Jon Lieber dominated the top-scoring team in the major leagues, looking completely recovered from the elbow operation that caused him to miss last season.
Lieber retired his first 11 batters, then gave up four straight hits before getting 11 more outs in a row, leading the Yankees over the Anaheim Angels, 7-4, yesterday in New York.
Ruben Sierra, Hideki Matsui, and Bernie Williams hit solo homers off John Lackey, with Williams getting his first three-hit game of the season. The win moved the Yankees into first place in the AL East, a half-game ahead of the Red Sox.
Jason Giambi hit a pair of opposite-field RBI singles for the Yankees, who took two of three against the team that knocked them out of the 2002 AL playoffs.
New York, which has won 12 of 15 following an 8-11 start, sent the AL West leaders to just their second loss in 12 games. At 23-12, the Angels still matched their best record after 35 games, in 1970.
Lieber (2-1), making his third start since an elbow ligament was replaced in August 2002, worked quickly and didn't allow a runner until Jeff DaVanon singled with two outs in the fourth. Vladimir Guerrero then singled and Jose Guillen hit an opposite-field, three-run homer to right.
White Sox, 6-5; Orioles, 1-0 -- Paul Konerko broke out of a 2-for-31 slump with a go-ahead three-run homer and had five RBIs, and host Chicago beat Baltimore to gain a split of their doubleheader. In the opener, Daniel Cabrera made an impressive major league debut, allowing two hits in six strong innings to spark Baltimore's 1-0 victory.
White Sox rookie Felix Diaz made his major league debut in the second game and wasn't nearly as good. He gave up four homers to the Orioles in 4 1/3 innings, including three in the fifth.
Devil Rays 6, Rangers 3 -- Carl Crawford snapped a sixth-inning tie with an RBI single and had three hits, and Tampa Bay ended a season-high seven-game losing streak by beating visiting Texas. Mark Hendrickson (2-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings for the Devil Rays, the only team in the majors that has yet to win consecutive games.
Tigers 3, Athletics 1 -- Mike Maroth won again, pitching eight sharp innings and leading host Detroit over Oakland. Maroth (4-1), who was 9-21 last season and did not post his fourth victory until July 5, ended the Athletics' season-high three-game winning streak, allowing one run and five hits. He walked one and struck out four. Twins 1, Mariners 0 -- Johan Santana allowed six hits over seven innings, and host Minnesota completed its first home sweep of Seattle in 12 years.