Friday's American League Capsules
Saturday, September 17, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Newcomer Doug Fister pitched the Detroit Tigers to the AL Central title on Friday night, beating the Oakland Athletics 3-1 to secure the club's first division title in nearly a quarter-century.
Fister (9-13) retired 17 straight during one stretch to win his third straight start and fifth consecutive decision, and Wilson Betemit hit a go-ahead triple off Trevor Cahill (11-14) in the sixth. Don Kelly hit a solo home run in the seventh.
Detroit is headed to the playoffs for the first time since winning the AL wild card in 2006 and losing to St. Louis in the World Series. The Tigers (88-63) had not finished on top since winning the AL East in 1987, three years after their last World Series championship.
Manager Jim Leyland hopes for another special postseason run with his rebuilt roster.
Red Sox 4, Rays 3
BOSTON (AP) — Trade-deadline pickup Mike Aviles broke a fourth-inning tie with his first homer since joining the Red Sox and Boston beat Tampa Bay to hold off the charging Rays and extend its lead in the AL wild-card race to four games.
Josh Beckett (13-5) returned from a skipped start for another strong outing against the Rays, who trailed Boston by nine games on Sept. 3 and had a chance to catch them with a sweep in Fenway. It was Boston's second win in nine games and its first in seven tries against the Rays.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 30th save — his first since Aug. 18 — striking out Evan Longoria with a runner on second to end the game.
James Shields (15-11) lost for just the second time since July. Longoria homered for the second straight night, and Desmond Jennings had three hits for the Rays.
Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4
TORONTO (AP) — Mariano Rivera remained on hold at 600 saves when CC Sabathia failed to hold a fifth-inning lead and Jose Molina's ninth-inning single lifted Toronto to victory.
Ahead 3-1, Sabathia allowed a three-run double to Aaron Lind in the fifth. Nick Swisher's RBI single tied it in the sixth, but Lind doubled off Boone Logan (5-3) leading off the ninth. Molina, who played for the Yankees from 2007-09, singled with one out off Cory Wade.
New York lost its second straight game on the last at-bat since Rivera got his 600th save Tuesday at Seattle, moving within one of Trevor Hoffman's career record.
Casey Janssen (5-0) pitched two scoreless innings as Toronto won for the fourth time in five games.
Indians 7, Twins 6
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jim Thome hit home run No. 603 in his return to Minnesota, and Cleveland won to keep Detroit from clinching the AL Central title.
Thome homered in the ninth inning against Joe Nathan for a 7-4 lead. It was just Thome's second home run since Cleveland reacquired him on Aug. 25. The 41-year-old spent his first 12 seasons with Cleveland and more than 1 1-2 years with the Twins.
His 22 home runs are the most at Target Field, now in its second season, and he has six of the eight-longest homers in the ballpark's history.
The Twins showed a video tribute of Thome before his first at-bat and he was greeted with a standing ovation before flying out to the left-field warning track. Thome went 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs.
Backed by a 5-0 lead, Ubaldo Jimenez (4-2) allowed three runs — none earned — and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Orioles 8, Angels 3
BALTIMORE (AP) — Los Angeles' playoff push was slowed when Tommy Hunter pitched seven shutout innings for Baltimore.
The Angels started the day trailing first-place Texas by 3½ games in the AL West. The Rangers played at Seattle.
Hunter (4-4) gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked two.Mark Reynolds and Nolan Reimold homered for the Orioles.
Los Angeles avoided a shutout in the ninth when Kevin Gregg allowed a two-run homer to Hank Conger and an RBI double to Alexi Amarista.
Dan Haren (15-9) yielded seven runs — six earned — seven hits in five-plus innings.
Royals 7, White Sox 6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eric Hosmer had three hits and doubled in the winning run in the ninth inning to lift Kansas City to a 7-6 victory over Chicago that extended the Royals' winning streak to six games.
Hosmer's liner over the head of left fielder Juan Pierre scored Alex Gordon, who led off the inning with a single. After Miguel Cabrera's sacrifice bunt moved Gordon to second, Billy Butler was walked intentionally.
Greg Holland (5-1) worked the ninth to pick up the victory. Matt Thornton (1-5) took the loss in the White Sox' sixth straight defeat.
Mariners 4, Rangers 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Former Texas prospect Blake Beavan shutdown the Rangers for eight innings, Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler made a costly throwing error that led to three Seattle runs and the Mariners beat the Rangers.
Texas missed an opportunity to pick up a game on the Angels after they were handed an 8-3 defeat in Baltimore. Instead, Texas' lead in the AL West remained at 3½ games.
Most of that was due to Beavan (5-5), who allowed just four hits and struck out three. Closer Brandon League pitched the ninth in a non-save situation, but finished off Seattle's 10th shutout this season.
Seattle scored three times in the third thanks to Kinsler's error. Casper Wells hit his 11th homer leading off the seventh inning, his first since Aug. 21.
While Kinsler's mistake was costly, the Rangers bats didn't help starter C.J. Wilson (16-7).
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