CLEVELAND -- Kenny Lofton hit a three-run homer and Cleveland's defense bailed out Chuck Finley for five innings Wednesday night as the Indians increased their lead in the AL Central with an 8-2 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Lofton had four hits and Jim Thome added his AL-leading 40th homer off Joe Mays (12-11) as the Indians opened a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place Twins, Cleveland's largest this season.
Minnesota has lost a season-high six straight, 23 of 30 and is just 9-24 since the All-Star break. The Twins learned right fielder Chad Allen tore his anterior cruciate ligament Tuesday and could need one year to recover.
Finley (5-5), backed by great plays by shortstop Omar Vizquel, second baseman Roberto Alomar and left fielder Marty Cordova, allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings, winning for the first time since May 12.
Yankees 10, Devil Rays 3
NEW YORK --Roger Clemens allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, becoming the first major league pitcher to start a season 16-1 since Baltimore's Dave McNally in 1969.
Clemens, who struck out the leadoff hitter five times and finished with eight strikeouts, is 25-3 since coming off the DL in July last year and has won 12 consecutive decisions.
New York increased its AL East lead over Boston to five games -- matching its largest of the season.
Clay Bellinger hit a three-run homer and a solo shot. Derek Jeter added a pair of doubles and a home run.
Mariners 6, Red Sox 2
BOSTON -- Edgar Martinez hit a three-run homer for the second straight night and Freddy Garcia (14-4) allowed three hits in eight innings.
Martinez's 19th homer and Bret Boone's 27th in a four-run third inning gave Seattle a 5-1 lead over Frank Castillo (7-7). The Mariners' first run came on Ichiro Suzuki's double on the first pitch of the game and Mark McLemore's RBI single. Suzuki added an RBI single in the ninth.
Blue Jays 5, Athletics 2
TORONTO -- Kelvim Escobar (4-5) allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings and Alex Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer as Oakland lost its second straight following an 11-game winning streak, maintaining a two-game lead in the wild card race.
Dan Plesac pitched an inning and Paul Quantrill entered in the ninth with a runner on first and two outs. He gave up Miguel Tejada's run-scoring double and Eric Chavez's RBI single. Billy Koch got the final out for his 27th save.
Barry Zito (8-8) allowed five runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Tigers 5, Angels 1
DETROIT -- Roger Cedeno went 5-for-5, Bobby Higginson went 4-for-4 and Deivi Cruz hit a go-ahead two-run single off Al Levine in the four-run eighth. The Angels had won 10 of 13, while the Tigers had lost 11 of 13.
Matt Perisho (2-2) got the final out in the eighth. Mike Holtz (0-1) was the loser.
Orioles 5, Royals 4
BALTIMORE -- Cal Ripken hit his second pivotal homer in two games, a tiebreaking shot in the sixth off Kris Wilson (6-3) that sent Baltimore to its sixth win in eight games, including five against Kansas City.
Jose Mercedes (7-13) allowed four runs and four hits in six innings to beat the Royals for the second time in eight days. Willis Roberts worked the ninth for his fourth save.
White Sox 6, Rangers 5
CHICAGO -- Magglio Ordonez homered in the seventh off Pat Mahomes (5-5) to break a 5-all tie. Jose Canseco and Ray Durham also hit solo shots for Chicago.
Kip Wells (7-9) pitched one inning of perfect relief for the win, and Keith Foulke worked the ninth for his 30th save.
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