Hideki Matsui homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs in the first three innings, powering the Yankees to an 11-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night in New York.
Javier Vazquez (13-6) allowed three runs in the first inning but yielded only two doubles and a single the rest of the way before being removed after the eighth inning.
It was Matsui's first multihomer gamer in 1 1/2 seasons since coming to the major leagues from Japan. His three-run shot in the first inning offset one hit by Carlos Delgado in the top half.
Matsui, who finished 3 for 5, stretched the Yankees lead to 5-3 in the third with a solo homer off Sean Douglass, and he capped off the six-run inning with a single that drove in two.
New York (69-39) won for the sixth time in seven games to move to a season-high 30 games over .500. Last year, the Yankees didn't reach that mark until Aug. 19.
Athletics 3, Twins 1 -- Eric Chavez hit a go-ahead double in the 11th inning and Oakland survived Octavio Dotel's second straight blown save to beat host Minnesota. Oakland, which moved back ahead of Texas atop the AL West, led, 1-0, before Shannon Stewart homered off Dotel (2-1) leading off the ninth. On Wednesday, Dotel allowing a tying homer in the ninth to the Yankees' Gary Sheffield.
The Twins lost for just the fourth time in 17 games, but still maintain a season-high six-game lead over Chicago and Cleveland in the Central.
Eric Byrnes singled off Juan Rincon (9-4) with one out in the 11th and Chavez followed with a line drive to the gap in left center. Jermaine Dye then hit an RBI single up the middle, as the A's won for the 10th time in 13 games.
Orioles 9, Rangers 1 -- Erik Bedard took a three-hitter into the seventh inning, and host Baltimore hit three home runs to win its fourth in a row. Miguel Tejada, Javy Lopez, and Larry Bigbie connected for the Orioles, who scored in each of the first five innings to build a 9-0 lead. Tejada drove in two runs to increase his league-leading RBI total to 99.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Rangers, who stranded 10 runners and tied a season high with three errors.
Texas rookie Nick Regilio (0-3), making his third major league start, got only four outs -- tying the shortest stint by a Rangers starter this season.
Angels 3, Royals 0 -- Kelvim Escobar (6-8) struck out nine in seven innings, and Robb Quinlan hit a two-run homer in a three-run fourth that led visiting Anaheim over Kansas City. Tim Salmon had an RBI double for the Angels, who pitched their eighth shutout of the season, one behind Boston, the AL leader.
Escobar (6-8) allowed seven hits and walked one. Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the eighth, and Troy Percival finished with a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 24 chances.
Indians 3, White Sox 2 -- C.C. Sabathia outpitched Mark Buehrle in a matchup of top lefthanders, and Coco Crisp hit a three-run homer to lead visiting Cleveland past slumping Chicago. Pinch runner Willie Harris was thrown out at the plate by second baseman Ronnie Belliard to end the game.
The Indians' 10th win in 15 games moved them within percentage points of overtaking the White Sox for second place in the Central. Chicago has lost 10 of 12.
Devil Rays 2, Mariners 1 -- Carl Crawford scored the winning run when shortstop Jose Lopez was charged with obstruction in the 10th inning, lifting host Tampa Bay past Seattle. Crawford was on third with the bases loaded and one out when Tino Martinez hit a fly ball to left field. On the play, Lopez moved toward third and took a position between Crawford and left fielder Raul Ibanez. Third base umpire Paul Emmel determined that Lopez had obstructed Crawford's view of the catch and awarded Crawford home. Lopez was charged with an error on the play.