Tuesday's American League Capsules

May 10, 2007 - 6:10 AM By PA SportsTicker

NY YANKEES 6, TEXAS 2 ---------------------

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- While the impending arrival of Roger Clemens has been getting most of the attention, the return of a healthy Mike Mussina is just as important for the New York Yankees.

Mussina won for the second time in as many starts since coming off the disabled list and Derek Jeter drove in three runs as the Yankees rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

Roger Clemens has been the center of attention since signing with the Yankees on Sunday, but Mussina's return to form has been a key to New York bouncing back from a shaky start to the season.

After a stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, Mussina (2-1) was activated last Thursday and posted victory in Texas, allowing just one run in five innings. He continued to baffle the Rangers in his return to the mound, yielding just two runs and three hits in a season high six innings.

The Yankees provided an early cushion for the veteran righthander, scoring four runs in the first inning as Rangers starter Robinson Tejeda (3-3) allowed the first five batters he faced to reach base.

Jeter hit an RBI single and scored in the opening frame and added a two-run single in the fourth for the Yankees, who have won eight straight against the Rangers, including all five meetings this season.

Johnny Damon had two hits, a walk and scored twice as New York won for the seventh time in nine games since the start of May.

Brad Wilkerson homered for the struggling Rangers, who have lost five consecutive games on the road, where they are just 4-13 this season.

Mussina retired the first six batters he faced and allowed just one baserunner after the third. Mark Teixeira singled with two outs in the sixth and was caught trying to stretch it into a double on a strong throw by right fielder Bobby Abreu.

Mussina, who is on a strict pitch count as he makes his way back from the injury, did not return for the seventh. He threw 85 pitches, including 59 strikes.

New York used five relievers in the final three innings, including the struggling Mariano Rivera, who pitched a scoreless ninth.

CHI WHITE SOX 6, MINNESOTA 3 ----------------------------

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- John Danks pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and the Chicago White Sox scored four first-inning runs in a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Paul Konerko showed signs of breaking out of his offensive funk with two hits and a pair of runs scored, and rookie Ryan Sweeney had two RBI for Chicago, which has won three of four since suffering through a five-game slide.

Danks (1-4) faced the minimum through the first five innings and yielded just one run and three hits through 6 2/3 to earn his first major league win. The 22-year-old lefthander struck out four and issued three walks.

The Twins have failed to score more than four runs in six of their past seven games.

Minnesota starter Ramon Ortiz (3-3) exited following the sixth frame, having surrendered five runs and six hits.

Bobby Jenks walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning but struck out two and held the runners to pick up his 11th save.

LA ANGELS 3, CLEVELAND 2 ------------------------

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Gary Matthews Jr. blasted a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and Jered Weaver tossed six solid frames as the Angels snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the red-hot Cleveland Indians.

Kendry Morales belted a game-tying, two-run shot in the seventh for Anaheim, which had lost five of six contests entering Wednesday, failing to score more than three runs in all but one of those contests.

Its offense continued to struggle in this one until the late innings. Erick Aybar led off the seventh with an infield single, and Morales followed with a blast off Indians starter Paul Byrd to forge a 2-2 tie.

Fernando Cabrera (1-2) relieved Byrd in the eighth and surrendered a solo shot to Matthews on the first pitch of the inning.

But Weaver set the tone for the game, allowing two runs - one earned - and six hits to finally put forth a stellar outing. The young righthander entered the game just 1-3 with a 5.12 ERA this season after posting an impressive 11-2 record in his rookie campaign.

However, the 24-year-old Weaver left the game in line to suffer another loss before getting off the hook courtesy of Morales' homer.

Dustin Moseley (3-0) picked up the victory after allowing just one hit in two innings. Francisco Rodriguez tossed a perfect ninth for his 11th save.

Victor Martinez had two hits and an RBI for Cleveland, which lost for just the fourth time in its last 17 games.

BALTIMORE 1, TAMPA BAY 0 (10 INNINGS) -------------------------------------

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Aubrey Huff belted a one-out home run off Brian Stokes in the 10th inning, lifting the Baltimore Orioles to a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Entering with a 3-0 record, Devil Rays starter James Shields did everything he could to improve it against Baltimore. After yielding a one-out single by Huff - a former Devil Ray - in the second inning, the righthander retired 11 straight batters and allowed just one baserunner until Kevin Millar's base hit with one out in the eighth.

