The New York Yankees made up some much-needed ground in the AL East, and the Seattle Mariners looked like they were about to do the same in the West, too.
That was before the Los Angeles Angels scored four runs in the eighth inning on the way to a 10-6 win Tuesday night that extended their lead over Seattle to four games.
The Mariners, who go on a 10-game road trip to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit after Wednesday's series finale, missed a chance to make up ground on Los Angeles.
New York capitalized on its opportunity. Playing the first-place Red Sox for the first time since June 3, the Yankees got another strong start from Andy Pettitte and a home run from Johnny Damon to win 5-3.
In other AL games, it was: Cleveland 6, Minnesota 5; Tampa Bay 15, Baltimore 8; Kansas City 6, Detroit 3; Toronto 5, Oakland 4; and Texas 4, Chicago 3.
The strong effort by Pettitte (12-7) came on the same night manager Joe Torre told struggling pitcher Mike Mussina that he would be passed over for his next scheduled start Saturday against Tampa Bay. The Yankees will call up touted prospect Ian Kennedy from Triple-A to pitch against the Devil Rays in the middle of a pennant race.
Boston came to town with an eight-game lead over New York in the AL East and a chance to open a nearly insurmountable cushion. But the Yankees beat Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-11) for the first time and rebounded from a 2-5 trip that ended Monday night with a 16-0 loss at Detroit.
``It's a situation now like we're in the playoffs,'' Derek Jeter said. ``We need to get some wins.''
The Yankees moved to within a game of Seattle for the wild card.
The Mariners (73-57) rebounded from Monday's 6-0 loss to Los Angeles by taking a 5-0 lead in the first inning off Ervin Santana. But the Mariners couldn't close out Los Angeles.
But Kendry Morales had three hits, including a homer against Jeff Weaver and a double off rookie Brandon Morrow (3-3) that put Los Angeles ahead 7-6 in a four-run eighth.
Vladimir Guerrero, who had four hits and drove in three runs, is batting .509 this season against the Mariners and has 62 RBIs in 67 games against them.
He added a two-run single off Rick White and Maicer Izturis singled in a run as Los Angeles won for the 10th time in 14 games this season against its closest rival.
``We have to get them tomorrow. That's all there is to it,'' Mariners manager John McLaren said.
Indians 6, Twins 5
At Cleveland, Jake Westbrook got his fourth win of August, rookie Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the go-ahead run and Cleveland kept a tight grip on the AL Central lead.
Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer off Boof Bonser (6-11) and Grady Sizemore added a solo shot for the Indians, who are 9-3 since Aug. 15 - the day Cabrera replaced Josh Barfield in the starting lineup.
Westbrook (5-7) allowed three runs - all in the fifth - and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Devil Rays 15, Orioles 8
At Baltimore, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays scored 11 eighth-inning runs during another embarrassing performance by Baltimore's bullpen, and the Orioles wasted six home runs in their seventh straight loss.
The Devil Rays trailed 6-3 before sending 15 batters to the plate in the eighth. Nine got hits, three walked, and seven different players drove in runs - including two apiece by Greg Norton, Carlos Pena, Dioner Navarro and Jonny Gomes.
The Orioles' bullpen has a 22.29 ERA during the losing streak. Baltimore has been outscored 84-28 over the last seven games.
Royals 6, Tigers 3
At Kansas City, Mo. - Brian Bannister (11-7) won for the sixth time in seven decisions and Alex Gordon hit a three-run double for Kansas City.
Detroit fell 3 1/2 games behind division-leading Cleveland, the Tigers' biggest deficit since before play on June 6. Nate Robertson (7-11) gave up six runs, six hits and four walks. Magglio Ordonez went 4-for-5 and is hitting .404 in August.
Blue Jays 5, Athletics 4
At Oakland, Calif. - Matt Stairs homered and Lyle Overbay hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.
Alex Rios had two hits for the Blue Jays, who won for the third time in four games.
Brian Wolfe (3-1) pitched two innings of relief. Jeremy Accardo gave up two runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Marco Scutaro and Jack Hannahan before Casey Janssen got Shannon Stewart to ground to first with two runners on for the final out for his fourth save.
Rangers 4, White Sox 3
At Arlington, Texas - Marlon Byrd hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to help Texas win its third straight.
Ian Kinsler and Gerald Laird homered for the Rangers, who have won five of seven.
Chicago's Jim Thome homered to move within six of becoming the 23rd player in the 500 club. Paul Konerko also connected for the White Sox, who have lost seven straight road games.

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