Wednesday's American League Capsules
Thursday, September 22, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — Jorge Posada came off the bench and helped the Yankees to yet another first-place finish with a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, and New York swept the Tampa Bay Rays by identical 4-2 scores in a day-night doubleheader Wednesday to win the AL East.
Accomplishing most of their regular-season goals with a week to spare, the Yankees earned their 16th playoff berth in 17 seasons by winning the day game behind Robinson Cano’s tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth.
They didn’t bother celebrating after that one — Yankees blase at its best — but vowed to let loose when they ensured the division crown.
For the Rays, it was a damaging day as they missed a chance to move up on Boston in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox lost to Baltimore 6-4, but still extended their lead over Tampa Bay to 2 1/2 games. The Los Angeles Angels also are 2 1/2 games behind.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 4
BOSTON (AP) — The reeling Red Sox blew another late lead and lost for the 14th time in 18 games, booed by fans at Fenway Park after Vladimir Guerrero and the Orioles rallied.
Despite the loss Boston’s lead over Tampa Bay for the AL wild-card spot increased to 2 1/2 games. The Rays were swept by the New York Yankees in a day-night doubleheader.
Ace Josh Beckett took the mound, hoping to put some distance between Boston and the Rays. Beckett (13-6) allowed just one hit through five innings as the Red Sox built a 4-1 lead.
But Beckett allowed a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh on Mark Reynolds’ second homer that tied the game.
Mariners 5, Twins 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki stopped Kevin Slowey’s no-hitter with a two-out infield single in the sixth inning and added an RBI double in the seventh, spurring the Mariners to a victory in Minnesota, the 11th straight defeat for the Twins.
This is the third-longest losing streak in Minnesota’s 51-season history, behind a 14-game skid in 1982 and 13 in a row in 1961, the first year here after the franchise moved from Washington. The Twins (59-95) need two more wins to top their worst finish in Minnesota, 60-102 in 1982.
Brandon League, who escaped a ninth-inning, no-out, bases-loaded situation to preserve the win the night before, gave up a two-out RBI single to Trevor Plouffe before retiring Brian Dinkelman on a roller in front of the plate with two runners on.
White Sox 8, Indians 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Mark Buehrle bounced back from a poor outing and pitched six effective innings, leading the White Sox past the Indians.
Buehrle (12-9) gave up two runs and four hits. He had gone 0-3 with an 11.74 ERA in three previous September starts, allowing 33 hits in only 15 1-3 innings.
Buehrle’s skid included a career-worst 15 hits in 6 1-3 innings in a 7-2 loss to Kansas City last Thursday. The left-hander left that start after being hit in the left arm by a line drive off the bat of Alcides Escobar.
Alejandro De Aza hit a tiebreaking, two-run single off Ubaldo Jimenez (4-3) in a three-run seventh. Chicago added four runs on three homers off reliever Chad Durbin in the eighth.
Angels 7, Blue Jays 2
TORONTO (AP) — Dan Haren’s outing ended after he was hit by a line drive on the final out of the eighth inning, Peter Bourjos and Vernon Wells homered, and the Angels beat the Blue Jays.
Haren (16-9) was struck on the inside of the left wrist, his non-throwing arm, by Eric Thames’ liner. The ball caromed to Maicer Izturis at second base, who threw to first for the third out as Haren fell to the ground in pain. He was able to walk off but headed straight down the tunnel to the clubhouse.
The Angels pulled within 2 1/2 games of the AL wild card-leading Boston Red Sox, who lost to Baltimore moments after Los Angeles wrapped up its win.
Tigers 6, Royals 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ramon Santiago drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Don Kelly added a two-run homer and the Tigers beat the Royals.
Victor Martinez added three RBIs for Detroit. Doug Fister (10-13) yielded two hits over three shutout innings of relief, and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth to remain perfect in 47 save chances.
The Tigers trailed 3-2 in the seventh when Martinez delivered a two-out RBI single off Royals reliever Aaron Crow. The game remained tied until the eighth, when reliever Kelvin Herrera (0-1) made his big league debut and promptly plunked Ryan Raburn, the first Detroit batter he faced.
Santiago came through with his double moments later to give the Tigers the lead, and Kelly added his two-run homer with two outs in the inning to give their bullpen some breathing room.
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