The only real trouble Shields ran into came in the ninth, when Brian Roberts hit a one-out double. But the 25-year-old buckled down, retiring Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada on flyouts to keep the game scoreless.

Lasting at least seven innings for the fifth time in seven starts this season, Shields surrendered just three hits and a walk in nine frames. He struck out four and threw 65 of his 107 pitches for strikes.

Unfortunately for the Devil Rays, who have lost four of their last five games, Stokes (1-4) was nowhere near as successful as Shields. After getting Ramon Hernandez on a flyout to center, the 27-year-old watched his 1-1 offering to Huff sail over the wall in center field, ending the masterfully pitched contest.

The blast, Huff's fourth of the season, made a winner of John Parrish (1-0). The lefthanded reliever struggled in one inning of work, however, loading the bases on three singles in the top of the 10th before retiring B.J. Upton on a groundout.

Baltimore started Erik Bedard matched Shields' effort for seven innings, yielding just three hits and three walks while striking out 10. The southpaw, who retired eight in a row at one point, threw 62-of-97 pitches for strikes.

BOSTON 9, TORONTO 3 -------------------

TORONTO (Ticker) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka rebounded from his worst outing of the season with seven strong innings and the Boston Red Sox pounded Toronto Blue Jays pitchers for the second night in a row en route to a 9-3 victory.

David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Julio Lugo and Mike Lowell each homered for the Red Sox, who have won three games in a row and six of their last seven.

Matsuzaka (4-2) yielded just one run and five hits while striking out eight to pick up his fourth win. The 26-year-old issued just three walks, his lowest total since April 22 against New York.

Matsuzaka suffered through his worst major league start last Friday, yielding seven runs - six earned - and 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings to take a loss at Texas.

Blue Jays starter Tomo Ohka (2-4) could not match his countryman, lasting just 4 2/3 innings while surrendering three runs and six hits. The veteran righthander walked five.

SEATTLE 9, DETROIT 2 --------------------

DETROIT (Ticker) -- Jose Guillen homered and Cha Seung Baek pitched his first career complete game as the Seattle Mariners downed the Tigers, 9-2, ending Detroit's eight-game winning streak.

Following a 96-minute rain delay, Seattle's offense started hitting on all cylinders in the fourth inning. With the Mariners trailing, 2-0, and managing just one hit off Detroit starter Nate Robertson (3-2), Guillen followed singles by Raul Ibanez and Richie Sexson with a three-run blast to deep right to put the Mariners ahead, 3-2.

Guillen later plated his fourth run in the sixth, marking his first four-RBI effort since April 13, 2005.

Baek (1-0) overcame a home run by Curtis Granderson - the first batter he faced - and held the potent Tigers in check, yielding two runs and six hits with four strikeouts.

Clinging to a 3-2 advantage in the fifth inning, Ibanez delivered an RBI double that sparked a three-run frame for Seattle, knocking Robertson out after just 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

The Tigers' lefthander surrendered six runs and 10 hits - both season highs - to the Mariners, who have won 10 of their last 15 contests.

KANSAS CITY 3, OAKLAND 2 ------------------------

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Mike Sweeney snapped a tie with a home run in the eighth inning and Gil Meche pitched six strong innings as the Kansas City Royals downed the Oakland Athletics, 3-2, to end their four-game losing streak.

Handcuffed for most of the contest by Oakland ace Dan Haren, Sweeney hit a two-out solo homer off reliever Justin Duchscherer (3-2) in the eighth to give Kansas City a 3-2 advantage.

Though he did not factor into the decision, Meche kept Oakland's offense in check until Sweeney delivered, as the righthander allowed two runs - one earned - and three hits with four walks and a season-high seven strikeouts. Meche, who entered the game with the third-best ERA in the American League, lowered his mark to 2.15.

Jimmy Gobble (1-1) walked one in the eighth to get the win and closer Joakim Soria worked around a hit in the ninth to notch his sixth save in seven opportunities, as the Royals' bullpen pitched three scoreless frames to ensure Meche's efforts were not wasted.

Haren actually saw his AL-leading ERA rise from 1.75 to 1.89 despite yielding just two runs and six hits in six innings.

The Royals' victory halted the Athletics' domination at Kauffman Stadium, as Oakland had won 20 of the previous 23 contests played at the venue.

Dan Johnson hit a two-run home run for the Athletics, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.






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