Angels clinch; AL East still up for grabs

Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2005

OAKLAND, Calif. — Bengie Molina hit a solo home run and Ervin Santana pitched 6 2-3 strong innings to help Los Angeles clinch the AL West title with a 4-3 victory over Oakland on Tuesday night.

The Angels arrived in Oakland on Monday needing two wins in the four-game series to wrap up the division crown, and quickly took care of business. Los Angeles won the opener 4-3, then came back from an early one-run deficit Tuesday to eliminate the A's from postseason contention.

Santana (11-8) allowed seven hits and struck out seven in winning his third straight start as the Angels reached the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history.

Orioles 17, Yankees 9

BALTIMORE — Baltimore ended a nine-game losing streak and kept New York and Boston tied for first place in the AL East.

Jay Gibbons and Javy Lopez homered for the Orioles, offsetting Gary Sheffield's two-homer, six-RBI effort for New York in the game that lasted 4 hours, 16 minutes.

New York's third loss in 16 games, combined with Boston's split of a day-night doubleheader with Toronto, left them tied with five games left, including a three-game series at Fenway Park to close the regular season.

The Red Sox and Yankees are tied at 92-65 with Cleveland in the wild-card standings.

Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1, 1st game Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 5, 2nd game

BOSTON — Russ Adams hit a sacrifice fly to break an eighth-inning tie as Toronto rallied to win the second game of the doubleheader.

Tim Wakefield (16-11) pitched seven strong innings to give Boston a 3-1 victory in the day game. But the loss in the nightcap kept the Red Sox tied for first in the AL East with New York.

Frank Catalanotto had four hits, and Adams had two hits to go with sacrifice flies in the eighth and ninth innings to snap Boston's four-game winning streak. Jason Frasor (3-5) struck out two in 1 1-3 innings as five relievers combined for 5 2-3 innings of scoreless relief.

Boston led 3-0 and 5-2 before the Blue Jays tied it in the seventh.

Curt Schilling allowed five runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings for his third consecutive no-decision. Edgar Renteria had five hits on the day, and David Ortiz had three RBIs to bring his major league-leading total to 143.

Devil Rays 5, Indians 4

CLEVELAND — Scott Kazmir held Cleveland to one run in six innings and Julio Lugo hit a three-run homer to lead Tampa Bay and prevent the Indians from gaining ground on Chicago in the AL Central.

Former Indians pitcher Danys Baez got his 40th save by getting Ronnie Belliard to hit into a game-ending double play with the tying run on third, handing Cleveland consecutive losses for the first time since Sept. 3-4.

The loss kept the Indians two games behind the first-place White Sox, who lost their second straight to Detroit. Cleveland is tied with Boston and New York for the wild-card lead.

Rangers 3, Mariners 2, 11 innings

SEATTLE — Estaban German, in his first at-bat of the season, doubled home Mark Teixeira from first base with one out in the 11th inning to give Texas the victory.

Teixeira had reached on a single off the glove of second baseman Jose Lopez. German, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the ninth, drilled a pitch from Julio Mateo (3-5) over the head of left fielder Raul Ibanez and against the wall.

Twins 3, Royals 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Johan Santana allowed six hits over seven innings and Minnesota snapped a four-game losing streak.

Santana (15-7), last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, gave up four hits in the first two innings, but didn't allow another hit until Matthew Diaz's solo homer in the seventh.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2

DETROIT — Omar Infante and Craig Monroe homered and Detroit beat first-place Chicago.

The White Sox began the day with a two-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central, but have lost 12 of 19. Chicago had won three straight before dropping the first two games of its four-game series in Detroit.

The Tigers have won four straight.

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