BOSTON (AP) -Josh Beckett pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, leading Boston to a 10-1 win Saturday that dropped New York 5 1/2 games back of the first-place Red Sox with a little more than two weeks to play.
In a physical game that featured a bruising home-plate collision and couple more hit batters, David Ortiz went 3-for-3 with a two-run double and Eric Hinske homered. Boston lowered its magic number to nine for clinching the division.
New York had rallied from a 7-2 deficit Friday to beat Boston for the fifth straight time, but Beckett (19-6) stopped the Yankees' momentum. He allowed one run and a walk while striking out seven, winning his third straight start.
Chien-Ming Wang (18-7), who had won his previous five starts, allowed five runs, nine hits and three walks in 5 2-3 innings. Boston knocked out Wang in a three-run sixth that boosted the lead to 5-1, then scored four more runs in the seventh, when the Yankees needed five pitchers to get out of the inning.
Blue Jays 8, Orioles 3
TORONTO (AP) - Frank Thomas hit his 509th career home run, one of a club-record seven consecutive hits to begin the game, and the Blue Jays beat the Orioles.
Roy Halladay worked seven strong innings to win for the first time in six starts. Halladay (15-7) allowed one run and five hits, walked two and struck out two. His last win came Aug. 14 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Making just his second major league start, Kurt Birkins (1-2) gave up back-to-back singles to Vernon Wells and Reed Johnson before Alex Rios hit a two-run double. Thomas followed with a two-run homer, Aaron Hill singled and Matt Stairs doubled to right, sending Hill to third.
Rob Bell replaced Birkins and gave up a two-run single to Gregg Zaun, who was thrown out trying to advance to second. The inning ended when Hector Luna and John McDonald flied out.
The seven hits to begin the game broke Toronto's previous mark of five, set May 8, 1987, at Texas. The major league record for consecutive hits to begin a game is eight.
Athletics 7, Rangers 3
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Nick Swisher homered for the third straight game, and Dan Johnson connected twice and had a two-run single to help Joe Blanton win his third straight start.
Mark Ellis doubled in a run and Jack Cust added an RBI single for the A's, who have won the first three games in this four-game set between the bottom two teams in the AL West.
Blanton (14-9) didn't allow a hit until Jason Botts lined a single to right to start the fifth, the first of three straight base hits. David Murphy had an RBI single and the Rangers scored another run when Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded into a double play that made it 3-2.
Swisher connected for his 22nd home run of the year with two outs in the third.
Alan Embree got the final five outs for his 17th save.
Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy (5-10) lost his third straight decision and went only three innings. He was on a pitch count of about 50 coming in, and was done after 52.
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