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Twins take control of Central with Cleveland sweep

Posted: Monday, August 23, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS Justin Morneau drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning before leaving when he was hit in the hand by a pitch, and Minnesota completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland.

Corey Koskie homered and Torii Hunter had three hits, including a three-run double, for Minnesota. The first-place Twins, who led Cleveland by only a game last Sunday, took a seven-game lead in the AL Central.

The Indians have lost seven straight, including four to the Twins.

Brad Radke (9-6) hasn't lost since July 16 going 4-0 with three no-decisions in that span.

C.C. Sabathia (9-8) gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, leaving after hitting Morneau in the left hand with a pitch. The first baseman was taken to a hospital for X-rays, which were negative. The team said Morneau has a bruised hand and is day to day.

Devil Rays 2, A's 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Dewon Brazelton pitched seven strong innings, and Jose Cruz Jr. hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth to lift the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the Oakland Athletics 2-1 on Sunday.

Brazelton (6-4) gave up one run and five hits to improve to 6-1 at home this season.

Cruz's solo shot broke a 1-1 tie and helped the Devil Rays snap a four-game losing streak and win for just the second time in 12 games. Jesus Colome pitched the final two innings for his third save.

Erubiel Durazo homered for Oakland, which has hit 15 home runs in five games. The Athletics went 5-1 on a six-game road trip. Mark Redman (9-10) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

Angels 4, Yankees 3

NEW YORK Bengie Molina went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer, Kelvim Escobar outpitched Kevin Brown, and Anaheim completed a three-game sweep of slumping New York.

Gary Sheffield homered and had two RBIs for the Yankees, who scored only four runs the entire series. New York lost for the sixth time in seven games and has been outscored 37-11 in the defeats.

Molina tied his career high for hits in his second start since returning from a broken finger, leading the Angels to their fifth straight win and 13th in 17 games. They earned their first sweep of New York since May 11-13, 1999, also at Yankee Stadium, and finished 5-1 on a road trip.

Anaheim has won 10 of its last 11 road games and is 18-6 in its last 24 away from home.

Escobar (8-9) won for the third time in four starts. Troy Percival pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save.

Brown (9-3) lost for the first time in 10 starts at home this season.

Mariners 5, Tigers 3

DETROIT Willie Bloomquist hit his first homer in more than 13 months a go-ahead three-run shot in the fifth inning to lead Seattle over Detroit.

Gil Meche (4-5) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings, helping Seattle avoid a three-game sweep. He has won three straight starts after winning just once in his first 12 starts.

J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his third save, retiring pinch-hitter Ivan Rodriguez on a hard liner to right field with runners on first and second and two outs.

Mike Maroth (10-8) lost for the first time since July 8, a span of seven starts. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in seven innings as Detroit's three-game winning streak ended.

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 5

BALTIMORE Eric Hinske and Vernon Wells homered, and Toronto completed a three-game sweep of Baltimore.

The Blue Jays had lost four straight and 13 of 15 before coming to Baltimore, where they picked up their first road sweep of the season by a combined 32-13 score.

Miguel Tejada went 4-for-5 with a homer, three doubles and five RBI for the Orioles, who had won 11 of 13 before being outscored 51-18 during an 0-6 homestand. Tejada boosted his league-leading RBI total to 113.

Baltimore rookie Erik Bedard (5-8) gave up seven runs, six hits and two walks in 2 2-3 innings. In the series, Orioles starters compiled an 18.62 ERA, surrendering 20 runs in 9 2-3 innings.

Justin Miller (2-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings to earn his first victory since May 9. Jason Frasor, the fifth Toronto pitcher, got the final two outs for his 16th save.

Royals 10, Rangers 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Calvin Pickering drove in six runs with a grand slam and a two-run home run in his first major league appearance in almost three years to help Kansas City snap Texas' eight-game winning streak.

In his previous official at-bat in the majors on Oct. 5, 2001, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Pickering hit a three-run homer for Boston against Baltimore.

Zack Greinke (6-9) pitched six shutout innings and won for the fourth time in five starts.

Scott Erickson (1-3), who beat Cleveland in his previous start for his first major league win since 2002, lasted just three innings. He was allowed with five runs on four hits and six walks.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 5

CHICAGO Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz homered on consecutive pitches to start the eighth inning and streaking Boston beat Chicago for its sixth straight win.

Boston, with 12 wins in 15 games, moved within 5 1/2 games of the New York Yankees in the AL East, the first time the Red Sox have been that close since June 28. They also have a one-game lead in the AL wild-card race.

The Red Sox swept the White Sox for the first time since taking three straight Sept. 26-28, 2000, in Chicago.

Curtis Leskanic (2-5) got one out for the win. Keith Foulke pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.

The White Sox lost for the 19th time in 27 games and fell under .500 for the first time since April 8.

After Ramirez tied it with a homer off Freddy Garcia, Damaso Marte (4-5) relieved and Ortiz who entered in an 0-for-15 slump hit his first pitch for a 6-5 lead. Ortiz's 31 homers match a career high set last year.

Ramirez had three homers and 11 RBIs in the three-game series.



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