AL roundup: Cervelli singles Yanks to win

NEW YORK (AP) - Hideki Matsui hit a tying, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Francisco Cervelli hit a winning single in the ninth as New York beat Toronto 5-4 on Wednesday night.

A day after brawling in the Bronx, the Blue Jays and Yankees made it through nine innings calmly.

New York was held to four hits through seven innings, then tied it on Matsui's 25th homer off Scott Downs.

Brett Gardner singled off Jason Frasor (6-3) leading off the ninth, stole second, took third on Derek Jeter's grounder and scored on Cervelli's sharp single to left.

Mariano Rivera (3-2) pitched a one-hit ninth for the win.

Jorge Posada and Shelley Duncan of the Yankees and Jesse Carlson of the Blue Jays were suspended for three games each by Major League Baseball for their role in Tuesday's fight.

Chad Gaudin started for the Yankees in place of Andy Pettitte, scratched two days earlier because of a tired pitching shoulder. Gaudin allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Red Sox 9, Angels 8

BOSTON (AP) - Alex Gonzalez hit a bases-loaded blooper down the left-field line with two outs in the bottom of the ninth for Boston.

The Red Sox trailed 3-0 and 7-5 before tying the game in the bottom of the eighth. The Angels took the lead in the top of the ninth on three straight two-out singles against Daniel Bard (2-1). But closer Brian Fuentes (1-5) coughed up the lead in the bottom half.

The Red Sox have won seven straight, and 10 in a row at Fenway Park.

Fuentes got two quick outs before walking David Ortiz and giving up infield singles to J.D. Drew and Jed Lowrie. Pinch-hitter Nick Green walked to drive in the tying run.

Gonzalez hit a two-run, bases-loaded bloop to give Boston the lead in a five-run sixth inning.

Despite losing four of their last five, the Angels maintained a six-game lead over Texas in the AL West; the Rangers fell 6 1/2 games behind Boston in the wild-card race.

Tigers 4, Royals 3

DETROIT (AP) - Placido Polanco hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning to lift Detroit.

Zach Miner (7-5) and three other relievers kept the Royals scoreless over the final five innings to help the Tigers stay 4 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central. Detroit lowered its magic number to 13 for winning its first division title since 1987.

Adam Everett and Curtis Granderson each drove in a run in Detroit's two-run fourth and Everett added a tying RBI single off starter Lenny DiNardo (0-1) in the sixth. Reliever Jamey Wright gave up Polanco's hit with two outs.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 33rd save in 34 chances.

Athletics 4, Rangers 0

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Trevor Cahill combined with two relievers on a one-hitter and last-place Oakland completed a three-game series sweep, their first in more than three months.

Cahill (9-12) had a career-best seven strikeouts and walked two in seven innings, limiting Texas to Marlon Byrd's bloop single in the second. Michael Wuertz and Andrew Bailey each worked a perfect inning to close out Oakland's ninth shutout of the season.

The Rangers are 1-5 on this homestand, and have scored only one run in their four-game losing streak.

Texas, which has 17 games left, began the day 5 1/2 games behind wild-card leader Boston and six behind the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.

Rajai Davis put the A's ahead to stay when he was hit by a pitch in the first, stole his 38th base and scored on a double by Scott Hairston.

Landon Powell's homer chased Dustin Nippert (5-3) with two outs in the sixth. Nippert gave up four runs and five hits.

Twins 7, Indians 3

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Michael Cuddyer homered, doubled and drove in three runs for Minnesota which completed a three-game sweep.

Joe Mauer singled twice, raising his major league-leading batting average to .374, and drove in two runs as the Twins won their fourth straight.

Matt LaPorta homered and had three RBIs for Cleveland, which has lost four straight and 13 of 16.

Nick Blackburn (10-11) allowed two earned runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings for his second win in 12 starts since the All-Star break. Joe Nathan struck out the final two batters for his 41st save.

Cuddyer homered leading off the fifth and added an RBI double in the seventh.

Aaron Laffey (7-6) gave up six earned runs and a career-high 12 hits.

Orioles 4, Rays 2

BALTIMORE (AP) - Rookie Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for Baltimore.

The Rays went up 2-1 in the top half when Ben Zobrist hit a 3-2 pitch from Jim Johnson over the center-field wall. It was the fifth blown save for Johnson (4-5).

But in the bottom half, Luke Scott drew a leadoff walk from Russ Springer (0-4) and Wieters hit his seventh homer.

Gregg Zaun homered for the Rays, who have lost 13 of 14 to drop to .500 (73-73) for the first time since June 11.

Orioles rookie starter Chris Tillman gave up five hits and one walk in 6 2-3 innings.

The game was delayed by rain in the bottom of the eighth for 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Mariners 4, White Sox 1

SEATTLE (AP) - Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched eight innings to lead Seattle.

Rowland-Smith (4-3) allowed nine hits and struck out two.

Closer David Aardsma, who last pitched on Sept. 2, worked the ninth for his 35th save.

The White Sox have little margin for error in the AL Central with 16 games to play, falling 6 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit.

Ichiro Suzuki hit the first pitch of the game from Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (11-11) into the gap in left-center for a double and he scored on Jose Lopez's double.

Floyd's early struggles were attributed to a sore left hip, which led manager Ozzie Guillen to pull the right-hander after just three innings and 42 pitches, his shortest outing of the year.


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