By The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Scott Kazmir sparkled in his first start since agreeing to a $28.5 million contract extension, and the surprising Tampa Bay Rays dropped the New York Yankees into last place with a 5-2 victory Thursday.
Kazmir (2-1) allowed three singles in six scoreless innings, and Akinori Iwamura and Shawn Riggans homered off Ian Kennedy for the AL East-leading Rays.
Tampa Bay (24-17), which started play in 1998, has been alone atop the division standings for three consecutive days for the first time. The Rays won three of four from New York and have captured six of seven series in building the best record in the AL.
The Yankees have lost six of nine and got another a poor pitching performance from Kennedy (0-3), who was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre for his sixth start of the season.
Royals 8, Tigers 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jose Guillen homered and drove in three runs, Gil Meche pitched seven solid innings and the Royals completed another three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Kansas City won its season-best fourth straight and improved to 6-0 this season against Detroit, which has lost four straight and 10 of 12 while falling into last in the AL Central.
Billy Butler's two-run double keyed a three-run first against Tigers left-hander Kenny Rogers (3-4). Miguel Olivo doubled home Butler with the final run of the inning.
Meche (3-5) yielded three runs and six hits while striking out six and walking two. He improved to 7-4 in 16 career starts against the Tigers.
Indians 4, Athletics 2
CLEVELAND (AP) -- An unearned run against Aaron Laffey caused by his own throwing error ended the scoreless streak by Cleveland starters at 44 1-3 innings but didn't interrupt their string of dominant outings.
Laffey (2-2) allowed just the unearned run and five hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one while filling in for the injured Jake Westbrook. He lowered his ERA to 1.35 and has gone seven innings in each of his last three starts without giving up an earned run.
The scoreless streak, which began last Friday, ended in the second when Laffey charged Rob Bowen's grounder and threw it into right field, allowing Bobby Crosby to score from second.
Rookie Greg Smith (2-3) gave up three run, seven hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings, striking out seven. He has lost three straight decisions.
Blue Jays 3, Twins 2, 11 innings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Joe Inglett sliced a two-out, bases-loaded single through the infield in the 11th inning, helping Toronto complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.
Scott Rolen started the 11th against Jesse Crain (1-2) with a double into the right-field corner that Michael Cuddyer couldn't quite catch. Lyle Overbay was walked intentionally with two outs, and pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun drew a walk.
Then Inglett, called up last weekend from Triple-A Syracuse, batted for Jorge Velandia poked his hit just out of shortstop Adam Everett's reach.
Shawn Camp (1-1) picked up the victory by getting the last out of the 10th, and B.J. Ryan finished off the Twins by converting his seventh save in as many attempts.