Red Sox earn wild-card berth

Posted: Monday, October 03, 2005

BOSTON — Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer and also threw out Derek Jeter from the outfield to lead the Boston over the New York Yankees 10-1 Sunday as the Red Sox claimed the AL wild-card berth.

Boston and New York both finished at 95-67, with the Yankees winning the division because they took the season series 10-9. The Cleveland Indians (93-69) fell short of Boston, losing to Chicago 3-1 and getting swept by the White Sox in the closing three-game series.

The playoffs open Tuesday with the defending champion Red Sox at the White Sox and the Yankees at the Los Angeles Angels, who also finished 95-67. The Angels have the home-field advantage because of a 6-4 head-to-head record against New York.

Curt Schilling (8-8) held the Yankees scoreless for five innings; by that time, the Indians had already lost and assured Boston's berth.

White Sox 3, Indians 1

CLEVELAND — The Indians lost for the sixth time in their last seven games following a 17-2 run. Cleveland went 7-for-56 (.125) with runners in scoring position in the final seven games — five of them one-run losses.

Brandon McCarthy (3-2) took a shutout into the sixth, and Orlando Hernandez worked around a leadoff walk in the eighth and finished for his first save since 2002 with the Yankees.

Scott Elarton (11-9) allowed Jermaine Dye's homer in the first, Joe Crede's RBI single in the second and Paul Konerko's sacrifice fly in the third.

Angels 7, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas — Juan Rivera hit a three-run homer as the Angels won for the 14th time in 16 games and clinched home-field advantage in the opening round.

Ervin Santana (12-8) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, and Francisco Rodriguez got his 45th save.

Kameron Loe (9-6) gave up five runs — three earned — and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.

The Rangers' Michael Young went 1-for-1 won his first AL batting title at .331, beating out the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (.321).

Orioles 6, Devil Rays 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Lou Piniella era in Tampa Bay ended in familiar fashion — with a loss.

Bruce Chen pitched six strong innings and backup catcher Sal Fasano homered for the second consecutive day, leading the Baltimore Orioles past Tampa Bay 6-2 Sunday in Piniella's finale as Devil Rays manager.

Piniella had one season remaining on a $13 million, four-year contract he signed in October 2002 but will be free to pursue other jobs under the buyout announced Friday. He received a big ovation and shouts of ''Lou'' when he walked back toward the dugout after bringing out the lineup card before the game. He took off his hat and waved it toward the fans.

''It's not easy, but it's the right thing,'' Piniella said. ''I wouldn't deviate from my decision. I'm perfectly content with it. Now I'll relax, play some golf and fish and do the things I want to do, and evaluate opportunities if they come and when they come.''

The Devil Rays finished the season 67-95, three wins shy of the team record set last year.

''It's going to be a little different because I've been here with Lou for the past three years and I've gotten used to his ways,'' Tampa Bay left fielder Carl Crawford said. ''Lou is somebody who wants to win every game, every day. That's the attitude he brings.''

Tampa Bay went 39-34 after the All-Star break but finished with a four-game losing streak.

Twins 6, Tigers 4

MINNEAPOLIS — Johan Santana (16-7) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, finishing with a 2.87 ERA, losing the AL title to Cleveland's Kevin Millwood (2.86). Carlos Pena hit a fifth-inning homer of the defending Cy Young Award winner.

Matthew LeCroy hit a three-run homer for Minnesota, which swept the three-game series but wound up 83-79 after winning the AL Central three straight times.

Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 43rd save.

Nate Robertson (7-16) lost in what might have been Tigers manager Alan Trammell's final game. He is awaiting a decision on whether Detroit will bring him back.

Athletics 8, Mariners 3

SEATTLE — Eric Chavez hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth off George Sherrill (4-3), and Joe Kennedy (4-5) won for the first time since Aug. 27. Oakland's 88 wins was its lowest total since 1999.

After getting a major league-record 262 hits last year, Ichiro Suzuki had one to finish with a career-low 206.

Blue Jays 7, Royals 2

TORONTO — Gustavo Chacin (13-9) allowed two runs — one earned — and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings. He led AL rookies in wins and innings (203).

Eric Hinske homered and drove in three runs, and John-Ford Griffin hit his first major league homer for the Blue Jays, who finished 80-82 — the third losing season in general manager J.P. Ricciardi's four-year tenure.

Emil Brown homered for the Royals (56-106), who set a team record for losses and reached 100 for the third time in four seasons. Runelvys Hernandez (8-14) allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings.

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