Manny Ramirez hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and drove in two runs, leading Bronson Arroyo and the Boston Red Sox over the struggling Oakland Athletics 2-1 Saturday.
It was the second consecutive game-winning RBI for Ramirez, but came in a much different way than the one that gave Boston a 3-2 win in 10 innings Friday night. In that one, he was hit by a pitch after the Red Sox loaded the bases on an intentional walk to David Ortiz.
Arroyo (13-9) retired his first 12 batters before walking the first hitter in the fifth. He gave up the first hit with two outs in the inning, an RBI single by Marco Scutaro. Arroyo allowed three hits -- all singles -- in seven innings.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the eighth and Mike Timlin got the last three outs to finish the four-hitter and earn his ninth save.
Dan Haren (13-11) settled down after allowing a first-inning run on three singles. He gave up just one more single before Ramirez hit a long shot onto the street behind the Green Monster seats in left field with one out in the sixth for his 36th homer and 125th RBI of the year.
The Red Sox kept their 11/2-game American League East lead over the New York Yankees, who beat Toronto 1-0.
Indians 5, Royals 4
At Cleveland, Cliff Lee won his eighth straight decision and Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer and the Cleveland Indians -- baseball's hottest team -- beat Kansas City, pushing the Indians within 3 1/2 games of Chicago in the AL Central.
That's as close as Cleveland has been to the first-place White Sox since April 18.
The Indians have won 11 of 12, and in going 22-6 since Aug. 18, they've trimmed 11 1/2 games off a Chicago lead that reached 15 on Aug. 1.
Back then, it seemed insurmountable. Not anymore. Not with six games remaining against the reeling White Sox, who have dropped seven of nine and will host a three-game series against Cleveland starting Monday.
The Indians also improved to 12-3 in September and stayed a half-game up on the New York Yankees for the wild card.
Lee (17-4) remained unbeaten since July 8, allowing four runs and five hits in seven innings. The left-hander, who has just one loss since June 1 -- a span of 19 starts -- was staked to a 5-0 lead in the first inning.
Twins 5, White Sox 0
At Minneapolis, Johan Santana struck out 13 to hand the Chicago White Sox their seventh loss in nine games.
Santana (14-7) has struck out 10 or more batters in eight starts this season and he leads the major leagues with 220 strikeouts. He walked two batters and was backed by Justin Morneau, who hit his career-high 20th homer. Michael Cuddyer also homered for the Twins.
The Venezuelan yielded only two hits going into the ninth -- Aaron Rowand's bloop single in the fifth and Juan Uribe's double in the eighth. But he loaded the bases in the ninth and was relieved by Joe Nathan, who struck out three for his 38th save.
Yankees 1, Blue Jays 0
At Toronto, Shawn Chacon gave New York's tired bullpen a much-needed rest by pitching eight innings, Bernie Williams drove in the run, and the Yankees won their sixth straight.
Chacon (5-3) allowed four hits before Tom Gordon pitched the ninth for his first save in eight chances. New York leads the AL with 13 shutouts.
Manager Joe Torre didn't want to use closer Mariano Rivera in four straight games.
Jorge Posada led off the second with a double off Gustavo Chacin (12-9), advanced to second on Ruben Sierra's single and scored on Williams' single to left.
Dontrelle Willis was three outs from becoming baseball's first 22-game winner when he took a three-hit shutout into the ninth.
Instead, his streak of wins in six consecutive starts was snapped when Philadelphia's first 10 batters in the ninth reached base, and the Phillies beat Florida 10-2 Saturday.
The Phillies won for the sixth time in seven games, while the Marlins fell two games back with their fourth consecutive loss. Going back to last weekend, the Phillies have scored 52 runs in their past five games against Florida.
Todd Jones blew a save for the first time in his past 28 chances. He faced five batters, gave up five runs and committed a throwing error that allowed Philadelphia to score the go-ahead run.
Ugueth Urbina (4-2) earned the win.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 1
In Chicago, two days after clinching the National League Central, St. Louis could acknowledge it after beating Chicago for its 95th win.
St. Louis had already clinched the division title because even if second-place Houston had tied, the Cardinals held the tiebreaker on the basis of winning the season series against the Astros. But manager Tony La Russa didn't want his team to celebrate until ensuring it would finish with more victories than the Astros.
