Sun, Sep 21, 2003 - Page 24 News List

Yankees close in on postseason berth

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL The Yankees (95-58) won for the 11th time in 13 games and with victory No. 96 will clinch no worse than an American League wild-card spot

AP , ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDAAND ATLANTA, GEORGIA

American LeagueAlfonso Soriano tied Brady Anderson's major league record with his 12th leadoff homer this year, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-1 Friday night to move within one victory of their ninth straight postseason trip.

"I never thought I would tie with Brady Anderson," Soriano said.

Jose Contreras (6-2) allowed four hits in seven innings, giving up Rocco Baldelli's RBI groundout in the sixth.

"I feel good now. I feel comfortable on the mound. I'm able to pitch my game. I'm not thinking about any other thing. I'm just focused on the game," Contreras said through an interpreter.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 39th save.

Twins 6, Tigers 2

In Minneapolis, Eric Milton (1-0) won a regular-season game for the first time since Aug. 1 last year as AL Central-leading Minnesota beat Detroit to claim its seventh straight game.

The Twins maintained a 3 1/2-game lead over second-place Chicago.

Detroit lost its seventh in a row. The Tigers (38-115) need at least five wins in their last nine games to avoid matching the modern era record of 120 losses by the 1962 New York Mets.

Milton (1-0), making his second start of the year after missing five months with a knee injury, gave up just two hits and walked none in seven shutout innings.

Jeremy Bonderman (6-19) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings.

White Sox 8, Royals 5

In Chicago, Magglio Ordonez hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer to cap a four-run seventh as Chicago downed Kansas City.

Kansas City, which dropped 51/2 games back, broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the seventh off Mark Buehrle (14-13). Then the White Sox, who struggled to score when they were swept three games by the Twins this week, responded against D.J. Carrasco (6-5).

Tom Gordon got four outs for his 12th save.

Red Sox 2, Indians 0

In Cleveland, John Burkett (11-8) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings and was helped by three double plays as Boston (90-63) moved 27 games over .500 for the first time since 1995 with a win over Cleveland.

The Red Sox, five games behind New York in the AL East, began the night 21/2 games ahead of Seattle in the wild-card race. Nomar Garciaparra homered off Jason Stanford (0-3) in a two-run second.

After Byung-Hyun Kim hit batters on consecutive pitches with two outs in the ninth, Alan Embree retired Ben Broussard for his first save since July 2, 2002. The Indians were shut out for just the fourth time this season, an AL low.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2

In Baltimore, Vernon Wells went 4-for-4, and Carlos Delgado drove in two runs as Toronto beat Baltimore to win its fourth straight and clinched third place in the AL East for a sixth consecutive season.

Kelvim Escobar (12-9) allowed two runs and three hits over seven innings, and Aquilino Lopez finished the four-hitter for his 12th save.

Rangers 3, Angels 2

In Arlington, Texas, Mark Teixeira drove in two runs and Michael Young had three hits as Texas edged Anaheim.

R.A. Dickey (9-8) allowed one run and five hits over six innings, sending Anaheim to its eighth loss in 10 games. Francisco Cordero got three straight outs for his 15th save.

John Lackey (9-16) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Mariners 6, Athletics 1

In Oakland, California, Edgar Martinez had four hits, and John Olerud hit a two-run homer as Seattle closed within four games of AL West-leading Oakland.

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