Wed, Sep 21, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Indians creep up on White Sox

BASEBALL The Indians moved one game closer to the White Sox in the AL Central, while in the National League the Pirates ended Houston's five-game winning streak


Aaron Boone's two-run, two-out single in the eighth inning sent Cleveland to a 7-5 victory over Chicago on Monday night and moved the Indians one game closer to the sliding White Sox in the AL Central.

Cleveland cut the White Sox's one-time lead of 15 games on Aug. 1, to 2.5 games and maintained its 1.5-game lead for the AL wild card over New York.

Boone, who homered to help the Indians build a 4-0 lead, lined a single up the middle off Bobby Jenks to give Cleveland a 6-5 lead. The Indians have won six straight and 13 of 14, while the White Sox have lost eight of 11.

Carl Everett homered in the seventh off Rafael Betancourt (4-3) to give the White Sox a 5-4 lead. Paul Konerko's two-run, two-out double had capped a four-run fifth off Kevin Millwood to tie the game.

Down 5-4, the Indians rallied against Damaso Marte, who relieved with one out in the eighth. He walked Travis Hafner and gave up a double to Victor Martinez. Marte (3-4) then struck out Ben Broussard and was replaced by Jenks.

Hafner hit a run-scoring double in the ninth to make it 7-5 and finished 3-for-3 with two walks and three RBIs.

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth to earn his 44th save.

Devil Rays 8, Red Sox 7

In St. Petersburgh, Florida, Mark Hendrickson won his sixth straight decision and Tampa Bay held on to beat Boston, which had its lead in the AL East over New York trimmed to one-half game.

It is the closest the Yankees have been since July 26, when they were one game behind.

David Ortiz drove in four runs, two on a double in the seventh that got Boston within 7-6 and another on his 44th homer that made it 8-7 with two outs in the ninth.

The Devil Rays had gone ahead 8-6 in the eighth on an RBI grounder by Jonny Gomes.

Danys Baez allowed Ortiz's homer in the ninth but earned his 38th save by striking out Manny Ramirez to end the game.

The Devil Rays chased starter David Wells in the third inning in beating the Red Sox for the fifth time in 17 meetings this season. Wells gave up four runs and 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Jorge Cantu put the Devil Rays ahead 7-4 in the sixth with two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon.

Hendrickson (10-7), who tied Victor Zambrano's franchise mark established last year with his six-game winning streak, allowed six runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Yankees 3, Orioles 2

In New York, Reserve outfielder Bubba Crosby led off the bottom of the ninth with his first home run this season for New York.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched eight stellar innings and Alex Rodriguez had an RBI single for the surging Yankees, who have won seven of eight and 11 of 15. They moved within one-half game of first-place Boston in the AL East and started the day 1.5 games behind Cleveland in the wild-card race.

Crosby hit a 1-0 pitch from Eric DuBose (1-3) over the fence in right-center. Mariano Rivera (7-4) worked a perfect ninth for the win.

Wang, who had nine assists, allowed two runs and seven hits.

Mariners 7, Blue Jays 5

In Toronto, Richie Sexson hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to rally Seattle, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

Trailing 4-3 in the ninth, pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs led off with a single against Toronto closer Miguel Batista (5-7), who has blown eight saves this season -- four since Aug. 23. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a perfect bunt single. Both advanced on a sacrifice and Raul Ibanez was intentionally walked. Sexson then hit his 38th homer, his third grand slam of the season and the ninth of his career.

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