers.

The Rangers had lost the first six meetings with the Tigers this season to drop to 3-14 against them over the last three years before Hunter (3-1) pitched Texas to its seventh victory in eight games.

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