Twins finish pivotal sweep of White Sox

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS Jacque Jones hit a pair of two-run homers off Bartolo Colon, helping the Minnesota Twins complete a pivotal three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 5-3 victory Thursday night.

The defending AL Central champions lead the White Sox by 3 1/2 games and Kansas City by 4 1/2. Minnesota has nine games left seven against the worst team in the majors, Detroit.

Chicago plays seven games against the Royals and three against the Yankees.

Tigers 10, Blue Jays 6

DETROIT The Tigers lost their 114th game, the fifth-highest total in major league history, and Mike Maroth became the first pitcher in 29 years to lose 21 games.

Detroit (38-114), which has lost six straight, was swept in a series for the 20th time this season. The Tigers must at least split their remaining 10 games to avoid tying the post-1900 record of 120, set by the 1962 Mets.

Maroth (7-21) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. He is the first 21-game loser since 1974, when Mickey Lolich lost 21, and Bill Bonham, Randy Jones and Steve Rogers lost 22.

Red Sox 4, Devil Rays 3

BOSTON Manny Ramirez hit his 35th homer and Tim Wakefield (11-7) allowed three runs one earned and seven hits in 8 1-3 innings as Boston increased its AL wild-card lead to 2 1/2 games over Seattle.

Byung-Hyun Kim allowed a run-scoring groundout to Carl Crawford in the ninth, then retired Rocco Baldelli for his 14th save.

Rangers 2, Mariners 1

ARLINGTON, Texas Laynce Nix blooped an RBI single in the 10th off Shigetoshi Hasegawa (2-3) after a leadoff double by Alex Rodriguez, sending the Mariners to their fourth loss in five games.

Francisco Cordero (5-7) struck out four in two innings.

Yankees 1, Orioles 1, tie

BALTIMORE A steady rain and the imminent arrival of winds up to 35 mph caused the game to be stopped with the score 1-1 after five innings. Umpires called it after a 44-minute wait.

The individual statistics will count, and the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in New York on Sept. 26 or 27.

Royals 3, Indians 2

CLEVELAND Jose Lima (8-1), who had been on the disabled list since Aug. 24 with a right groin strain, allowed two runs and six hits in five innings for his first win since July 27.

Kansas City remained 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota, the AL Central leader, and has 10 games remaining. Curtis Leskanic pitched the ninth for his second save.

C.C. Sabathia (13-9) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

LOS ANGELES Wilson Alvarez and Eric Gagne combined on a seven-hitter, and Robin Ventura homered as Los Angeles defeated Arizona.

The Dodgers are 2 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race. Los Angeles plays seven of its final 11 games against NL West champion San Francisco, beginning Friday at home.

Gagne got the first two-inning save of his career, although he nearly blew it in the eighth when the tying run was thrown out at the plate on Steve Finley's double.

National League

Astros 6, Rockies 0

DENVER The Houston Astros ended one of baseball's record runs.

Wade Miller and the Astros handed Colorado its first shutout at Coors Field since 1999, increasing their NL Central lead Thursday with a 6-0 victory.

The Rockies had scored in 361 consecutive home games since San Diego's Andy Ashby pitched a six-hitter on July 4, 1999. The previous record was 258 games by the Boston Braves from 1892-1896.

Phillies 5, Marlins 4

PHILADELPHIA In danger of blowing a must-win game, Philadelphia rallied against Dontrelle Willis and beat Florida behind Jim Thome's tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning.

The Phillies pulled within a half-game of the Marlins for the NL wild-card lead, taking two of three in the series. The teams meet three more times next week at Florida.

Philadelphia's victory also clinched the NL East for Atlanta, the Braves' 12th straight division title.

With Hurricane Isabel approaching, the start time was moved up from 7:05 p.m. to 1:05.

After Florida's Miguel Cabrera and Philadelphia's Placido Polanco homered, Thome put the Phillies ahead for good with his 43rd homer.

Padres 7, Giants 3

SAN FRANCISCO Gary Matthews Jr. hit a two-run double and San Diego avoided a four-game sweep by San Francisco with a win over a Giants lineup of all reserves.

The Giants clinched the NL West title Wednesday night and manager Felipe Alou gave all of his regulars a day of rest following a fun-filled night of celebrating. That was fine with the Padres, who ended a six-game losing streak.

Pirates 7, Reds 0

At Pittsburgh, Kip Wells retired his first 17 batters and combined with Brian Meadows on a three-hitter, leading Pittsburgh over Cincinnati.

Wells (9-8) didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth, when Reds reliever Scott Randall (2-3) singled to right in his first major league at-bat. Wells allowed two hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked two.

Cardinals 13, Brewers 0

ST. LOUIS Edgar Renteria had four hits and five RBIs, and Woody Williams rebounded from his worst start of the year to combine on a three-hitter.

The Cardinals won three of four against the Brewers but remained five games behind Houston, the NL Central leader, with eight games to go.

Expos 1, Mets 0

NEW YORK Javier Vazquez struck out 12, and Todd Zeile homered for Montreal.

Vazquez (13-11) allowed three hits in seven innings, outpitching Steve Trachsel to help the Expos retain their slim mathematical chance at the NL wild card.

The Mets are stumbling to the finish of a brutal season they've lost five straight games and 13 of 14.

Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

LOS ANGELES Wilson Alvarez and Eric Gagne combined on a seven-hitter, and Robin Ventura homered as Los Angeles defeated Arizona.

The Dodgers are 2 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race. Los Angeles plays seven of its final 11 games against NL West champion San Francisco, beginning Friday at home.

Gagne got the first two-inning save of his career, although he nearly blew it in the eighth when the tying run was thrown out at the plate on Steve Finley's double.

It was his 52nd consecutive save this season, and his major league-record 60th in a row dating to Aug. 28, 2002.

Alvarez (6-1) blanked the Diamondbacks on four hits over seven innings, extending his scoreless streak to 22 innings and winning his fourth straight start.

Miguel Batista (10-9) gave up one run on four hits in seven innings.



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