Eric Chavez and Mark Kotsay both homered for the second straight day, and Rich Harden made another impressive start in the A's 9-2 victory over the Texas Rangers yesterday at Oakland, Calif.
Eric Byrnes and Erubiel Durazo also homered for Oakland, which took two of three from the first-place Rangers, cutting Texas's lead in the West to 2 1/2 games.
Oakland manager Ken Macha considered this a key series for the two-time defending West champions, who have become accustomed to surging in the season's second half. The clubs play three times in Texas next weekend.
Scott Hatteberg went 4 for 5, matching his career high. He's had four hits in a game seven times, and twice this season.
Chavez hit a solo homer with two outs in the first. The three-time Gold Glove winner has 16 home runs this season and three since he returned July 9 after missing more than a month with a broken right hand.
Blue Jays 5, Devil Rays 3 -- At Toronto, Carlos Delgado hit a three-run homer, becoming the first Blue Jay to drive in 1,000 career runs, and David Bush got his first major league win. The Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Devil Rays, who have lost six straight.
Bush (1-1) allowed three runs -- one earned -- and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. In his previous start against Oakland last Tuesday, Bush took a no-hit bid into the eighth. Aubrey Huff ended Bush's 17-inning scoreless streak by homering in the sixth.
Kerry Ligtenberg got five outs for his third save in four chances.
Mariners 6, Angels 2 -- Dave Hansen and Bucky Jacobsen homered to back Joel Pineiro (6-11), and host Seattle took advantage of Kevin Gregg's record-tying wildness to avoid a three-game sweep. Gregg threw four wild pitches in the eighth, tying the post-1900 major league regular-season record, set by Walter Johnson in 1914 and matched by Phil Niekro in 1979.
Bert Cunningham threw five wild pitches in one inning in 1890, and Rick Ankiel threw five in an NL playoff game in 2000.
Tigers 9, White Sox 2 -- Marcus Thames hit his first career grand slam and Detroit overcame the ejections of starter Jeremy Bonderman and manager Alan Trammell to beat host Chicago. Carlos Guillen had three singles -- he was 8 for 13 in the series -- as the Tigers avoided a three-game sweep and knocked the White Sox out of first place in the Central.
Bonderman and Trammell were ejected in the second inning after Bonderman hit Chicago's Aaron Rowand with a pitch, minutes after Paul Konerko's homer.
Indians 5, Royals 1 -- Cleveland (50-49) moved above .500 for the first time since the start of the 2003 season, beating visiting Kansas City behind Jake Westbrook's six-hitter and completing a sweep of the four-game series.
Twins 8, Orioles 4 -- Justin Morneau had three hits, including a long three-run homer, as Minnesota roughed up rookie starter Daniel Cabrera in Baltimore.