BOSTON Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees got the best of Curt Schilling this time.
With the hero of Boston's 2004 World Series victory debuting in his new job as a reliever, Rodriguez hit a two-run homer to break a ninth-inning tie and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-6 Thursday night to close within 1 1/2 games of first place in the AL East.
Schilling (1-3) gave up a double to Gary Sheffield to start the ninth, then Rodriguez homered to left-center. Schilling, who had been on the disabled list since April 23, retired the next three batters to complete his first relief appearance since a late-season tuneup in 2002.
Tom Gordon (3-3) pitched one hitless inning, and Mariano Rivera struck out all three batters in the ninth for his 21st save in 23 tries.
Royals 12, Tigers 9
DETROIT Matt Stairs hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs and Zack Greinke won for the first time since May 31.
Greinke (2-11) had lost five straight decisions and hadn't won in seven starts. He allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings, walking three and striking out three. Mike MacDougal pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Chris Shelton homered and drove in three runs and Craig Monroe homered and had two RBIs for Detroit.
White Sox 1, Indians 0
CLEVELAND Jose Contreras pitched three-hit ball for seven innings to stop Chicago's season-high three-game losing streak.
Cleveland lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Contreras (5-5) struck out seven in his second consecutive win. He issued three walks all to cleanup hitter Victor Martinez but improved to 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five career starts against the Indians.
Dustin Hermanson gave up the Indians' fourth hit but earned his 22nd save.
Kevin Millwood (3-8) lost for the fourth time in five starts. He gave up six hits and one run over eight innings, striking out a season-high nine without walking a batter.
Devil Rays 3, Blue Jays 0
TORONTO Casey Fossum and Danys Baez combined on a six-hitter for Tampa Bay's first shutout of the season.
Damon Hollins homered and Jorge Cantu had two RBIs for the Devil Rays, who have won just two of their last 13 games.
Fossum (4-7) allowed four hits, struck out four and didn't walk a batter in 7 2-3 innings. Baez finished for his 14th save in 20 chances and Tampa Bay's first shutout in 125 games, since Aug. 23, 2004, against Seattle.
Angels 3, Twins 2
MINNEAPOLIS Steve Finley, Maicer Izturis and Adam Kennedy each had two hits and an RBI as Los Angeles snapped a season-high four-game losing streak.
Jarrod Washburn (6-4) allowed six hits and two runs in 5 2-3 innings for the Angels. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save.
Kyle Lohse (7-8) allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings for the Twins, who have lost five of seven.
Trailing 2-0, the Angels opened the fifth with four straight hits. Juan Rivera singled and Finley, who came off the disabled list on Thursday, doubled him in. Itzuris followed with an RBI triple to tie the game and Kennedy's RBI single gave the Angels a 3-2 lead.
Athletics 6, Rangers 0
OAKLAND, Calif. Rich Harden carried a perfect game into the eighth inning and finished with a two-hitter.
Harden (6-4) was five outs from the 18th perfect game in major league history when Alfonso Soriano hit a clean single to center. He allowed a two-out single to David Dellucci in the ninth before retiring Michael Young on a groundout to complete his first career shutout. Harden struck out eight and threw 61 of 81 pitches for strikes.
Eric Chavez homered and Scott Hatteberg doubled, singled and scored twice in the A's fourth straight victory.
Chan Ho Park (8-4) fell to 0-5 in seven starts at the Coliseum and 1-7 overall against Oakland.
Orioles 5, Mariners 3
SEATTLE Rafael Palmeiro moved within one hit of 3,000 and Daniel Cabrera pitched a two-hitter through eight innings for Baltimore.
Jay Gibbons hit a two-run homer and Sal Fasano added a solo shot as the Orioles erased an early 3-0 deficit for Cabrera (8-7).
Palmeiro recorded career hit No. 2,999 with a one-out single to right in the fourth. It was a clean hit off Seattle starter Aaron Sele (6-9). Gibbons followed with a high shot off the facing of the middle deck behind the right corner, pulling Baltimore to 3-2.
Palmeiro went 1-for-3 with a walk. He grounded out in the second and sixth and walked in the eighth. He was on deck when Miguel Tejada was retired to end the top of the ninth.
MILWAUKEE Damian Miller's two-run double off Gary Majewski in the eighth inning gave Milwaukee a 4-2 victory over Washington on Thursday.
Miller, who had been caught trying to score from third on a comebacker to the mound an inning earlier, sent a full-count pitch to the gap in left-center to break a 2-2 tie.
Matt Wise (3-2) picked up the win with one hitless inning of relief and Derrick Turnbow pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.
Brewers All-Star slugger Carlos Lee struck out four times, stranding six runners on base, half of them in the seventh when Majewski (2-1) struck him out for the third out.
Cubs 5, Pirates 1
CHICAGO Mark Prior allowed two hits in eight strong innings and helped himself with two singles as Chicago won its fourth straight.
Prior (6-3) gave up a single to Matt Lawton in the second and a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Tike Redman in the eighth. He walked three and struck out 10 while running his career record against the Pirates to 6-0.
Todd Walker homered for the Cubs and Henry Blanco had two doubles off Mark Redman (4-9), who lost his fifth straight start.
Phillies 13, Marlins 7
PHILADELPHIA Mike Lieberthal and Pat Burrell each hit two homers to lead the Phillies.
Brett Myers (7-5) was bailed out by the long ball after staking Florida to a 3-0 lead. Burrell's 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot to center in the third, made it 3-2. Ryan Howard homered on the next pitch from A.J. Burnett (5-6) and Lieberthal followed two batters later with a solo homer for a 4-3 lead.
The Marlins tied it in the third on Miguel Cabrera's 18th homer, but they wouldn't score again off Myers.
Mets 6, Braves 3
NEW YORK Mike Piazza hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning and David Wright connected twice to lead New York.
Carlos Beltran matched a career high with four hits as the Mets beat the Braves for just the third time in 10 meetings.
With the score tied at 3, Beltran hit a one-out double in the eighth off reliever Jim Brower (3-2). John Foster walked Cliff Floyd on four pitches. Braves manager Bobby Cox then brought in Blaine Boyer to face Piazza, who hit an 0-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his 10th homer.
Roberto Hernandez (5-2) earned the win one scoreless inning of relief and Braden Looper pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save.
Adam LaRoche homered for the Braves, who have lost three straight after winning a season-high six in a row.
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 0
SAN DIEGO Javier Vazquez pitched eight sharp innings, had two hits and scored a run to lead Arizona.
Shawn Green had three hits for the Diamondbacks.
Vazquez came within three outs of his fourth complete game this season, shutting down the Padres on four singles and one walk. Vazquez (8-8) allowed only one runner to reach third base, struck out four and snapped his four-game losing streak. Armando Almanza finished the five-hitter.
Giants 4, Dodgers 3
LOS ANGELES Light-hitting Omar Vizquel's three-run homer in the seventh inning drove in the go-ahead runs for San Francisco.
Los Angeles starter Brad Penny was ejected in the third inning by plate umpire Rob Drake after tossing his helmet in protest of a call at first base.
Jason Schmidt (7-5) pitched six solid innings to snap a two-game losing streak. Tyler Walker, the fourth Giants pitcher, worked the ninth for his 14th save in 16 chances.
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