After Saturday's victory, La Russa stood over by the first base coaches box and hugged his players as they walked off the field.
Mark Mulder (16-7) allowed eight hits and a run in seven innings and helped himself with a squeeze bunt and single off Greg Maddux (12-13) to get his first win since Aug. 22.
With two starts left -- and a very outside chance of a third on short rest -- Maddux (12-13) has all but lost his remarkable streak of 15-win seasons. He'd won at least 15 games for a major league-record 17 straight seasons, a stretch that started in 1988 in the third year of his first stint with the Cubs.
Braves 7, Mets 4
In New York, Adam LaRoche homered and had four hits, and Marcus Giles also connected to lead Tim Hudson and Atlanta.
Hudson (13-8) threw six innings and earned his fifth win in six decisions despite giving up three homers for the first time since May 2002.
Ryan Langerhans added three RBIs and reached safely four times for the NL East-leading Braves, who remained five games ahead of second-place Philadelphia. Giles also reached base safely four times, and Jeff Francoeur got three hits.
Cliff Floyd, Mike Piazza and Mike Jacobs connected off Hudson for the Mets, who dropped to 5-15 in their last 20 games. Steve Trachsel (1-3) allowed five runs -- two earned -- and nine hits in six innings.
Giants 2, Dodgers 1
In San Francisco, Omar Vizquel lined a tiebreaking single to right with two outs in the eighth and Randy Winn hit his career-high 16th home run, leading San Francisco over Los Angeles.
The Giants prevented Jeff Weaver (14-10) from earning his career-high 15th win with their second straight one-run victory over their archrivals.
Winn connected for the second straight day, Tyler Walker (4-4) was credited for one-third of an inning for the win, and Armando Benitez finished for his 15th save.
Willy Aybar hit his first career home run for the Dodgers, who fell a game behind the Giants into third place in the NL West.
Astros 7, Brewers 0
In Houston, Craig Biggio hit his National League-record 43rd leadoff homer and Brandon Backe had his best outing since returning from the disabled list.
The Astros won their fourth straight to stay a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race. The Phillies routed Florida 10-2.
Biggio, leading off for only the 10th time this season, connected off Wes Obermueller (1-4). Biggio also had a leadoff homer May 12 against San Francisco and has 22 home runs overall this season.
Backe (9-8) made his third start since returning Sept. 7 and got his first victory since July 18 at Pittsburgh. He pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing six hits, walking one and striking out five.
Donn Clendenon, the power-hitting first baseman who was the most valuable player in the New York Mets' 1969 World Series victory, died Saturday after a long fight with leukemia. He was 70.
A spokesman from the George Boom Funeral Home confirmed the death.
Clendenon hit three home runs and had four RBIs in the Mets' five-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles. He hit .274 with 159 home runs and 682 RBIs in 12 seasons in the major leagues with Pittsburgh, Montreal, the Mets and St. Louis.
Clendenon spent his first eight seasons in the majors with Pittsburgh, began the 1969 season with Montreal and joined the Mets in a midseason deal.
"The one thing I remember was hearing that he could have been a pro athlete in three different sports -- baseball, football or basketball. He was that gifted of an athlete," former Pirates pitcher Steve Blass said Saturday night. "He was a prototypical first baseman. He was big with a big reach and gave you a big target."
In the 1969 World Series, the Orioles were ahead 3-0 in Game 5 when Mets manager Gil Hodges emerged from the dugout to argue that a ball thrown by Baltimore's Dave McNally hit Mets outfielder Cleon Jones in the foot.
Hodges grabbed the shoe-polish smudged ball and proved that Jones was indeed struck, setting the stage for Clendenon. The first baseman stepped to the plate and hit a two-run homer, and the Mets eventually went on to win 5-3.
Clendenon recounted the 1969 season in his book, Miracle In New York, in which he also talked about growing up in Atlanta, earning his law degree and battling drug addiction as he neared his 50s.
After retiring from baseball in 1972, Clendenon earned a law degree and moved to Sioux Falls in the summer of 1987. He said in a 1987 interview that he worked at law firms in Washington, DC, and Chicago before "getting tired of the big cities."
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