Williams homers to lead Yankees to victory

Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2005

NEW YORK — Bernie Williams hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, and the New York Yankees overcame Mariano Rivera's first blown save in more than four months to beat the fading Texas Rangers 7-5 Saturday.

Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield each homered and drove in two runs for the Yankees (63-52), who won their third straight and moved 11 games over .500 for the first time this season. Rodriguez's AL-leading 34th homer was a mammoth shot to left, and it came one pitch after Sheffield's drive in the third inning.

Kevin Mench had four hits, including a two-run homer off Mike Mussina in the eighth and a tying, two-run single in the ninth for the Rangers, who have dropped a season-high six straight.

Aaron Small (4-0) pitched a scoreless 11th for the win — helped by Rodriguez's run-saving, diving stop of Sandy Alomar's shot down the third-base line to end the inning.

Williams connected off Kameron Loe (5-4) for his ninth homer of the season.

Rivera squandered a save opportunity for the first time since blowing his first two chances of the season against Boston on April 5 and 6. He had converted a career-best 31 in a row.

Angels 9, Mariners 1

SEATTLE — Ryan Franklin was roughed up in his return from a steroids suspension, and Bartolo Colon pitched four-hit ball through eight innings to lead Los Angeles past Seattle.

Chone Figgins missed the cycle by a triple and Juan Rivera added three RBIs on three hits, including a solo homer. Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Molina each drove in two runs as the Angels piled up 15 hits.

Figgins set the tone when he doubled leading off the game against Franklin (6-12), who returned from a 10-day suspension for testing positive for steroids. The right-hander gave up eight runs and 12 hits in 4 1-3 innings. He was relieved by Jeff Harris and sprinted off the field to a mix of cheers and boos.

Colon (15-6) won his third straight decision and his fourth in five starts. Figgins also scored three times.

Athletics 5, Twins 2

OAKLAND, Calif. — Jay Payton hit a three-run homer to lead Oakland over Minnesota for its major league-leading 23rd win since the All-Star break.

Kirk Saarloos (8-6) won his third straight decision as the Athletics remained tied for the AL West lead. Kiko Calero, Jay Witasick and Huston Street each pitched a scoreless inning. Street put runners on second and third but struck out Jason Bartlett, Shannon Stewart and pinch-hitter Terry Tiffee for his 15th save.

Justin Morneau hit a two-run homer for the Twins.

Payton, acquired from Boston on July 13, hit his eighth homer for Oakland, his 13th overall. Mark Kotsay also connected for the A's, who erased a deficit for the 36th time this year.

Joe Mays (5-8) lost his fifth straight decision.

Orioles 1, Blue Jays 0

BALTIMORE — John Maine pitched five scoreless innings to earn his first major league win, Miguel Tejada singled in a third-inning run and Baltimore ended Toronto's four-game winning streak.

Rafael Palmeiro sat out a third straight game since returning from a 10-day suspension for using steroids. He is expected to start as Baltimore's designated hitter on Sunday.

Maine (1-0) and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, helping the Orioles improve to 6-3 under interim manager Sam Perlozzo. B.J. Ryan got his 26th save.

Dave Bush (2-6) lost despite allowing four hits — none after the third inning — in his third career complete game.

Red Sox 7, White Sox 4

BOSTON — David Ortiz went 3-for-4, stringing together seven consecutive hits over two days, and Tim Wakefield cruised into the seventh inning to lead Boston to its sixth straight victory.

Tony Graffanino also had three hits for Boston, which has won 13 consecutive home games and 14 of its last 16 overall. The White Sox have the best record in baseball but need a win on Sunday to avoid their second sweep of the season.

Wakefield (12-9) took a shutout into the seventh before giving up consecutive homers to Paul Konerko and Aaron Rowand. The knuckleballer allowed seven hits in 6 2-3 innings for his fourth consecutive win.

Jon Garland (16-6), who became the AL's first 16-game winner on Sunday, allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings, his second-shortest outing this year.

Devil Rays 8, Indians 2

CLEVELAND — Jorge Cantu hit two of Tampa Bay's season-high five homers, and Seth McClung overcame a long rain delay to pitch shutout ball into the sixth inning as the Devil Rays defeated Cleveland.

The Devil Rays' second straight win gave them their first series victory in Cleveland. Tampa Bay had gone 0-8-1 in nine previous trips to Jacobs Field, winning only seven of 28 games before this season.

McClung (3-7) won for the third time in five starts since July 22.

The Indians lost for the third time in 12 games and fell 4 1/2 games back in the AL wild-card race.

Cantu hit a two-run homer in the third as Tampa Bay took a 4-0 lead against Scott Elarton (7-6). Cantu hit a solo shot, his 18th of the season, off Jeremy Guthrie in the seventh.

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