|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 16 September 2007 19:55|
Thome hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Chicago White Sox a 9-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, becoming the 23rd player - and third this season - to reach 500 home runs.
The slugger drove a 3-2 pitch from reliever Dustin Moseley (4-3) to left-center, ending an 0-for-11 slump and reaching the milestone in style. Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez also hit No. 500 this year.
Thome raised his arm in the air as he rounded the bases, and he was mobbed by his teammates at the plate before he hugged his father and wife. Teammates Bobby Jenks and Jermaine Dye then hoisted the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Thome on their shoulders.
It was the first time a player hit a game-ending homer for No. 500, and the first time three players reached the plateau in one season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Thome made it to the milestone in 6,809 at-bats, the fourth-fewest among members of the 500-homer club behind Mark McGwire (5,487), Babe Ruth (5,801) and Harmon Killebrew (6,671).
Mike MacDougal (2-5) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Danny Richar's two-run homer off Scot Shields in the bottom of the eighth tied the score at 7.
Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera homered as the AL West leaders built a 7-1 lead.
Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
BOSTON (AP) - Mariano Rivera retired David Ortiz on a popup with the bases loaded for the final out, and Derek Jeter broke an eighth-inning tie with a three-run homer that sent New York to a victory over Boston.
Curt Schilling (8-8) outlasted Roger Clemens but couldn't beat Jeter, who drove a 2-2 splitter over the Green Monster to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Joba Chamberlain and Rivera held on, helping New York move within 4 1/2 games of first-place Boston in the AL East.
The Red Sox have a magic number of nine to clinch their first division title since 1995, but the Yankees won the season series 10-8 - the first tiebreaker should the teams finish the year with the same record and both qualify for the playoffs.
New York won six of the final seven meetings after Boston took the first four.
The Yankees, who lead Detroit in the AL wild-card standings by 2 1/2 games, have won nine of 11 overall.
Chamberlain (2-0) earned the win despite giving up the first earned run of his career - a solo homer by Mike Lowell that made it 4-2 in the eighth.
Rivera allowed Julio Lugo's two-out RBI double in the ninth, then hit Jacoby Ellsbury with a pitch and walked Dustin Pedroia. But Ortiz popped up a 2-2 pitch into shallow center field, and a backpedaling Jeter made the catch before pumping his fist.
It was Rivera's 28th save. Robinson Cano also homered off Schilling, who is 0-3 in his last four starts.
Tigers 6, Twins 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Jair Jurrjens took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning in his fifth major league start, helping Detroit beat Minnesota to gain ground in the AL Central.
The Tigers won their seventh straight against the Twins and pulled within 4 1/2 games of first-place Cleveland in the division. The Tigers and Indians begin a crucial three-game series Monday in Cleveland.
Detroit has won five in a row overall and nine of 11.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland started Jurrjens on Sunday so Kenny Rogers could pitch the opener against the Indians. Jurrjens (3-1) gave up two extra-base hits and a run in the sixth before he was lifted, but Detroit's bullpen held on.
Todd Jones pitched a shaky ninth for his 300th save, becoming the 21st pitcher to reach the mark. He is 37-of-42 this season. Michael Cuddyer grounded out with the bases loaded to end it.
Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff homer against Scott Baker (9-8).
Royals 4, Indians 3
CLEVELAND (AP) - Billy Buckner earned his first major league win, slowing Cleveland's drive toward an AL Central title by pitching Kansas City past the Indians.
Making his third career start, Buckner took a shutout into the sixth before Victor Martinez hit a solo homer with two outs. Buckner (1-1) gave up five hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one.
Cleveland had a chance to tie it in the ninth, but pinch-runner Josh Barfield was tagged out in a rundown after trying to advance from second to third on Franklin Gutierrez's one-out grounder to shortstop. Joakim Soria then struck out Casey Blake for his 15th save in 19 chances.
Emil Brown went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Royals. All three of his hits came off starter Aaron Laffey (3-2). Brown is 6-for-6 lifetime against the left-hander.
John Buck and Mark Teahen added RBIs for Kansas City, which had lost nine of 10.
Devil Rays 9, Mariners 2
SEATTLE (AP) - Carlos Pena hit his 40th homer and Delmon Young had four RBIs, leading Tampa Bay past Seattle to split a four-game series.
The Mariners fell 6 1/2 games behind New York in the wild-card race. They were one game out of first place in the AL West and three games ahead in the wild-card chase on Aug. 24.
Andy Sonnanstine (6-9) gave up one run in seven innings, striking out eight. Carl Crawford hit a two-run double.
Jarrod Washburn (9-15) allowed three runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings, dropping to 10-3 against Tampa Bay. He has lost his last five starts overall.
Rangers 11, Athletics 9
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Michael Young drove in a career-high seven runs, including a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning, and Texas beat Oakland in a game that featured a bench-clearing brawl.
Athletics outfielder Nick Swisher, who homered in each of the first three games of the series, rushed the mound and tackled Rangers starter Vicente Padilla after getting hit in the ribs by a pitch in the first inning.
Both benches emptied, with Oakland second baseman Jack Hannahan diving into the pile and A's manager Bob Geren getting into a heated argument with the umpires.
Second base ump Tim Timmons was bumped to the ground during the fray, and plate umpire Chuck Meriwether wasted little time in tossing Padilla and Swisher, who had to be restrained by catcher Kurt Suzuki and several teammates. Nobody else was ejected.
John Rheinecker (3-2) pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings to earn the win, and Joaquin Benoit got four outs for his fifth save. Andrew Brown (3-3) took the loss.
Orioles 8, Blue Jays 6, 12 innings
TORONTO (AP) - Scott Moore singled home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning, sending Baltimore to a victory over Toronto.
Jason Frasor (1-5), the eighth Blue Jays pitcher, gave up a single to Aubrey Huff to begin the 12th. Freddie Bynum's ground-rule double moved Huff to third before Paul Bako struck out. With the infield in, Moore grounded an RBI single off the glove of first baseman Matt Stairs.
Brian Roberts followed with a sacrifice fly.
Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who won for the sixth time in 25 games. Rob Bell (4-3) worked two scoreless innings for the victory and Fernando Cabrera earned his first save.
Baltimore won a series for the first time since Aug. 13-15, when they took two of three at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles had dropped eight straight series since.