Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has his favorite to win the AL pennant - and after this past weekend, it's not much of a surprise.
David Ortiz hit a two-run homer, and J.D. Drew and Bobby Kielty ended long homerless droughts to back Julian Tavarez's first win since late June as the Boston Red Sox polished off a four-game sweep of Chicago with an 11-1 victory Sunday.
``I think Boston is the team to beat in the American League,'' a morose Guillen said after his team was outscored 46-7 in the series.
The Red Sox scored at least 10 runs in each game, only the fourth time that has happened in a four-game series since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The St. Louis Browns did it in 1920 and 1922, and the Colorado Rockies in 1996.
Boston's run total in the series was the most for the franchise since it scored the same amount against the Browns in 1949.
The Red Sox have won four in a row, improved baseball's best record to 80-51 and increased their lead over second-place New York to 7 1/2 games in the AL East. The two teams play a three-game set at Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday night.
``We can't look ahead,'' catcher Jason Varitek said. ``We have to play like we've been playing.''
In other AL games, it was Detroit 5, New York 4; Los Angeles 3, Toronto 1; Texas 5, Seattle 3; Cleveland 5, Kansas City 3 in 11 innings; Minnesota 11, Baltimore 3; and Tampa Bay 7, Oakland 4.
While the Red Sox have returned to their 2005 form, when they ended the season tied atop the AL East, the White Sox are looking nothing like the club that won that year's World Series.
The loss dropped the White Sox to 18 games under .500 for the first time since 1989. The only team in the majors with a worse record is Tampa Bay, which visits U.S. Cellular Field on Monday for a makeup game.
``I think if you try, you can't play on this (terrible) level that we do,'' said Guillen, whose team has lost five straight. ``We caught those guys when they were playing well and they caught us when we were playing bad.''
Tavarez (7-9), who has shuffled between the rotation and the bullpen, was making just his second start since the beginning of August, but struck out seven and handcuffed the White Sox to two hits in six innings. He was 0-5 in his last seven starts, going back to June 25.
``How many pitchers can you start, put in the bullpen and let them sit for two weeks, and then have a legitimate chance to throw six innings?'' manager Terry Francona said. ``That doesn't happen very often.''
Drew hit his seventh homer in the second to give Boston a 1-0 lead. It was his first homer in 51 games, ending the longest drought of his career.
``In that situation, I was trying to slow things down a little bit and get a good pitch to hit,'' Drew said. ``I got a ball out over the zone and was able to hit it out.''
Ortiz's 24th homer capped off a four-run fifth inning as the Red Sox ended Javier Vazquez's perfect month. Kielty added a two-run shot in the sixth, his first since last Sept. 19.
``It's embarrassing to lose four games, especially the way we've been losing,'' said Vazquez (11-7), who had been 8-1 over his last 12 starts. ``It's not even funny.''
Tigers 5, Yankees 4
At Detroit, Curtis Granderson led off the first inning with an inside-the-park homer, and Bobby Seay (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.
Phil Hughes (2-2) lost for the first time since his major league debut on April 26. He allowed five runs and four hits, walking one and striking out six.
Angels 3, Blue Jays 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Kelvim Escobar (15-6) recorded his career-high 15th victory, Garret Anderson homered and the Angels beat the Blue Jays to earn a split of the four-game series.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 33rd save in 37 chances.
Dustin McGowan (8-8) allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking none. The loss was the right-hander's second to Escobar in a span of 11 days.
Rangers 5, Mariners 3
At Arlington, Texas, Sammy Sosa's 605th career home run was his first in a month, and Vicente Padilla (4-9) allowed only one run pitching into the seventh inning for the Rangers.
Jarrod Washburn (9-11), who has won only once in his last nine starts, allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
Indians 5, Royals 3, 11 innings
At Kansas City, Mo., Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez singled home runs with two out in the 11th inning as the Indians rallied past the Royals.
Joel Peralta (1-3) was charged with the loss while Rafael Betancourt (3-0) struck out three in two perfect innings to pick up the victory. Joe Boroswki got his 37th save in 42 chances.
Twins 11, Orioles 3
At Baltimore, the Twins beat Erik Bedard (13-5) to end his nine-game winning streak and complete a season's sweep of the Orioles.
Rondell White homered for Minnesota, backing a strong performance from Scott Baker (7-6), who allowed seven hits and three runs, two earned, in six innings.
Devil Rays 7, Athletics 4
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Carlos Pena hit two homers, and Joel Guzman had a two-run triple during a three-run fifth inning as the Devil Rays beat All-Star Dan Haren (14-5) and the A's.
B.J. Upton also went deep for the Devil Rays, who won the final three games of the four-game series for their first three-game winning streak since June 9-12.
Andy Sonnanstine (3-9) won for the second time in his last three starts.

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