Saturday's AL Capsules Print
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Saturday, 22 September 2007 18:37
MLB Headline News

 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -The Boston Red Sox became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season, rallying on ninth-inning home runs by Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-6 Saturday.
The victory assured the Red Sox of at least the AL wild-card spot. They held their 2 1/2-game lead in the AL East over New York, which beat Toronto 12-11 in 10 innings.
Boston trailed 6-5 when Varitek led off the ninth with an opposite-field homer to left off closer Al Reyes (3-3). Eric Hinske then doubled and scored one out later when Lugo homered.
Eric Gagne (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 36th save in 39 opportunities.
Carlos Pena homered twice for the Devil Rays, including a go-ahead, three-run shot in the seventh. He has 42 home runs and 116 RBIs - Pena played 18 games with Boston last season.
Yankees 12, Blue Jays 11, 10 innings
NEW YORK (AP) - Melky Cabrera singled home the winning run in the 10th inning for his fifth RBI as New York won a wild one over Toronto.
Cabrera's third big hit of the day off Josh Towers (5-10) ended a messy, back-and-forth game that lasted exactly 5 hours - after the start was delayed 92 minutes by rain.
The Yankees used a team-record 10 pitchers and again took advantage of a defensive misplay by Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill.
New York remained 2 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East and improved to 5 1/2 ahead of Detroit in the wild-card race.
Alex Rodriguez had four hits, and Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui had three each.
Jeff Karstens (1-2) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.
Athletics 9, Indians 3
CLEVELAND (AP) - An early misplay on Mark Ellis' easy infield fly doomed Cleveland, Dan Haren pitched six strong innings and Jack Cust homered as Oakland delayed the Indians from winning the AL Central.
Ellis homered and drove in three runs as the A's built a 6-0 lead and spoiled Cleveland's plans of wrapping up its first division title since 2001.
The Indians' magic number was lowered to one when second-place Detroit lost 7-4 at home to Kansas City.
Haren (15-8), the AL's starter in the All-Star game, won for the first time in six starts since Aug. 21. The right-hander, battling Cleveland's Fausto Carmona for the league's ERA title, allowed two runs and seven hits.
Paul Byrd (15-7) gave up six runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Royals 7, Tigers 4
DETROIT (AP) - Mark Grudzielanek again got the best of Kenny Rogers, collecting four hits and scoring three times as Kansas City moved Detroit to the verge of elimination.
The loss dropped the Tigers 5 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race with seven games left, while Cleveland's magic number in the AL Central was reduced to one.
Grudzielanek is hitting .647 in his career against Rogers and .355 against Detroit this year, and this time provided plenty of support for starter Kyle Davies.
Davies (3-7) won for just the second time in eight starts, giving up three runs and nine hits with a walk in 5 1-3 innings.
Rogers (3-3) extended his winless streak to seven starts, allowing five runs - three earned - and eight hits. He walked two in six innings.
Seattle 3, Los Angeles 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Miguel Batista pitched into the sixth inning and Ichiro Suzuki scored a run and drove in another for Seattle, postponing a division-clinching win for Los Angeles.
Batista (15-11) allowed only one run despite giving up six hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out four.
Oft-injured Bartolo Colon (6-8) gave up three runs and eight hits in eight innings to lose for the eighth time in nine decisions. He got the start because Kelvim Escobar was pushed back because of inflammation in his shoulder.
Cha Seung Baek, Ryan Rowland-Smith, George Sherill and J.J. Putz held the Angels scoreless until the ninth, when Vladimir Guerrero drove in Reggie Willits with an RBI groundout. Putz struck out Garret Anderson with Cabrera at second to earn his 39th save in 41 chances.
White Sox 8, Twins 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rookie Jerry Owens went 5-for-6 with three RBIs, and the rest of the Chicago lineup followed his lead.
Javier Vazquez (14-8) used the support for an easy victory, giving up only one hit over the first five innings. Jim Thome hit career home run No. 504, Darin Erstad hit one into the upper deck, and every White Sox starter reached base at least once.
Vazquez surpassed the 200-strikeout mark for the season, the first time he's done that since 2003.
Scott Baker (9-9) lasted only two innings and left trailing 3-0 after allowing five hits and one walk with just one strikeout.
Orioles 11, Rangers 9
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Nick Markakis homered and had a career-high five RBIs, including a the go-ahead two-run double that sent the Orioles past the Rangers.
Baltimore, which had lost 24 of 31, trailed 8-5 but scored twice in the seventh, with Markakis' RBI single drawing the Orioles within a run.
Brian Roberts tied the game off reliever Wes Littleton (3-2) with a run-scoring single in the eighth. After Melvin Mora walked to load the bases, Markakis lined a double down the left-field line. Aubrey Huff capped the inning with an RBI ground out.
Jim Hoey (2-4) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win in relief. Jamie Walker worked a perfect ninth to earn his sixth save in 11 chances.

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