California dream for Yankees
Bombers finally claim series win in Anaheim
A.J. Burnett struck out 11 in just his second win since July, and the New York Yankees won a series at Anaheim, Calif., for the first time since May 2004 with a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles yesterday.
The Yankees, eliminated by the Angels in the first round of the playoffs in 2002 and 2005, lost 18 of their last 23 games in Anaheim before winning back-to-back games in less than 24 hours.
Tuesday night, New York became the first major league team to clinch a playoff berth.
Robinson Cano hit a two-run single, and Melky Cabrera an RBI double in the fourth. Ian Kennedy walked two batters and hit another in the eighth before escaping the jam in his first major league appearance since surgery to remove an aneurysm below his right biceps.
Gary Matthews Jr. and Bobby Abreu drove in runs for the Angels, who didn’t help their faint hopes of catching New York for the majors’ best record. Los Angeles dropped 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees with three losses to New York in the last 10 days, including a makeup game at Yankee Stadium last week.
Mariano Rivera gave up a leadoff single to Abreu but finished the ninth for his 42d save in 44 chances, moving two behind the Angels’ Brian Fuentes for the major league lead.
Burnett (12-9) didn’t make it out of the sixth inning, allowing seven hits and three walks, but his strikeout total was one shy of his season high. Gearing for a start in Game 2 of the playoffs, he is 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 starts since the beginning of August.
Rangers 9, Athletics 8 - Hank Blalock homered and drove in four runs to lead visiting Texas.
David Murphy and Marlon Byrd each added a pair of RBIs as the Rangers won for the third time in 10 games. Texas trails the Red Sox by seven games for the AL wild card and are 6 1/2 behind the Angels in the AL West.
Tigers 11, Indians 3 - Carlos Guillen hit two of visiting Detroit’s three home runs to help Rick Porcello hand Cleveland its season-high 10th straight loss.
Porcello (14-9) allowed one run and six hits over five innings as the Tigers won their third straight. Detroit remained 2 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central. The Twins open a four-game series in Detroit Monday.
Twins 8, White Sox 6 - Brian Duensing won his fifth straight decision and Minnesota stayed on the heels of Detroit with its ninth victory in the last 10 games.
Duensing (5-1) entered the game with a 13 1/3-innings scoreless streak spanning his two previous outings. He allowed a run in the fourth on Carlos Quentin’s two-out RBI single that cut Minnesota’s lead to 5-1.
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 2 - Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer and San Francisco’s bullpen backed Jonathan Sanchez (7-12) with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief as the visiting Giants gained a game in the NL wild-card race.
San Francisco remained in a tie with Atlanta, four games behind wild-card leader Colorado with 10 games to play.
Blue Jays 7, Orioles 3 - Travis Snider homered and had two RBIs, Scott Richmond won for the first time since June 24, and host Toronto completed a three-game sweep. Baltimore lost its season-high seventh straight.
Rays 5, Mariners 4 - B.J. Upton had three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth, to help host Tampa Bay beat Seattle.
Astros 3, Cardinals 0 - Houston’s 24-year-old rookie Bud Norris shut out the visiting Cardinals for the second time and St. Louis missed a chance to capture the NL Central.
The magic number for St. Louis dropped to one when the Cubs lost in Milwaukee. But Norris (6-3) pitched six shutout innings and Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth for his 28th save.
John Smoltz (1-2) gave up two runs on five hits for the Cardinals.
Brewers 3, Cubs 2 - Prince Fielder hit his 42d homer to give him a majors-best 131 RBIs and rookie Chris Narveson struck out 10 for his first win as a starter, helping host Milwaukee.
Braves 5, Mets 2 - Tim Hudson (2-1) pitched six effective innings for his second win since major elbow surgery and Atlanta completed a three-game sweep at Citi Field.
Padres 6, Rockies 3 - Will Venable homered and tied a career high by driving in four runs as San Diego snapped Colorado’s eight-game home winning streak.
Nationals 5, Dodgers 4 - Andre Ethier booted pinch hitter Pete Orr’s fly to right field in the ninth inning, allowing Justin Maxwell to score, and host Washington averted its 100th loss of the season.
Marlins 7, Phillies 6 - Pinch hitter Brett Carroll capped a two-run rally against closer Brad Lidge in the ninth with an RBI single, lifting Florida in Miami.
Reds 12, Pirates 2 - Joey Votto went 4 for 5 and scored three runs and Homer Bailey allowed two runs in six innings as Cincinnati won at PNC Park.