Olerud helps Yankees defeat his former team

Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2004

SEATTLE John Olerud hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth inning against his former team, and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 Saturday for their fourth straight win.

After Esteban Loaiza wasted a three-run lead and fell behind 4-3, the Yankees tied the score in the seventh John Flaherty's RBI double off Jamie Moyer.

Shigetoshi Hasegawa (4-5) hit Gary Sheffield with a pitch leading off the eighth, then allowed Bernie Williams' double. George Sherrill intentionally walked Ruben Sierra with one out to face Olerud, who is hitting .333 with 11 RBIs in nine games with the Yankees.

Gary Sheffield and Williams homered, Paul Quantrill (6-2) won, and Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 40th save.

Athletics 6, Royals 1

OAKLAND, Calif. Mark Kotsay made a run-saving sliding catch on Ruben Mateo's blooper to center to preserve a tie in the top of the sixth, then homered off Brian Anderson (2-10) to lead off a five-run bottom half.

Damian Miller went 3-for-3 with a three-run double on reliever Scott Sullivan's first pitch, and Rich Harden (7-5) won his fourth straight decision, allowing one run and five hits in six inning as the AL West-leading A's stopped a three-game losing streak.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 2

TORONTO Josh Towers (8-4) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings to beat his former team and win for the sixth time in seven starts. Justin Speier and Kerry Ligtenberg finished with hitless relief as Toronto stopped a four-game losing streak and improved to 2-4 since John Gibbons replaced the fired Carlos Tosca as manager.

Baltimore, which had won four straight at Toronto, lost for just the second time in 12 games overall. Joe Borkowski (3-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings.

Indians 7, Twins 1

CLEVELAND The Indians pulled within one game of the AL Central lead, scoring four runs in the first inning and beating Minnesota behind home runs by Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez.

Cleveland, which has not shared the division lead this late in the season since 2001, can tie the first-place Twins with a victory Sunday.

The Indians have won six straight and 10 of 11, gaining seven games on the Twins in 10 days. Minnesota, which has lost eight of 10, had a season-high, six-game lead over the Indians and Chicago White Sox after last Sunday's games.

Jake Westbrook (11-5) won for the fifth time in six starts, giving up one run and five hits in seven innings.

Kyle Lohse (5-10) allowed seven runs and seven hits in five innings, losing his second straight start.

Red Sox 4, White Sox 3

BOSTON David Ortiz's second homer of the game broke an eighth-inning tie, Curt Schilling got his first home win in seven weeks, and Boston beat Chicago.

Manny Ramirez hit his 30th homer and is tied with Ortiz for the AL lead.

Schilling (14-6) gave up consecutive first-inning homers to Timo Perez and Carlos Lee but improved to 8-1 at Fenway Park. He had been 0-1 in three home starts since beating Philadelphia on June 27.

Keith Foulke finished with a hitless ninth for his 19th save.

Ortiz homered off Jon Adkins (2-3) with one out in the eighth.

Rangers 6, Devil Rays 5

ARLINGTON, Texas Kevin Mench hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning and Gary Matthews Jr. added a solo shot to lead Texas over Tampa Bay.

Doug Brocail (2-1) relieved starter Mike Bacsik to the start the fifth inning and allowed two unearned runs that tied the score 5-all but got the win. Brian Shouse, Frank Francisco, Carlos Almanzar and Francisco Cordero combined with four innings of one-hit relief, with Cordero getting three outs for his 35th save and 15th in a row.

Mench's homer off Franklin Nunez (0-1) scored the decisive run for Texas, which remained 1 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL West and one game back of Boston in the wild-card race.

Angels 11, Tigers 8

ANAHEIM, Calif. Chone Figgins hit a tiebreaking two-run homer and drove in four runs, leading the Anaheim Angels to an 11-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

Manager Mike Scioscia revamped the lineup in an attempt to squeeze more runs out of his stagnant offense, and the Angels responded with 17 hits.

Figgins was moved from second to ninth in the batting order, Darin Erstad from sixth to second, and Garret Anderson from cleanup to fifth after the Angels were just 2-for-18 with men in scoring position the previous two nights.

Erstad followed David Eckstein's first-inning homer with a double and scored on Anderson's single. Figgins tied it at 4 in the fourth with a two-run single against Detroit starter Nate Robertson, then put the Angels ahead 8-6 in the sixth with a drive into the lower seats in the right-field corner after a leadoff single by Jose Molina.

Figgins' fourth homer of the season triggered a five-run inning against rookie Roberto Novoa (1-1). The other runs came on RBI singles by Jose Guillen and Tim Salmon, and a sacrifice fly by Anderson.

Guillen and Robb Quinlan also homered for the Angels, whose other four-homer game this season was at Dodger Stadium on June 25.

Carlos Pena homered twice for the Tigers, who also got home runs from Rondell White and Ivan Rodriguez.

Kevin Gregg (5-1) pitched 2 1-3 innings in relief of starter Ramon Ortiz, and got credit for the victory despite giving up Rodriguez's 16th homer and Pena's 17th in the seventh.

Francisco Rodriguez inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam from Brendan Donnelly in the eighth and got out of it by striking out Ivan Rodriguez and White. Rodriguez finished up with a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 15 chances.

Trailing 6-4, Anaheim tied it in the fifth when Guillen homered to center with one out and Quinlan homered to left-center with two outs.

In the sixth, Gregg walked his first two batters but Quinlan charged in from his third base position and caught Jason Smith's attempted sacrifice bunt on the fly, doubling up rookie Nook Logan at first base, and Carlos Guillen grounded out.

White hit his 18th homer with two outs in the fifth, giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead after the Angels tied it with two runs in the fourth. Pena walked and scored on a double by Craig Monroe that chased Ortiz.

The Tigers pulled ahead 4-2 with three runs in the top of the fourth. After Pena homered, Monroe walked, stole second and advanced on a passed ball before Brandon Inge singled him home. Inge scored from second on Smith's single after a sacrifice bunt by Logan.

Pena drew a leadoff walk in the second and came around on Marcus Thames' one-out double. Thames started in left field after DH Dmitri Young was scratched just before gametime because of a bruised right shin.

Eckstein's homer was his first since June 25, 2003, against Seattle's Matthew White, and snapped an 0-for-16 drought.

Notes: Salmon beat out an infield single to shortstop in the first inning for his 100th career hit against the Tigers. The only AL team he hasn't reached that figure against is Tampa Bay, which has played only 66 games against the Angels since entering the league in the 1998 expansion. ... Tigers RF Bobby Higginson, mired in a 3-for-33 slump and batting .159 since July 1, sat against a right-handed starter for the third time this week despite the fact that he was 9-for-16 against Ortiz with two homers.

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