Wednesday's American League Capsules

Sep 13, 2007 - 3:01 AM By PA SportsTicker

NY YANKEES 4, TORONTO 1 -----------------------

TORONTO (Ticker) -- Apparently, Mike Mussina isn't finished just yet.

Mussina pitched flawlessly into the sixth inning and Robinson Cano drove in two runs as the New York Yankees won their seventh consecutive game with a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Hideki Matsui also drove in a run for the Yankees (83-62), who are five games behind the Boston Red Sox (88-58) in the American League East. The two rivals face off in a three-game set this weekend.

New York also is four games ahead of the Detroit Tigers (80-67) in the wild card standings.

A premier hurler for 17 seasons, Mussina (9-10) lost his spot in the Yankees' rotation to rookie Ian Kennedy after a putrid performance at Detroit on August 27. He had not won since August 11 at Cleveland.

But after an injury to righthander Roger Clemens, Mussina was thrust back into the rotation as New York tries to earn a postseason berth in the season's final month.

On Wednesday, he made a big contribution, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing just five hits. He walked three and struck out one.

Russ Adams singled to lead off the sixth and, after Alex Rios grounded out, Mussina issued a walk to Frank Thomas. Yankees manager Joe Torre then removed Mussina, who tossed just 87 pitches.

Rookie Edwar Ramirez got the final out of the sixth and first-year sensation Joba Chamberlain pitched the seventh but got into trouble in the eighth, allowing an unearned run - his first blemish of the season.

Chamberlain put runners on first and third with two outs before Rodriguez threw wildly after fielding Aaron Hill's grounder to third, plating Toronto's lone run of the game.

Torre then removed Chamberlain for closer Mariano Rivera, who got the final four outs for his 26th save.

Cano plated two important runs in the fourth. Matsui walked to start the frame and stole second before Posada singled to send him to third. After Jason Giambi was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Cano ripped a two-run single to give the Yankees a four-run cushion.

New York started the scoring in the first with a two-out rally. Blue Jays starter Dustin McGowan (10-9) issued back-to-back walks to Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez, setting up Matsui's RBI double to the opposite field.

The Yankees added another run when Rodriguez scored on McGowan's wild pitch to make it 2-0.

McGowan allowed four runs and three hits while striking out six and walking three for the Blue Jays.

BOSTON 5, TAMPA BAY 4 ---------------------

BOSTON (Ticker) -- David Ortiz hit a walk-off two-run blast in the ninth inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The All-Star slugger accounted for all five of his team's runs Wednesday, hitting a three-run homer in the third as well. He now has 31 blasts on the season.

Boston looked down and out going into the bottom of the ninth, but Julio Lugo drew a walk off Devil Rays closer Al Reyes (2-3) to open the frame. After Dustin Pedroia flied out to left field for the first out, Ortiz stepped to the plate.

Ortiz worked the count to 3-1 before lifting a fly ball to deep right field that landed in the first row of seats. Tampa Bay right fielder Delmon Young took a circuitous route to the ball and could not get back to the wall in time to make the catch.

The blast was the the 13th regular-season walk-off homer for Ortiz as a member of the Red Sox (89-58) and ensured the club a five-game lead over the New York Yankees (83-62) in the American League East heading into their three-game series this weekend.

Ortiz's heroics prevented the Devil Rays from capturing their first series victory here since 1999.

DETROIT 5, TEXAS 1 ------------------

DETROIT (Ticker) -- Justin Verlander dazzled once again and Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez both homered as the Detroit Tigers posted a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in Wednesday's three-game series finale.

Detroit (80-67) has won seven of its last nine games to pull within four games of the New York Yankees (83-62) in the AL wild chase.

Verlander (17-5) yielded one run and seven hits with seven strikeouts through seven innings to capture his sixth win in seven tries.

The 24-year-old righthander continues to make a strong late-season push for the AL Cy Young Award, posting an impressive 0.95 ERA through his last four starts.

Verlander's lone mistake came in the sixth inning, when David Murphy laced a two-out RBI single to left to help Texas slice the deficit to 2-1.

Joel Zumaya and closer Todd Jones both logged a scoreless frame for the Tigers, who will hit the road for a pair of three-game series at division rivals Minnesota and Cleveland.

KANSAS CITY 6, MINNESOTA 3 --------------------------

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) - Gil Meche pitched 6 2/3 effective innings as the Kansas City Royals posted a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

David DeJesus homered and drove in three runs and Mark Teahen also homered and scored twice for Kansas City, which snapped a season high-tying seven-game losing streak.

Meche earned his first win since July 20, yielding two runs, five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. The righthander, who threw 71 of his 102 pitches for strikes, retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced - allowing just a fourth inning leadoff double to Jason Tyner.

Despite going 0-6 in his last nine outings, the 29-year-old Meche had allowed only two runs in six of his last eight starts. However, the Royals tallied just 19 runs in his starts, including just eight in the half-dozen defeats. The seven-year veteran also received a major league-worst 3.85 runs of support through his last start.

CHI WHITE SOX 7, CLEVELAND 4 ----------------------------

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Jim Thome blasted his 499th career homer and Javier Vazquez pitched into the seventh inning as the Chicago White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a 7-4 victory over the red-hot Cleveland Indians.

Juan Uribe and Paul Konerko also homered for Chicago, which salvaged the finale of this three-game series to secure just its seventh win in 18 contests against Cleveland this season. The White Sox have lost five of the six series against the Indians.

The White Sox also gave manager Ozzie Guillen his first victory since signing a multi-year contract extension through 2012 on Tuesday.

With the loss, Cleveland (85-61) fell to 5 1/2 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers (80-67) for first place in the American League Central Division.

It has been a scorching second half for the Indians, who are 20-7 since August 15 and have won 14 of their last 20 road games.

But on Wednesday, the Indians could not deal with the 37-year-old Thome, who blasted his 27th homer of the season - leaving him one short of the exclusive 500-homer club. His shot off Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook (5-9) snapped a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning.

LA ANGELS 18, BALTIMORE 6 -------------------------

BALTIMORE (Ticker) - Garret Anderson had five RBI and Vladimir Guerrero added four more to power the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to an 18-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

The win - their sixth straight road victory - cut the AL West-leading Angels' magic number to nine.

Anderson had a two-run double in a five-run first inning off Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera. Anderson added a two-run blast in the fourth, his 16th of the season, and a run-scoring single in the fifth.

Guerrero, who hit two home runs in Tuesday night's game, had a run-scoring single in the second, a two-run single in the fifth, and drove in his fourth on an infield out in the eighth.

The Angels scored five runs in the first in a gaffe-filled inning, which featured key errors by second baseman Brian Roberts and shortstop Miguel Tejada. The first five batters reached base, before the sixth, Casey Kotchman, drove in the fourth run with a sacrifice fly.

Cabrera (9-16), who lost for the fourth straight time, is tied for the most losses in baseball. He gave up a career-high 10 runs, eight earned in 4 1/3 innings.






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