American League roundup

Detroit Tigers' second baseman Placido Polanco, left, is late with the tag as Minnesota Twins' Matt Tolbert, right, steals second during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)

Detroit Tigers' second baseman Placido Polanco, left, is late with the tag as Minnesota Twins' Matt Tolbert, right, steals second during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)

Tigers 6, Twins 2

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Placido Polanco drove in three runs, Detroit's bullpen pitched four shutout innings and the Tigers avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday to increase their AL Central lead to three games.

Ryan Raburn homered for slumping Detroit, which won for the second time in six games and fourth in 13.

Minnesota, which had won six straight, got two hits from Joe Mauer, who increased his batting average to a major league-best .374.

The teams meet again for four games at Comerica Park beginning Sept. 28. It will wrap up a 10-game road trip for Minnesota, and begin a seven-game, final-week homestand for the Tigers, who have three games each in Cleveland and Chicago before going home.

In his fourth start after missing two months following elbow surgery, Tigers left-hander Nate Robertson (2-2) went deep in the count against many hitters but allowed just two earned runs in five innings.

Zach Miner, Bobby Seay and Fernando Rodney combined to allow two singles in four scoreless innings of relief for Detroit.

Minnesota's Scott Baker (13-9) took the loss.

Mariners 7, Yankees 1

SEATTLE (AP) - Ken Griffey Jr. homered and drove in four runs, putting the New York Yankees' playoff party on hold by leading the Mariners to a victory.

The loss prevented New York from clinching a spot in the postseason. The Yankees can secure their 14th playoff berth in 15 years with a victory at the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night or a Texas loss at Oakland.

The 39-year-old Griffey lined an RBI double in the first inning, then cracked a three-run homer in the second off starter Joba Chamberlain.

Seattle took two of three from the Yankees, who lead the AL East by five games over Boston with 12 to play. One more win - or a Rangers loss - assures New York of at least the wild card.

It was Griffey's first four-RBI game since July 10, 2008, with Cincinnati. Griffey also doubled and homered in that game against the Chicago Cubs.

Chamberlain (8-6) became the 405th pitcher to give up a homer to Griffey.

Red Sox 9, Orioles 3

BALTIMORE (AP) - Jason Bay and Jacoby Ellsbury both homered and drove in three runs to lead Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Red Sox past the Orioles.

Bay's 35th homer tied a career high, and the three RBIs gave him a career-best 110. The slugger sat out Saturday's game with flulike symptoms after leaving Friday's game early for the same reason.

The Red Sox outscored Baltimore 23-9 in a three-game sweep. Boston won the season series 16-2, including the final eight games.

The victory, combined with the Texas Rangers' loss to Los Angeles, reduced Boston's magic number to win the AL wild card to seven. The Red Sox have an eight-game lead over the Rangers.

Jason Berken (5-12) took the loss.

Royals 2, White Sox 1

CHICAGO (AP) - Robinson Tejeda won his third straight start and the Royals beat the White Sox.

Mitch Maier had an RBI single for the Royals, who have won 10 of their last 13 games.

Since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation on Sept. 4, Tejeda (4-1) is 3-0. He has allowed just two runs over 22 1-3 innings as a starter.

Tejeda allowed one run and three hits in six innings and retired the last seven batters he faced.

Royals closer Joakim Soria got five outs for his 26th save in 29 opportunities. He struck out Paul Konerko with runners on first and second in the eighth. After a walk to Alexei Ramirez to load the bases, Soria ended the White Sox scoring threat by getting Jermaine Dye to fly out.

The White Sox failed to take advantage of a strong start by Freddy Garcia. Garcia (2-3) pitched a season-high eight innings, he allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out three and walked one.

Angels 10, Rangers 5

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Gary Matthews Jr. snapped out of his September slump with a tiebreaking homer and a two-run single for the Angels in a victory over the Rangers.

Howie Kendrick drove in five runs with a two-run homer and a bases-loaded triple for the Angels (89-60), who won two of three in the series. Juan Rivera and Chone Figgins also homered.

Closing in on a third straight AL West title and fifth in six years, the Angels stretched their lead to 71/2 games over second-place Texas with 13 to play.

Texas, after scoring only four runs combined in its previous six games, took a 3-0 lead in the first off John Lackey (11-8), who had allowed only three earned runs in his previous four starts. But Los Angeles immediately responded with runs each time after the Rangers scored.

Derek Holland (7-12) took the loss.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - David Price allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings, Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer and the Rays beat Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays.

The Rays are 4-1 against Halladay this year, and became the first team to beat the Toronto ace four times during the same season. Halladay (15-10) allowed two runs and 10 hits over seven innings. The right-hander has lost five of his last seven starts.

Price (9-7) gave up three hits and has beaten Halladay twice this season. Crawford put the Rays up 2-0 with his 14th homer of the season in the first.

Toronto got a homer from Edwin Encarnacion. The Blue Jays are 4-14 against Tampa Bay this season.

Athletics 11, Indians 4

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Adam Kennedy had three hits and drove in three runs to help the Athletics beat the Indians 11-4, matching their season-high seven-game win streak.

Ryan Sweeney added two RBIs as the A's improved to 12-2 in their last 14 games.

Kennedy had run scoring single in the second, a double in the fourth and two-run home run in the sixth. It was his 11th homer of the season.

Travis Hafner, Trevor Crowe and Shin-Soo Choo each drove in runs for the Indians, who lost their eighth straight. He was making his first start for A's since July 7. He pitched five innings giving up a run on five hits and struck two.

Dana Eveland won for the first time since April 26 when he defeated Tampa Bay 7-1.

Fausto Carmona (3-12) lost his fourth straight decision as he pitched 5-2-3 innings and gave up nine runs on 10 hits while striking out two.


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