After Bobby Abreu's patience paid off in his Yankees debut, Bernie Williams came through with the big hit that put New York back into first place for the first time since June.
Abreu worked a nine-pitch walk that loaded the bases in the fourth inning, and Williams followed with a tiebreaking, three-run double that led the Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-1, last night in New York.
With their sixth win in seven games, the Yankees (62-41) moved into the AL East lead for the first time since before play on June 18, leading the Red Sox (63-42) in percentage by .602 to .600.
Abreu, acquired from Philadelphia Sunday, batted fifth, started in right field, and went 0 for 3.
Angels 3, Athletics 2 -- Maicer Izturis scored the go-ahead run on an infield hit by Orlando Cabrera and host Los Angeles capitalized on two errors to beat Oakland, pulling within a half-game of the Athletics in the AL West.
Joe Saunders (2-0) made a spot start for injury-plagued Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, allowing two runs and five hits over seven innings for the Angels.
Astros 1, Padres 0 -- Andy Pettitte outpitched Jake Peavy in his first game in San Diego since the 1998 World Series, and Morgan Ensberg returned from the disabled list to help spark Houston.
Pettitte (10-11) held San Diego to five hits in six innings, struck out eight and escaped two jams. Peavy (5-11) lost for the sixth time in seven decisions, although he allowed only one run and six hits in seven innings.
Tigers 10, Devil Rays 4 -- Carlos Guillen hit for the cycle and rookie Justin Verlander (14-4) won his seventh consecutive decision to become the major leagues' first 14-game winner, leading Detroit over Tampa Bay at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Guillen had an RBI triple in the second, a solo homer in the third, a single in the sixth, and a double in the eighth.
Marlins 6, Mets 5 -- Pinch hitter Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer off Billy Wagner with one out in the ninth inning to rally host Florida.
Miguel Olivo singled on the first pitch to start the ninth and reached second on a sacrifice. Willingham pulled the first pitch over the scoreboard for his 16th homer and his first pinch hit of the season, snapping New York's four-game winning streak.
Braves 4, Pirates 2 -- John Smoltz (9-5) won his fifth straight decision, Adam LaRoche homered twice, and visiting Atlanta broke a four-game losing streak and ended Pittsburgh's five-game winning streak.
Orioles 2, Mariners 0 -- Rodrigo Lopez (8-11) took a three-hitter into the eighth inning, Melvin Mora and Nick Markakis each had an RBI, and Baltimore beat Jamie Moyer (6-10) and visiting Seattle.
White Sox 7, Royals 5 -- Joe Crede went 4 for 5 with a homer and singled in the go-ahead run in a three-run 10th inning, lifting Chicago at Kansas City, Mo.
Nationals 4, Giants 1 -- Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run double and Livan Hernandez won his fourth straight decision as Washington sent host San Francisco to its ninth straight loss.
Dodgers 10, Reds 4 -- Rafael Furcal drove in four runs and Wilson Betemit added a two-run homer as visiting Los Angeles extended its winning streak to four games. Aaron Sele (7-4) allowed eight hits and four runs over six innings for his first win in three starts since July 9.
Rangers 9, Twins 0 -- Gary Matthews Jr. hit his second grand slam this season to highlight an eight-run fourth inning and Adam Eaton (1-1) pitched six solid innings as Texas stopped host Minnesota.
Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 3 -- Milton's Rich Hill (1-4) pitched eight solid innings for his first major league win and Aramis Ramirez hit one of Chicago's four homers in a rout of visiting Arizona.
Phillies 5, Cardinals 3 -- Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 33 games when he singled in the first and Ryan Howard homered and had three RBIs, helping Philadelphia beat host St. Louis.
Brewers 1, Rockies 0 -- David Bush (7-8) allowed five singles over six innings and Damian Miller broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the seventh inning and Milwaukee beat Colorado in Denver.