Bombers end season on win; will start postseason in the Bronx

Yankees grab home-field advantage

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2002

BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees clinched home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs, using homers by Rondell White and Jason Giambi to beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Sunday.

New York's Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-5 and finished with 39 homers. He had 41 steals, falling short of his bid to join the 40-40 club.

The Yankees, who open the playoffs at home Tuesday against Anaheim, finished with five straight wins and a 103-58 record, their best since 1998.

Mike Mussina (18-10) allowed one run -- unearned -- and six hits in five innings. John Stephens (2-5) took the loss for the Orioles (67-95), who went 4-32 after reaching the .500 mark on Aug. 23.

Athletics 8, Rangers 7

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Barry Zito (23-5) allowed one run and three singles in six innings. He led the league in victories and had the most wins by an AL left-hander since Frank Viola's 24 for Minnesota in 1988.

Jermaine Dye hit his fourth career grand slam for Oakland (103-59), which starts the playoffs Tuesday at home against Minnesota.

Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a two-run double in a three-run ninth off Billy Koch. He finished with a .300 average while leading the major leagues with 57 homers and 142 RBIs.

Angels 7, Mariners 6

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Troy Glaus hit a grand slam in the first off Ismael Valdes (8-12), and Aaron Sele (9-9) gave up two runs and three hits in 4 1-3 innings in his first game since coming off the disabled list. He is not on the roster for the first round of the playoffs.

Anaheim, which finished with its best record ever at 99-63, is in the postseason for the first time since 1986.

Seattle (93-69) missed the playoffs a year after winning 116 games, which tied the major league record.

Twins 3, White Sox 1

MINNEAPOLIS -- Bobby Kielty hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth for the second straight day.

Bob Wells (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for Minnesota, which completed a three-game sweep going into its first postseason appearance since winning the 1991 World Series.

Mike Porzio (2-2) lost for the White Sox, who finished 81-81.

Indians 7, Royals 3

CLEVELAND -- Jim Thome, eligible for free agency, singled home the go-ahead run in his last at-bat this season -- and maybe his final one for Cleveland. He hit .304 with 52 homers and 118 RBIs, and he led the AL in walks (122) and slugging percentage (.677).

Travis Fryman hit a two-run double in the seventh inning, the final career at-bat for the five-time All-Star, who is retiring.

The Royals (62-100) joined Milwaukee (56-106), Detroit (55-106) and Tampa Bay (55-106) to give the major leagues four 100-game losers for the first time.

Jaret Wright (2-3) pitched one inning as Cleveland (74-88) finished with a four-game winning streak. Scott Mullen (4-5) lost.

Red Sox 11, Devil Rays 8

BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez won the AL batting title with a .349 average, pinch hitting and driving in Boston's last run of a disappointing 93-win season witha bases-loaded walk. The Red Sox haven't won the World Series since 1918.

Frank Castillo (6-15) pitched 2 2-3 innings, and Ugueth Urbina got his 40th save.

Wilson Alvarez (2-3) took the defeat for Tampa Bay, which set a team record for losses this year.

Blue Jays 1, Tigers 0

TORONTO -- Roy Halladay (19-7) gave up two hits over eight innings, and Toronto finished with a season-best, seven-game winning streak.

Broadcaster Ernie Harwell called the final game of his Hall of Fame career. Harwell broadcast major league baseball games for 55 years, 42 of them with Detroit.

Kelvim Escobar pitched the ninth inning for his 37th save.

Eric Hinske hit an RBI single in the seventh off Mike Maroth (6-10).



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