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Pirates ride on Sanchez grand slam

FREDDY Sanchez's grand slam home run powered the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 9-3 pounding of the Detroit Tigers in an interleague game on Saturday.

The win provided more joy for Pittsburgh fans, whose Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 on Friday to win the NHL's Stanley Cup.

Sanchez delivered his bases-loaded blast to left field to put the National League Pirates ahead 8-2 in the fourth inning for an easy win over the Tigers, who lead the American League's Central Division.

The grand slam, off Detroit reliever Nate Robertson, was the second of Sanchez's career.

"He was throwing a lot of changeups, a lot of good changeups," Sanchez told reporters. "I was just looking to get a ball up - not trying to hit a home run or anything. I was just trying to hit the ball hard."

Pittsburgh, mired near the bottom of the NL's Central Division, also scored four runs in the second inning as they rocked losing pitcher Armando Galarraga (3-7) for six hits and sent eight batters to the plate.

Adam LaRoche's solo home run started the Pirates' half of the second inning with Jack Wilson, Andrew McCutchen and Nyjer Morgan also driving in runs.

LaRoche and Wilson both had three hits to spark the Pirates' 16-hit attack. "We're not very much of a home run-hitting team," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We have to manufacture runs. When we get guys on base, we do a pretty good job. But we have to get some hits."

Zach Duke (7-4) went eight solid innings for the victory. He gave up six hits and three runs.

Two of the hits were homers. Detroit's Marcus Thames hit a solo shot in the first and Ryan Raburn had one in the fifth.

"As the game went on, I think he got stronger," Russell said of Duke. "His sinker worked really well for him. He got a lot of ground-ball outs after the last home run. I think he really settled into his game."

The loss was the seventh consecutive for Galarraga, whose last win came April 26. He lasted only two-plus innings, giving up four runs and eight hits while walking one.

Robertson, who replaced Galarraga with two runners on in the third, also yielded four runs, all on Sanchez's homer. He struck out three and walked one, giving up three hits before leaving after the fourth inning.

In Texas, the Los Angeles Dodgers scored immediately after a long delay because of a lighting failure, and beat the Texas Rangers 3-1.

After the 1 hour, 41-minute delay, Juan Pierre singled to start the sixth inning when play resumed, moved around to third on a stolen base and throwing error and scored on Rafael Furcal's grounder.

Texas tied it in the bottom of the inning, but Matt Kemp hit a two-out two-run homer in the seventh to complete the scoring and improve Los Angeles' record to a majors-best 41-22.

In other interleague action, it was: Red Sox 11, Phillies 6; Mets 6, Yankees 2; Marlins 6, Blue Jays 5; White Sox 7, Brewers 1; Cardinals 3, Indians 1; Twins 2, Cubs 0; Rockies 5, Mariners 3; Giants 5, Athletics 2; Angels 9, Padres 1; Royals 7, Reds 4; Orioles 8, Braves 4; and Rays 8, Nationals 3.

In the National League, it was: Astros 6, Diamondbacks 4.


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