ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. The Tampa Bay Rays cleared another hurdle in the effort to distance themselves from their woeful past.
Ben Zobrist hit a grand slam, Cliff Floyd drove in five runs and the AL East-leading Rays guaranteed their first-ever winning season with a 14-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
"Going into spring training I knew we were better," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just didn't know how much better. Eighty-two wins is a big moment, and I want this to be the standard of what we do, to get that number on an annual basis.
"You've got to break through the barrier eventually. We've done it, now let's move on down the road."
Floyd had a two-run double, Zobrist hit his slam and Gabe Gross added a solo shot during a seven-run fourth that made it 10-0.
"It was contagious," Zobrist said.
Scott Kazmir (10-6) allowed three hits and three walks over 5 1-3 scoreless innings. The left-hander has won 10 games or more in four straight seasons. Tampa Bay joined the 1968 Oakland Athletics as the only teams to have five pitchers 26 years old or younger with 20 starts and 10 wins in the same season.
"It's been a great season and we're showing no signs of letting up," Kazmir said.
Tampa Bay (82-51) is 4 1/2 games ahead of second-place Boston, which beat the Chicago White Sox 8-0. The Rays, an AL-best 50-19 at home, had never won more than 70 games in a season before this year.
"They're on a roll right now. They're playing very well at home," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
RED SOX 8, WHITE SOX 0: At Boston, Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed two hits in eight innings, Dustin Pedroia had four hits and Jason Bay drove in three runs to lead Boston past Chicago. Coming off a 6-3 road trip and with Josh Beckett placed on the disabled list, Boston used Matsuzaka (16-2) in his place against the AL Central leaders. He pitched one of his most efficient games of a season in which he's been among the AL ERA lead while giving up the most walks in the AL. He struck out seven, walked two and threw 104 pitches. His 16 wins tied Hideo Nomo's single-season record for the most by a native of Japan.
YANKEES 2, BLUE JAYS 1: At New York, Carl Pavano held down Toronto in his first start at Yankee Stadium since opening day last year, and New York managed just enough offense to beat A.J. Burnett. Pavano (2-0) drew a smattering of applause from a sellout crowd when he stepped to the mound for just his 21st start with the Yankees since signing a four-year contract worth nearly $40 million before the 2005 season.
TWINS 12, ATHLETICS 2: At Oakland, Calif., Joe Mauer matched his career high with five hits and had a season-best four RBIs, and Kevin Slowey won his fourth straight decision for Minnesota.
ANGELS 3, RANGERS 1: At Anaheim, Calif., Garret Anderson hit a go-ahead two-run homer, and center fielder Torii Hunter robbed Marlon Byrd of a two-run shot to help Los Angeles increase its AL West lead over Texas to 17 games.
TIGERS 6, ROYALS 3: At Detroit, Curtis Granderson and Jeff Larish both drove in two runs and Detroit scored all its runs in the fifth inning to beat Kansas City.
MARINERS 3, INDIANS 2: At Cleveland, Felix Hernandez stopped baseball's hottest team, Raul Ibanez homered and drove in three runs and lowly Seattle ended Cleveland's 10-game winning streak.
METS 5, MARLINS 4: At Miami, Carlos Beltran hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning off Kevin Gregg. Before Beltran's homer, the Mets were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Trailing 2-1, they left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded two in the eighth. Gregg (6-8) retired the first two batters in the ninth, and New York was down to its final strike when Luis Castillo singled on a 1-2 pitch. David Wright also singled, Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch and Beltran pulled the first pitch over the right-field wall.
CUBS 3, PHILLIES 2: At Chicago, Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, and Chicago beat Philadelphia for its seventh straight win. Soriano's first homer in 15 days and 23rd of the season came off Clay Condrey (3-4). Chicago made the most of four hits and improved to a major league-best 85-50, including 51-19 at Wrigley Field.
BREWERS 3, PIRATES 1: At Pittsburgh, Ryan Braun hit a three-run home run, and Milwaukee handed Pittsburgh its eighth straight loss. Dave Bush (9-9) allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings for Milwaukee, which expanded its lead to 4 1/2 games over St. Louis in the NL wild-card race.
ASTROS 3, CARDINALS 2: At Houston, Lance Berkman hit a game-ending solo home run off former teammate Russ Springer to lift Houston over St. Louis. Berkman's 27th homer on a 2-1 pitch from Springer (2-1) hit off the facade in left field, and fireworks exploded while he rounded the bases.
RED 11, GIANTS 7: At Cincinnati, Edwin Encarnacion hit his second career grand slam off Barry Zito, and Chris Dickerson homered and drove in four runs to help Cincinnati to just its ninth win in the past 32 games.
NATIONALS 7, BRAVES 3: At Washington, Lastings Milledge and Ryan Zimmerman both drove in two runs and Washington beat Atlanta for a season-high fourth straight win.
ROCKIES 9, PADRES 4: At San Diego, Garrett Atkins hit two home runs and had a season-high five RBIs.
DIAMONDBACKS 9, DODGERS 3: At Phoenix, despite being out-hit 12-10 and a 4-for-4 night from Manny Ramirez, the D-backs extended their NL West lead.