|Seattle surges past Yankees, Tigers in AL wild-card race|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2007 21:28|
A year ago, Seattle was wallowing below .500 and last in its division. Now the surging Mariners are leading the American League wild-card standings.
Ichiro Suzuki had three hits, Jose Vidro homered and drove in four runs, and the Mariners pounded the Orioles 8-4 in Baltimore on Wednesday night to move past the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees in the playoff race.
``If we play the way we normally do, we're capable of scoring a lot of runs,'' said Suzuki, who was in a 1-for-14 skid before coming to Baltimore. ``We don't need to do anything special.''
Detroit, 3-10 since July 25, lost 7-1 to Tampa Bay and fell percentage points behind the Mariners. The Yankees, playing without Alex Rodriguez because of a bruised calf, were routed 15-4 in Toronto and trail Seattle by a half-game.
``We have some guys swinging very hot bats now,'' Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon said. ``We're feeling pretty good about our chances.''
The Mariners scored 10 runs on 19 hits Tuesday night, and followed it with 15 hits - including three homers - to outscore Baltimore 18-7 in the first two games of the series that concludes Thursday.
Jose Guillen and Raul Ibanez also homered for Seattle, which has won eight of 11. It was the third home run in two games for Ibanez, who had gone 31 games without one until Tuesday night.
``We've got two or three guys hot at the same time right now and it's great,'' said Vidro, who went 3-for-3. ``This is what we're capable of doing, and when we all start hitting at once, we're going to be real tough.''
In other AL games, it was'' Boston 9, the Los Angeles Angels 6; the Chicago White Sox 6, Cleveland 4 in 13 innings; Oakland 6, Texas 3; and Minnesota 11, Kansas City 4.
Felix Hernandez (8-6) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings for Seattle, which trails the Los Angeles Angels by three games in the AL West. The victory improved the 21-year-old's career record to 24-24; he hasn't been over .500 since Aug. 2, 2006.
J.J. Putz got the final four outs for his 33rd save in 35 chances. He got Ramon Hernandez to ground out with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning, then worked a perfect ninth.
Miguel Tejada had three hits and his 1,000th career RBI, and Nick Markakis drove in two runs for the Orioles. Baltimore has lost three of four and six of nine.
Jeremy Guthrie (7-4) allowed five earned runs and eight hits in four innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. The rookie's ERA swelled from 2.98 to 3.22, the highest it's been since May 13.
``He had a bad night. He's entitled to it,'' Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
After yielding three earned runs in only one of his first 11 starts, Guthrie has done it in five of his last eight outings.
``That's a pretty hot team, and they did a nice job tonight,'' he said. ``Every one of them are good hitters. It's a tough lineup, one through nine.''
Devil Rays 7, Tigers 1
At Detroit, Dioner Navarro had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Tampa Bay won for only the third time in its last 22 road games.
James Shields (9-7) beat the Tigers for the second time this season, giving up one run and five hits in seven innings. He struck out nine without walking a batter.
Chad Durbin (7-5), making his first start since June 19, allowed three runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Blue Jays 15, Yankees 4
At Toronto, Vernon Wells had four RBIs and Roy Halladay (13-5) struck out eight over seven innings to help the Blue Jays win for the ninth time in 11 home games.
Chien-Ming Wang (13-6) allowed a career-high eight runs and nine hits over 2 2-3 innings, his shortest career outing.
Angels 9, Red Sox 6
At Anaheim, Calif., rookie Dustin Pedroia hit a tiebreaking home run off Justin Speier (1-3), and Mike Lowell went 4-for-4 with three doubles as the Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep.
Hideki Okajima (3-0) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings for the victory. Eric Gagne pitched a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon a perfect ninth for his 26th save.
White Sox 6, Indians 4, 13 innings
At Chicago, Scott Podsednik singled and Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer off Cleveland's Aaron Fultz (3-2) in the bottom of the 13th.
Jose Contreras (6-14), making his first regular-season relief appearance since 2003 while with the Yankees, got the victory by pitching two innings.
Athletics 6, Rangers 3
At Arlington, Texas, Rob Bowen went deep from both sides of the plate for his first career multihomer game and Lenny DiNardo (6-6) gave up three runs over six innings for Oakland.
With the game tied at 3, Bowen homered leading off the seventh against reliever A.J. Murray (0-1) to break a 3-for-39 slump. He added a two-run shot in the eighth.
Alan Embree got three outs for his 14th save.
Twins 11, Royals 4
At Kansas City, Mo., Michael Cuddyer's home run keyed Minnesota's biggest inning in more than a month, and Johan Santana (12-9) won his ninth straight decision against the Royals.
Cuddyer's two-run shot off Odalis Perez (6-11) in the five-run third was the first for Minnesota since Torii Hunter went deep on July 31, a span of 242 plate appearances.
Mike Redmond tied a career-high with four singles, Justin Morneau had a pair of doubles and Santana went six innings to improve to 12-3 lifetime against Kansas City.