NEW YORK, Reuters
Robin Ventura’s bases-loaded infield roller scored the winning run in the 11th inning and Nick Johnson had three hits and two RBI to help the New York Yankees to a 9-8 American League victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
The win tied the three-game series between the two AL East rivals and left New York three games ahead of Boston heading into Sunday’s finale.
The Yankees led 6-2 after six innings but had to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth after Boston rallied with a single in the seventh and five in the eighth to go 8-6 up. It was New York’s fifth win over Boston in 13 games this season.
With the bases loaded and one out in the 11th, Ventura hit a slow roller to second baseman Rey Sanchez.
Sanchez did not have time to try and turn a double play so he threw home, but Alfonso Soriano easily beat the throw and scored the winning run. The play was scored a fielder’s choice.
Shane Spencer, Rondell White, Derek Jeter and Soriano all had two hits for New York, with Spencer also driving in two runs. Bernie Williams added a solo homer.
Trot Nixon had two hits and three RBI for Boston while Brian Daubach had two hits and drove in two runs.
Steve Karsay (5-4) pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the win, allowing two hits and four walks.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera left the game with tightness in his shoulder in the eighth after throwing just six pitches. Wayne Gomes (1-2) allowed one run on one hit with two walks in one inning of relief. Rays outslugged In Toronto, Shannon Stewart’s three-run homer highlighted a seven-run fifth inning as the Blue Jays outslugged the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 12-10.
Tampa Bay has now lost seven in a row and 13 in succession on the road while the surging Blue Jays have won four consecutive games and eight of their last nine.
Toronto had an 11-1 lead after five innings but the Devil Rays scored seven runs in the sixth.
Steve Parris (3-2) picked up the win, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on four hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Kelvim Escobar recorded the last out to collect his 18th save of the season.
Alex Santos (0-1) was the loser. He allowed nine runs, eight earned, on nine hits over four innings, striking out three and walking one.
Chris Woodward had two hits and drove in two runs for Toronto.
Chris Gomez had two hits and drove in three runs for the Devil Rays, who committed four errors. John Flaherty added two hits and two RBI.
In Baltimore, Brook Fordyce singled in the 14th inning to bring home the winning run as the Orioles edged the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in a marathon contest.
Rick Bauer (5-4), the seventh Orioles pitcher in the game, pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. Bob Howry (0-2) allowed four hits and the winning run, an unearned tally, in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Tony Batista had three hits and scored two runs, including the winner for the Orioles. First victory In Kansas City, Runelvys Hernandez seized his first major league victory as the Royals edged the Cleveland Indians 7-5 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Hernandez went seven innings, striking out nine and walking two while allowing three runs on seven hits. Roberto Hernandez allowed one run on one hit in one inning and picked up his 19th save of the season.
Brandon Berger and AJ Hinch both drove in two runs for the Royals, with Hinch hitting a two-run homer.
Jaret Wright (0-1), making his first start for more than a year after shoulder surgery, lasted four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Chris Magruder had two hits and drove in two runs for the Indians.
In game two, Ellis Burks smacked two homers, including a game-winning three-run blast in the 10th inning, to lead the Indians to a 5-3 victory over the Royals.
The loss ended Kansas City’s nine-game winning streak, the Royals longest since the strike-plagued 1994 season. Burks drove in all five runs for the Indians, who snapped a five-game losing streak.
Paul Shuey (3-0) needed just six pitches to retire the side in the ninth and Bob Wickman picked up his 20th save of the season after giving up two hits in the 10th. Tigers thumped
In Detroit, David Ortiz blasted two home runs to guide the Minnesota Twins to a 14-4 thumping of the Tigers.
Bobby Kielty and Mike Cuddyer, with the first of his major league career, also homered for the Twins, who have won four in a row. Cuddyer, a 23 year-old rookie, had three hits and drove in four runs.
Joe Mays (1-2) held the Tigers to three runs and seven hits through six innings for his first win of the season. Adam Bernero (2-6) dropped his fifth consecutive decision after surrendering eight runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Carlos Pena and George Lombard homered for the Tigers, who have dropped five in a row.
In Oakland, Olmedo Saenz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Athletics beat the slumping Texas Rangers 6-5.
Dave Burba (4-5) took the loss after hitting Saenz. He lasted one inning while allowing one run, no hits and three walks.
Billy Koch (6-1) blew the save in the top of the ninth when Rafael Palmeiro tied the game with a solo homer. But he recorded the win with one inning of relief, allowing one run and one hit with one strikeout and one walk.
Alex Rodriguez and Ruben Rivera also homered for the Rangers as they suffered their eighth consecutive loss. John Mabry hit a solo shot for Oakland, who have won three games in a row.
In Anaheim, Scott Spiezio’s solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Angels a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Seattle led 5-2 after six innings but the Angels scored four runs in the seventh, three on Troy Glaus’s homer, to take the lead. The Mariners then tied it in the eighth on Desi Relaford’s home run.
Garret Anderson had two run-scoring singles to account for Anaheim’s other runs.
John Olerud and Edgar Martinez both had two hits and two RBI for Seattle while Relaford drove in another run with a groundout.
Scot Shields (2-1) picked up the win with two innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Ben Weber recorded the final three outs for his third save of the season.
Arthur Rhodes (5-2) was the loser, allowing three runs on four hits in two innings.