With several issues swirling off the field for the New York Yankees, Andy Pettitte kept things steady for them on the diamond.
Pettitte and the Yankees ended a busy Wednesday with a victory over Boston.
Pettitte (3-3) pitched seven innings, Hideki Matsui homered off an ineffective Curt Schilling and New York beat the Red Sox 8-3.
The left-hander allowed one run and nine hits with one walk, lowering his ERA to 2.66 and improving to 14-6 against Boston.
Light-hitting Doug Mientkiewicz also connected and Derek Jeter passed Joe DiMaggio for fifth place on the franchise hit list to help the Yankees take two of three in the series and move within 9 1/2 games of AL East-leading Boston. Help could be on the way soon.
The Yankees, who lost their previous three series, won for the fifth time in 13 games overall. All three games in the series were decided by at least four runs.
``Right now, we don't have a choice. Every series becomes a mini playoff series,'' Alex Rodriguez said. ``You lose this one, it would really hurt.''
Matsui drove in three runs, while Jeter, Mientkiewicz and Johnny Damon had three hits apiece. New York roughed up Schilling (4-2) for 12 hits, the most he had allowed since yielding 13 on April 22, 2004, at Toronto.
``Most of the hits were mistakes and they hammered them,'' Schilling said. ``My last 12 innings, I've given up 24 baserunners. It's not just the stretch, it's everything. I've got to pitch again in five days and I've got to figure it out in the next four.''
In other AL games, it was: Minnesota 5, Texas 3; Detroit 8, Los Angeles 7; Baltimore 5, Toronto 2; Seattle 5, Tampa Bay 1; Kansas City 11, Cleveland 7; and Oakland 4, Chicago White Sox 0.
Roger Clemens made the second minor league start of his latest comeback Wednesday night, throwing 102 pitches over 5 1-3 innings for Double-A Trenton. If he feels ready, he could join New York's rotation next Monday or Tuesday in Toronto.
Before the game, Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi met with lawyers from the baseball commissioner's office to discuss his recent comments about steroids - on the same day a report alleged he failed an amphetamines test within the last year.
New York manager Joe Torre said ``we have no knowledge'' of a positive test.
There also was news on oft-injured pitcher Carl Pavano, who is headed for reconstructive elbow surgery that will probably end his unproductive stint with the Yankees and make his contract a $40 million bust.
Tigers 8, Angels 7
In Detroit, Magglio Ordonez had his 20th two-homer game and Detroit held on to snap Los Angeles' six-game winning streak.
Carlos Guillen and Curtis Granderson also homered for the Tigers.
Mike Napoli's three-run homer in the eighth off Jose Mesa pulled the Angels within 7-6. Orlando Cabrera and Shea Hillenbrand also hit home runs for the Angels.
Chad Durbin (4-1) got the win, allowing three runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 17 chances. He gave up back-to-back singles to Reggie Willits and Cabrera to start the ninth, but got Vladimir Guerrero to hit into a run-scoring double play.
Bartolo Colon (5-1) allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings, giving up two homers.
Twins 5, Rangers 3
In Arlington, Texas, Justin Morneau homered for the third time in two games and Boof Bonser won his third straight start, leading Minnesota.
Morneau's 14th homer of the season, a solo drive in the third off Robinson Tejeda (4-4), gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead.
Bonser (3-1) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings, struck out six and walked two.
Mariners 5, Devil Rays 1
In St. Petersburg, Fla., Jose Guillen had four hits and two RBIs, Miguel Batista gave up one run in six innings and Seattle handed Tampa Bay its fifth straight loss.
Batista (4-4) stopped a personal two-game losing skid. He allowed seven hits, two walks and had five strikeouts.
B.J. Upton homered for the Devil Rays, who won a season-high four straight before their current skid.
Kenji Johjima made it 3-1 with an RBI double off Casey Fossum (3-4) in the sixth.
Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2
In Baltimore, Corey Patterson stole home at the end of a botched rundown, Brian Roberts went 3-for-3 with two walks, and Baltimore beat Toronto.
Steve Trachsel (3-3) allowed two runs, five hits and three walks in six innings. The right-hander left with a 3-2 lead, and the beleaguered Baltimore bullpen made the advantage stand up.
Chris Ray got three straight outs for his 11th save in 14 chances.
Toronto starter Dustin McGowan (0-2) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Athletics 4, White Sox 0
In Chicago, Chad Gaudin threw seven-plus scoreless innings, Hiram Bocachica hit his first home run in almost three seasons and Oakland ended a three-game losing streak.
Gaudin (4-1) retired 16 straight from the second to the seventh, and won his second straight start to help the A's avoid a series sweep by the White Sox.
Jon Garland (3-3) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Royals 11, Indians 7
In Kansas City, Mo., John Buck and Mike Sweeney each homered for the second straight game, fueling a five-run second inning to lead Kansas City.
Buck added an RBI double and Alex Gordon also homered and drove in two runs to help the Royals win for the eighth time in 10 games and drop the AL Central-leading Indians to 10-13 on the road.
Reliever Brandon Duckworth (2-3), who went three strong innings, inherited a lead but was credited with the victory because starter Scott Elarton failed to go five innings. Indians starter Cliff Lee (2-1) also failed to get out of the fifth.

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