Boston Red Sox's Doug Mirabelli, right, is congratulated by teammate Kevin Millar after hitting a two-run home run against New York Yankees starter Javier Vazquez during the fourth inning Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004 in Boston.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
BOSTON The New York Yankees are going to the playoffs, and they will probably go there as AL East champions, too.
They just won't be clinching the division in Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox made sure of that on Saturday night with a seven-run eighth inning.
''They'll get their chance to celebrate somewhere else,'' Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon said. ''And that's fine.''
Manny Ramirez doubled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth, and the Red Sox beat New York 12-5 to cut the Yankees' lead in the AL East to 4 1/2 games. Jason Varitek and Doug Mirabelli each doubled in a pair of runs as Boston sent 11 men to the plate in the inning.
New York's magic number is four, so victories on Saturday and Sunday would have won the division; instead, Boston clinched the season series (10-8) against the Yankees for the first time since 1999.
''That doesn't matter once you get to the postseason,'' Damon said, telling reporters jokingly: ''Maybe you guys can rub it in their face and make them think about it.''
The Red Sox lead the AL wild-card race by six games over Anaheim and Texas, and they had hoped to sweep New York to propel themselves back into the division race. But the Yankees won the series opener on Friday night when they rallied against tiring Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez after manager Terry Francona left him in for the eighth inning.
On Saturday night, Francona was ejected in the sixth arguing a fan interference call and wasn't around to see the pivotal eighth inning. Paul Quantrill (6-3), who extinguished a Boston rally in the seventh, helped fuel one in the eighth, when he was charged with four runs.
Boston closer Keith Foulke, who has blown his last two save opportunities with ninth-inning homers, came on with the score tied 5-all, two outs in the eighth and runners on first and second. Jorge Posada, who had a pair of two-run doubles, grounded out, and Foulke (5-3) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Boston fought back from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie it, then took a 5-3 lead in the fifth that the Yankees erased in the sixth. In the eighth, Johnny Damon singled and stole second with one out, Mark Bellhorn walked and Ramirez lined Quantrill's pitch off the center-field wall to make it 6-5.
But Boston wasn't done not after seeing a late lead evaporate the night before.
After David Ortiz was intentionally walked, Varitek doubled in two runs, Trot Nixon was hit by a pitch and Mirabelli doubled in two more. Orlando Cabrera's sacrifice fly and Bill Mueller's single each scored another run.
Mirabelli also hit a two-run homer off Yankees starter Javier Vazquez in the fourth to tie the game 3-all and was hit by a pitch twice. Vazquez had been expected to be in the playoff rotation, but he could be passed over in favor of Jon Lieber.
''Vazquez concerns me. No question. I know he's a lot better than this,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. ''We have to stop this thing because I want him to be a part of this. He's got too much going for himself.''
Angels 5, Athletics 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. Garret Anderson hit a tiebreaking double off Ricardo Rincon in the eighth inning and Darin Erstad had a three-run homer. Oakland's AL West lead was cut to two games over Anaheim and Texas.
Chad Bradford (5-7) hit Jose Guillen with a pitch leading off the eighth, sparking the rally. Chone Figgins added an RBI single later in the inning
Francisco Rodriguez (4-1) pitched two scoreless innings, and Troy Percival worked the ninth to reach 30 saves for the seventh consecutive season.
Rangers 5, Mariners 4
ARLINGTON, Texas Michael Young hit a tying triple in the seventh off Shigetoshi Hasegawa (4-6) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Mench, whose sixth-inning homer off Ryan Franklin began the comeback from a 4-2 deficit. The Rangers have won six of seven and 11 of 15.
Ichiro Suzuki's two-run single gave him 250 hits, seven shy of George Sisler's 84-year-old major league record with eight games remaining. Suzuki, who went 1-for-5 and is batting a major league-leading .374, tied Rogers Hornsby (1922) and Chuck Klein (1930) for fifth on the season hits list.
R.A. Dickey (6-7) pitched 3 2-3 hitless innings, and Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 48th save.
Indians 5, Twins 3
CLEVELAND After Jacque Jones hit a two-run double off Bob Howry (4-1) for a 3-2 lead in the eighth, Josh Phelps tied the score with two outs in the bottom half off J.C. Romero (7-3) with his first career pinch homer. Victor Martinez and Ben Brossard then walked, and Coco Crisp hit a two-run double.
Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 11th save, dropping Minnesota to 1-4 since the Twins clinched their third straight AL Central title. With the bases loaded and one out, Torii Hunter hit into a game-ending double play.
Devil Rays 6, Blue Jays 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Geoff Blum hit a winning sacrifice fly in the ninth off Miguel Batista (10-13).
With a 9:15 p.m. curfew imposed because of Hurricane Jeanne, both teams came out swinging in a game that lasted just 2 hours, 20 minutes and ended at 8:36 p.m. Sunday's series finale was canceled because of the hurricane.
Danys Baez (4-3) won after blowing just his third save in 32 chances.
Orioles 3, Tigers 0
BALTIMORE Matt Riley (2-4) won for the first time since April 16 by allowing two hits in six innings for Baltimore, which got its eighth shutout this season.
Buddy Groom threw a scoreless seventh, Jason Grimsley pitched a perfect eighth and B.J. Ryan got out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the ninth for his second save.
Jeremy Bonderman (10-13) allowed just five hits in seven innings, but was undone by a two-run first.
White Sox 5, Royals 1
CHICAGO Mark Buehrle (15-10) pitched a four-hitter for his third complete games, and Jose Valentin and Carlos Lee homered for Chicago, which has won six of eight.
Denny Bautista (0-4), seeking his first major league victory, allowed two runs and four hits in six innings.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.