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AL ROUNDUP

Texas goes wild

Rangers pull into tie with Red Sox

The Red Sox have company atop the wild-card standings.

In Arlington, Texas, Laynce Nix homered and drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking sacrifice fly, and the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 6-2, yesterday to sweep the three-game series.

The Rangers moved into a tie with Boston for the wild card as the season moves into its final seven weeks.

Mark Teixeira also hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, and Ryan Drese pitched 7 1/3 solid innings to win his third straight start and tie a career high with his 10th victory.

Drese (10-6) gave up two runs and seven hits before being relieved by Ron Mahay in the eighth.

Aubrey Huff hit his 22d homer for the Devil Rays, who have lost six in a row. Tampa Bay completed its seven-game road trip 1-6 and has lost 15 of its past 16 road games.

Angels 3, Tigers 2 -- Darin Erstad doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, lifting host Anaheim over Detroit. The Angels pulled to within .001 of the Rangers and Red Sox in the wild-card standings.

David Eckstein drew a two-out walk in the eighth, stole second, and scored when Erstad grounded Jason Johnson's 1-and-2 pitch down the line past first baseman Carlos Pena.

Scot Shields (6-2) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the victory, allowing an unearned run. Troy Percival pitched a hitless ninth for his 23d save in 28 attempts.

Johnson (8-10) allowed three runs and six hits in eight innings, striking out three and walking three.

Twins 4, Indians 2 -- Corey Koskie hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, and visiting Minnesota prevented Cleveland from pulling into a virtual tie with the Twins in the Central. After Lew Ford was hit by a pitch, Koskie hit a 1-and-2 pitch from Rick White (4-5) to right-center field for his 17th homer. Joe Nathan pitched the 10th for his 34th save in 35 chances. He has not allowed a run in 27 appearances.

Minnesota, which had lost eight of 10, boosted its lead to two games over the second-place Indians, who had won 10 of 11. Cleveland is 2 1/2 back in the wild-card standings.

Mariners 7, Yankees 3 -- Edgar Martinez hit a go-ahead single and Miguel Olivo had two hits and two RBIs in a six-run seventh inning as host Seattle ended New York's four-game winning steak. Gil Meche (3-5) won his second straight start, giving up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Royals 6, Athletics 1 -- Joe Randa hit a three-run double with two outs in the seventh as Kansas City took two of three from host Oakland. Barry Zito (8-9) took the loss as the Athletics' lead in the West over Texas and Anaheim shrank to a half-game.

Orioles 11, Blue Jays 7 -- David Newhan tied a career high with four hits, including a go-ahead double in an eight-run eighth, as visiting Baltimore rallied past Toronto. Newhan went 4 for 5 and Melvin Mora drove in three runs for the Orioles.

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