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Friday, 31 August 2007 19:50
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 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Scott Baker came within three outs of a perfect game and two outs of a no-hitter, falling short of history but leading the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 5-0 in the second game of a doubleheader Friday night.
Baker entered the ninth inning with a chance for just the 18th perfect game in major league history. But he went to a 3-0 count leading off on John Buck, who took a strike before the next pitch went inside for ball four.
Esteban German grounded into a forceout and Mike Sweeney, activated from the disabled list between games, pinch hit and blooped a single to left-center for Kansas City's only hit.
Baker (8-6) struck out a career-high nine and threw 111 pitches in just his second complete game in 44 major league starts.
Gil Meche (7-12) allowed just three runs and seven hits in seven innings, giving up a two-run single to Jason Bartlett in the third and a sacrifice fly to Justin Morneau in the fifth.
In the opener, Ross Gload homered and drove in three runs for the Royals.
Matt Garza (3-5) gave up nine hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings while striking out six. He was charged with eight runs, though only four were earned.
Kyle Davies (2-3) earned the win, beating Minnesota for the second time in three weeks.
Angels 7, Rangers 6, 10 innings
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Garret Anderson hit a two-run homer and scored the winning run on a 10th-inning infield single by Howie Kendrick.
The Angels' fifth straight win, coupled with the Mariners' 7-5 loss at Toronto, put them 6 1/2 games ahead in the AL West with 28 games remaining. Kendrick had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the second.
Anderson drew a leadoff walk in the 10th from Frank Francisco (1-1) and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Maicer Izturis before Kendry Morales was intentionally walked. Casey Kotchman bounced into a force play and Anderson took third. Kendrick followed with an infield grounder that deflected off Francisco's bare hand and the glove of second baseman Ian Kinsler, whose throw to first was late.
Darren Oliver (2-0) pitched a perfect 10th inning for the win.
Athletics 5, Tigers 4, 10 innings
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Dan Johnson lined the game-winning single to right in the 10th inning dropping the Detroit Tigers a season-high 5 1/2 games back in the AL Central.
Mike Piazza doubled to start the inning against Joel Zumaya (1-3), then J.J. Furmaniak entered to pinch run and came home on Johnson's hit.
With its third loss in four games, Detroit fell further behind division-leading Cleveland, which beat the Chicago White Sox 8-5. The Tigers took an early 2-0 lead, then rallied with two runs in the ninth to tie the game.
Johnson, Jack Hannahan and Jack Cust homered for the A's. Huston Street (3-2) blew his third save chance but recovered with a perfect 10th featuring two strikeouts for the win.
Blue Jays 7, Mariners 5
TORONTO (AP) - The slumping Mariners lost their seventh straight game as Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer and Lyle Overbay and Alex Rios also went deep for the Blue Jays.
Jose Vidro hit a two-run drive and Adrian Beltre also connected for Seattle.
Shaun Marcum (12-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings to win for the eighth time in 10 starts. He walked two and struck out three.
Brian Wolfe relieved Marcum and worked two scoreless innings. Scott Downs took over in the eighth but was replaced by Casey Janssen after opening the inning by walking Raul Ibanez, who eventually scored. But he got out of the inning and Jeremy Accardo worked the ninth for his 26th save in 30 opportunities.
Jarrod Washburn (9-12) lost for the fifth time in six August starts, allowing six runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings. He walked five, matching a season high, and struck out none.
Devil Rays 9, Yankees 1
NEW YORK (AP) - Carlos Pena homered twice and Andy Sonnanstine pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, stopping the Yankees' winning streak at three games.
Carl Crawford capped a huge month with two run-scoring hits, and the surging Devil Rays roughed up an ineffective Phil Hughes to win for the seventh time in eight games. Pena also drew three walks and had his second multihomer game in six days.
Looking hung over from their three-game sweep of rival Boston, the Yankees botched an easy rundown play and mustered only Alex Rodriguez's RBI single in the fourth against Sonnanstine (4-9). After that, the rookie right-hander retired his final 14 batters.
Hughes (2-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings, falling to 0-2 in his last four starts.
Orioles 9, Red Sox 8
BOSTON (AP) - Nick Markakis hit a three-run homer and the Orioles broke a nine-game losing streak, while the Red Sox lost starter Tim Wakefield even before the game began.
Wakefield, tied for the major league lead with 16 wins, was scratched from his start with a sore lower back and replaced by Julian Tavarez.
After holding the Orioles to two hits in three scoreless innings, Tavarez (7-10) allowed four runs in the fourth. Baltimore stretched its lead to 9-3 in the sixth with five runs, four off Mike Timlin in his 1,000th career appearance.
Danys Baez gave up a pair of runs in the ninth before getting Jason Varitek to ground into an inning-ending double play for his third save in five chances.
Kurt Birkins (1-1) allowed one run in three innings before Jon Leicester gave up three runs in the seventh on Kevin Youkilis' RBI single and Hinske's two-run single.
Indians 8, White Sox 5
CLEVELAND (AP) - Casey Blake's three-run double capped Cleveland's six-run eighth inning as the Indians rallied past the White Sox.
Trailing 5-2, the Indians got an RBI single from Victor Martinez off Mike Myers. Mike MacDougal (1-5) came on and appeared to get an inning-ending groundout, but Ryan Garko's hopper toward Juan Uribe hopped over the shortstop's head, bringing Cleveland within 5-4.
After Jhonny Peralta walked to load the bases, pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton drew a four-pitch walk from MacDougal to force in the tying run. Blake went to a full count and the runners were moving when he slapped his double over the bag at first.
Aaron Fultz (4-2) pitched two scoreless innings and Rafael Betancourt, filling in for overworked closer Joe Borowski, worked the ninth for his first save since Sept. 28 last season.
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