Derek Jeter homered leading off the game for his 1,000th career run, then stole a pair of bases in the ninth inning and scored on Hideki Matsui's two-out single to lead the New York Yankees over Cleveland, 5-4, last night, the host Indians' ninth straight loss.
New York, which rallied from a 4-1 deficit, has won two straight after losing six of seven and remained 6 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox in the East.
The Indians, who had been one game behind Central-leading Minnesota Aug. 15, are on their longest skid since losing 10 straight in 1979. Jeter, hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Bob Wickman (0-2) Monday, showed no signs of lingering problems. He hit his 16th homer in the first inning, then walked against Wickman with the score 4-4 in the ninth and stole his 19th and 20th bases.
After Matsui's hit, Enrique Wilson singled off David Riske, but left fielder Jody Gerut threw out Matsui with a one-hop throw to the plate.
Tom Gordon (6-3) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 43d save in 46 chances.
Rangers 5, Twins 4 -- Mark Teixeira singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, and host Texas rallied to beat Minnesota. With the Twins in front, 4-3, Gerald Laird led off the ninth with a single off Joe Nathan (1-2). After Alfonso Soriano and David Dellucci struck out, Michael Young doubled into the left-field corner to tie it, giving Nathan just his third blown save in 37 chances.
Hank Blalock was walked intentionally, Nathan threw a wild pitch and Teixeira singled just inside the right-field foul line.
Pinch hitter Justin Morneau had tied the score in the top half with an RBI double off Francisco Cordero (3-0).
Texas remained one game behind the Red Sox in the wild-card standings.
Angels 7, Royals 5 -- Jose Guillen hit a two-run homer and host Anaheim converted a throwing error by Kansas City second baseman Desi Relaford into the tying and go-ahead runs, extending its winning streak to seven games. Adam Kennedy was 4 for 4 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single for the Angels, who won for the 15th time in 19 games to remain .001 behind the Red Sox in the wild-card standings. They also are a season-best 18 games over .500.
John Lackey (11-10) earned his seventh victory in nine decisions, throwing 94 pitches in just five innings and allowing five runs on seven hits. Troy Percival pitched a scoreless ninth, becoming the only active pitcher in the majors with nine consecutive seasons of at least 25 saves.
Athletics 6, Orioles 2 -- Mark Mulder became the majors' first 17-game winner, and host Oakland moved a season-best 19 games over .500 by beating Baltimore. Eric Chavez and Jermaine Dye both homered for the Athletics, who won for the eighth time in 10 games. Mulder (17-4) didn't have his best stuff -- he allowed two runs, three walks, and four hits in six innings -- but was staked to a four-run lead in the first. The Orioles lost their eighth straight.
White Sox 9, Tigers 5 -- Juan Uribe homered, scored the go-ahead run, and drove in three runs, helping Chicago beat visiting Detroit to end a five-game losing streak. Carlos Pena hit a third-inning grand slam for Detroit, which lost for just the third time in 10 games.
Devil Rays 6, Mariners 5 -- Tino Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning to back Rob Bell, and Tampa Bay hung on to beat host Seattle.Bell (6-7) allowed two runs -- only one earned -- and three hits in seven innings. After Danys Baez allowed a two-run single to pinch hitter Bucky Jacobsen and a RBI single to Jose Lopez in the ninth, he threw a called third strike past Willie Bloomquist with a runner on first to end it.