President Bush was on hand as the Washington Nationals won their 11th straight home game Friday, shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0, in interleague baseball action.
Mr. Bush, who was the managing partner of a major league team, the Texas Rangers some years ago, was joined by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Nationals' stadium, just a few kilometers from the White House. They saw pitcher Esteban Loaiza hit a two-run double and toss six shutout innings as Washington increased its lead in the National League East division to four games, over Atlanta.
In other games, the Boston Red Sox took over first place in the American League East by thumping the Phillies, 8-0, in Philadelphia. The Sox' Doug Mirabelli and Manny Ramirez both hit three-run home runs. Boston currently has won five straight games, and 10 of its last 11.
The Baltimore Orioles, who had held first place since April 23, slipped behind the Red Sox when they lost to the Braves in Atlanta, 7-5.
Other interleague winners were the Mets, White Sox, Marlins, Reds, Brewers, Astros, Rockies, Angels, Diamondbacks, Athletics, Mariners and Cardinals.
The New York Mets used four sacrifice flies to get by the Yankees, their cross-town rivals, 6-4, in Yankee Stadium. In an all-Chicago affair, the White Sox won their eighth straight game, clubbing the visiting Cubs, 12-2. The Florida Marlins used Juan Pierre's bases-loaded triple to down the host Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 7-4. The Cincinnati Reds edged the Indians, 5-4, in Cleveland.
The Milwaukee Brewers downed the visiting Minnesota Twins, 3-1. The Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers, 5-2, in Houston. The Colorado Rockies thrashed the visiting Kansas City Royals, 12-4. The Los Angeles Angels crushed the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-0, in Anaheim. The Arizona Diamondbacks got by the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, in Phoenix. The Oakland Athletics tripped up the visiting San Francisco Giants, 4-3. The Seattle Mariners blistered the Padres, 14-5, in San Diego.
In the lone National League matchup, in St. Louis, the Cardinals eased by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-1.
Some information for this report provided by AP.