Cleveland grabbed first place in the AL Central for the first time in nearly a month, moving past Detroit in a division that for a while seemed like nobody wanted to win.
C.C. Sabathia became the AL's first 14-game winner in the Indians' 5-2 victory over Johan Santana and the Minnesota Twins on Friday night, not long after the Tigers were beaten by Mark Buehrle and the Chicago White Sox 7-4.
The Tigers have lost 11 of their last 15, while the Indians entered the night losers of eight of their last 12. But after beating the Texas Rangers 5-0 on Thursday, Cleveland has won consecutive games for the first time in two weeks.
``Hopefully we can put together a good streak here,'' said Sabathia, who won for only the second time in his last six starts.
Attention returned to the field in Minneapolis two days after a freeway bridge that collapsed a few blocks from the Metrodome killed at least five people. The Twins honored the victims and rescuers with a video tribute and Interstate 35W decals on their batting helmets.
A battle between two of baseball's best pitchers made it easy to forget the tragedy, if only for a night.
Sabathia (14-6) gave up eight hits and two walks while needing 107 pitches to complete six innings, but he struck out three and worked his way out of trouble well.
Santana (11-9) completed six innings and pitched to two batters in the seventh. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out eight and throwing 113 pitches. Joe Borowski pitched a hitless ninth for his 30th save in 33 attempts.
``I was trying to make something special and hopefully have something positive here in the Twin Cities,'' Santana said. ``Unfortunately it didn't happen, but we have to keep on doing what we do.''
In the other AL games, it was: New York 7, Kansas City 1; Seattle 7, Boston 4; Oakland 8, Los Angeles 4; Toronto 6, Texas 4; and Baltimore 3, Tampa Bay 1.
Juan Uribe hit his third career grand slam, and Jermaine Dye and Josh Fields added solo shots as the suddenly potent Chicago offense beat up on the Tigers and starter Andrew Miller (5-5).
The White Sox, who outscored the Yankees 13-9 Thursday night behind two homers and two doubles from Dye, sent Detroit to its third straight loss.
``You have to be nasty to win,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ``Right now we are a nice team who are getting their butts beat.''
Buehrle (9-6) won consecutive starts for just the third time this year. He gave up three runs and seven hits in eight innings, striking out three and walking two - a performance he said was better than his start last Saturday against Toronto.
Buehrle shut out the Blue Jays on eight hits over eight innings.
``I felt a lot better today than I have in a while,'' he said. ``I made a lot more pitches tonight that I did the last game.''
And that, in turn, gave the White Sox some confidence.
``When you have a pitcher like that,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said, ``you go out there and play good.''
Yankees 7, Royals 1
At New York, Melky Cabrera hit a bizarre two-run double and Robinson Cano homered to help Chien-Ming Wang (13-5) win for the 10th time in his last 11 decisions.
Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-3 and remained at 499 career homers. He hasn't homered in 28 at-bats since July 25 against Kansas City.
The Yankees led 3-1 in the sixth when Cabrera came up with the bases loaded and one out. He hit a liner off Ryan Braun's right foot, and the pitcher frantically looked around before realizing the ball was sailing over the Yankees' first-base dugout. Cabrera had three hits.
Mariners 7, Red Sox 4
Yuniesky Betancourt had a career-high four RBIs and Adam Jones sparked host Seattle's go-ahead rally in the sixth off Mike Timlin (1-1) in his much-anticipated season debut.
Sean Green (5-1) gave up one hit over 2 2-3 innings to earn the win, and J.J. Putz got three outs for his AL-leading 32nd save.
Athletics 8, Angels 4
At Oakland, Calif., Vladimir Guerrero made a costly throwing error that led to a five-run eighth inning, overshadowing his second consecutive two-homer game.
Mike Piazza hit a one-out single off Scot Shields (3-4), and J.J. Furmaniak pinch ran. After an out, Marco Scutaro singled and Guerrero short-hopped cutoff man Robb Quinlan with his throw, allowing Furmaniak to score. Dan Johnson, Donnie Murphy and Travis Buck combined to drive in four more runs.
Santiago Casilla (3-1) gave up Guerrero's second home run but got the win.
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 4
Aaron Hill doubled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning off Jamey Wright (3-4) as host Toronto won its sixth straight. The Blue Jays have outscored opponents 41-9 during the streak.
Roy Halladay (12-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six-plus innings, striking out nine. Jeremy Accardo finished for his 19th save.
Orioles 3, Devil Rays 1
Daniel Cabrera (8-11) remained perfect against Tampa Bay and Aubrey Huff hit another homer against his former team.
Huff's three-run homer off James Shields (8-7) gave visiting Baltimore a 3-1 lead in the fourth. Danys Baez pitched the ninth for his first save since May 17, 2006, at Colorado.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Possible 2018 World Series Matchups There are odds available for 2018 MLB World Series possible matchups and a Los Angeles Dodgers versus New York Yankees clash has the best...

MLB Team Pages