ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. B.J. Upton slipped away from Tropicana Field without speaking to reporters, leaving others to answer questions about another base-running gaffe that overshadowed a big Tampa Bay victory.
The first-place Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-4 Monday night, but the postgame buzz was more about Upton getting caught jogging on the bases again instead of the AL East leaders improving to 5-2 against the team with the top record in the majors.
"I'll tell you one thing about tonight, he's hurting," said designated hitter Cliff Floyd, who hit a two-run homer to help right-hander Andy Sonnanstine get his team-leading 13th win. "He's hurting bad."
The speedy center fielder, who has been benched three times in the last two weeks for not hustling, was thrown out at second base on what should have been a routine double in the fourth inning.
But unlike last Friday at Texas, Upton wasn't removed from the game by manager Joe Maddon.
"That's a mental mistake he made right there. It's not a lack of effort," Maddon said, explaining why he didn't take action.
"It's one of those situations where he assumed. We've talked about assumptions. That's an assumption on his part. That's part of his game we've got to get rid of."
Floyd, whose locker is three cubicles away from Upton's in the clubhouse, said that will be done.
"I think everybody in here will do everything possible to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's not in Joe's hands any more. It's in nobody's hands but ours," the 14-year veteran said.
"It bothers me. You get choked up a little bit because it's like, 'Man, we've got something real special here.' We don't need to be talking about this stuff."
Eric Hinske also hit a two-run homer and Sonnanstine (13-6) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings to pull within one victory of the Rays' single-season record. Rolando Arrojo won 14 in 1998, and Sonnanstine's total matches the 13 Scott Kazmir won a year ago.
RED SOX 6, ORIOLES 3: At Baltimore, Jon Lester outpitched Jeremy Guthrie, and Jason Bay homered twice for Boston. Lester (12-4) allowed one run, four hits and a walk in seven innings to improve to 5-0 lifetime against the Orioles. The left-hander is 9-1 since May 25.
WHITE SOX 13, MARINERS 5: At Chicago, Nick Swisher hit a two-run home run and Orlando Cabrera started a six-run fifth inning with another two-run shot to help Chicago beat dismal Seattle. After hitting a grand slam on Sunday, rookie Alexei Ramirez hit a three-run homer and Jermaine Dye doubled twice and drove in two runs for the White Sox, who have won six of their last seven games and moved one game ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.
ATHLETICS 3, TWINS 2: At Minneapolis, Kirk Saarloos pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings after Justin Duchscherer left with a hip injury and Oakland beat Minnesota. Mark Ellis homered and Kurt Suzuki had two RBIs for Oakland, which got a nice effort from Saarloos (1-0) after he was called up from Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day to bolster a struggling A's bullpen that was 1-5 over its last 18 games.TIGERS 8, RANGERS 7: At Arlington, Texas, Gary Sheffield hit career homer No. 493, Curtis Granderson had two triples and four RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers held on. Sheffield went 3-for-5 and moved into a tie with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 25th on the career home run list.
PIRATES 5, METS 2: At Pittsburgh, Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Mets 5-2 Monday, ending New York's six-game winning streak. The loss left the Mets with a 1 1/2-game lead over idle Philadelphia in the NL East.
BREWERS 9, ASTROS 3: At Milwaukee, CC Sabathia improved his perfect record with Milwaukee, pitching another complete game to beat Houston. Sabathia also hit a two-run single in a five-run fourth inning. He is 8-0 with a 1.60 ERA and five complete games in nine starts for the Brewers since they acquired him from Cleveland in a July 7 trade.
GIANTS 5, BRAVES 0: At Atlanta, Barry Zito had one of his best starts of the season, leading San Francisco over Atlanta. Zito (7-15) allowed five hits in seven innings, combining with Keiichi Yabu and Sergio Romo on a seven-hitter. Zito pitched out of trouble, stranding two runners each in the third, fifth and seventh.