Maybe the next time Curt Schilling is one out away from pitching a no-hitter, he'll trust his catcher.
Schilling came within one out of his first career no-hitter Thursday, losing his bid when Shannon Stewart lined a clean single to right field after the Red Sox pitcher shook off catcher Jason Varitek. Schilling finished with a one-hitter as Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 1-0.
``We get two outs, and I was sure, and I had a plan, and I shook Tek off,'' Schilling said. ``And I get a big 'What if?' for the rest of my life.''
It was not the first time a Boston pitcher shook off Varitek in the ninth inning only to see a no-hitter get broken up. Pedro Martinez did on Aug. 29, 2000, against Tampa Bay, giving up a single to John Flaherty on a fastball instead of the curve that Varitek called for.
Schilling said he called off Varitek between five and 10 times, saying it ``was one time too many.''
``Hindsight is always 20-20,'' Varitek said. ``It wasn't the first time he shook off all game. We had like a half-dozen. It doesn't really matter. He made a quality pitch. If he didn't make a quality pitch then you can second-guess.''
In other AL games, it was: New York 10, Chicago 3; Detroit 11, Texas 4; Cleveland 8, Kansas City 3; and Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 3.
Schilling (6-2) looked on his way to making history when he retired Mark Kotsay and Jason Kendall on grounders to shortstop for the first two outs of the ninth.
Having called fastballs to the first two batters, Varitek called for a first-pitch slider to Stewart. Schilling wanted to throw a fastball.
``I was sure he was taking, and Tek was sure he was swinging,'' Schilling said. ``And I was wrong.''
The 40-year-old would have been the fourth-oldest pitcher pitch a no-hitter. Nolan Ryan did it as a 43- and 44-year old, Cy Young was 41 when he pitched a no-hitter for the Red Sox in 1908; and Randy Johnson was 40 years, 8 months when he pitched a perfect game in 2004.
David Ortiz hit his 11th home run in the first inning against Joe Blanton (5-4) to give Schilling all the support he would need and help visiting Boston stop a season-high four-game losing streak.
Yankees 10, White Sox 3
Joe Torre got his 2,000th managerial victory, Alex Rodriguez hit his 15th career grand slam and visiting New York put together its longest winning streak in a month.
Bobby Abreu hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning and A-Rod added his slam in a six-run ninth as New York won its third straight after losing the opener of the four-game series. It was the first time the Yankees have taken three in a row since sweeping the Rangers from May 1-3.
Torre became the 10th manager in major league history to get 2,000 victories and is nine shy of tying Leo Durocher for ninth place.
Jose Contreras (4-6) allowed three runs and four hits in 7 1-3 innings as Chicago lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
Scott Proctor (1-3), who pitched out of a no-out jam in the seventh, got the win and Mariano Rivera got five outs for his seventh save in nine chances.
Tigers 11, Rangers 4
Gary Sheffield homered to ignite a six-run third, and Curtis Granderson had two triples and three RBIs for visiting Detroit.
Brandon Inge drove in three runs, and Sean Casey and Magglio Ordonez each had three hits as the Tigers feasted on Rangers pitching for the second straight night.
The Rangers have lost 12 of their last 15 games and have the worst record in baseball at 21-39.
Texas starter Kameron Loe (1-6) gave up nine runs in 2 2-3 innings.
Mike Maroth (4-2) was the beneficiary of Detroit's offensive outburst. He allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings.
Indians 8, Royals 3
Fausto Carmona won his seventh consecutive decision, and Cleveland improved to 21-7 at home this year.
Franklin Gutierrez, Jason Michaels and Casey Blake homered for the Indians, who built an 8-1 lead. Carmona (7-1) has a 2.77 ERA in nine starts since April 13, when he lost to the White Sox in his first start of the season.
Odalis Perez (3-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Devil Rays 5, Blue Jays 3
Delmon Young hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the ninth inning, and visiting Tampa Bay won despite striking out 13 times against Toronto's A.J. Burnett.
With the score 3-3, Carl Crawford hit a one-out single off Jeremy Accardo (1-1) and stole second. Carlos Pena was intentionally walked with one out, Ty Wigginton walked on a 3-2 pitch and Young followed with a single to center.
Gary Glover (3-2) pitched the eighth, and Al Reyes finished for his 15th save.

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