Yankees' hole getting deeper
Dismal trip ends with loss to Twins
The Yankees left New York last week for a 10-game road trip, clearly aware their streak of 13 straight playoff appearances was in jeopardy.
After going 3-7, they're stumbling back to the Bronx in even worse shape.
"It's pretty late for us," said Johnny Damon, who went 0 for 4 with a pair of popups in yesterday's 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.
Delmon Young hit a three-run homer for the second straight day for the Twins. Meanwhile, the Yankees were sloppy in the field, outpitched and outhit - problems that kept cropping up in their swing through Texas, Anaheim, and the Metrodome.
"We have to play better. I know we played some pretty good teams, but we're going to have to beat the good teams if we're going to be able to get to the playoffs," Damon said.
Kevin Slowey (9-8) worked the corners of the strike zone over six innings for Minnesota, surrendering three hits, one run, and one walk against a lineup missing Derek Jeter (bruised instep). Joe Nathan sealed the victory in the ninth with his 32d save, and the Yankees went 17 for 80 with runners in scoring position on the trip.
While praising Slowey, Damon gave the perfect summary of his team's struggles during this injury-filled, inconsistent season. "It seemed like he had an easy time with us, and nobody should have an easy time with us," Damon said.
The Twins and their overworked bullpen, threatening to negatively affect their own pennant chase, held on. After a run scored on a wild pitch by Dennys Reyes in the eighth, Jesse Crain came in and retired Alex Rodriguez on a flyout with men on first and third.
Rays 3, Athletics 2 - Eric Hinske had three hits, including a home run, and Ben Zobrist doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as Tampa Bay won in Oakland.
Carlos Peña hit a home run for the first-place Rays, who have won four of five and 10 of 14.
Dodgers 7, Phillies 6 - Nomar Garciaparra hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the ninth, lifting Los Angeles to a come-from-behind victory over Philadelphia and into a first-place tie with Arizona in the NL West.
Garciaparra lined a 2-and-1 pitch from Clay Condrey (3-3) just over the fence in left field for his sixth homer and first since July 26. Garciaparra was playing his second game since coming off the disabled list.
Manny Ramírez and Andre Ethier also homered for the Dodgers, as their relievers held the Phillies to one hit and no runs over the final six innings.
Cubs sweep Braves, 10-2, 8-0 - Rich Harden pitched five sharp innings, Kosuke Fukodome drove in two runs with two hits, and Chicago beat Atlanta to complete its first sweep of a road doubleheader since 1992.
Geovany Soto and Jim Edmonds homered and Jason Marquis defeated his old team as the Cubs routed the Braves in the first game.
Harden (2-1) set a season high with five walks but allowed only two hits and struck out two as the Cubs pushed their road winning streak to seven, their longest since June 12-22, 2004.
Marquis (8-7) gave up two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings for his first win against the Braves, his first major league team.
White Sox 4, Royals 0 - Ken Griffey Jr. hit an RBI single in the first inning then made a diving catch in the second, and Mark Buehrle (10-10) pitched five-hit ball for seven innings to spark host Chicago.
Cardinals 6, Marlins 4 - Troy Glaus went 4 for 4 and Jason LaRue hit a go-ahead double in the seventh, leading Braden Looper (11-9) and St. Louis past host Florida.
Astros 6, Giants 2 - Mark Loretta walked and was hit by a pitch during a six-run sixth inning, and host Houston rolled to its season-high seventh straight victory. In the sixth, the Giants tied a major league record by hitting three batters, and also issued four walks.
Orioles 6, Indians 1 - Jeremy Guthrie went seven innings to win his fourth straight start, and Baltimore snapped host Cleveland's five-game winning streak.
Pirates 5, Reds 2 - Paul Maholm (8-7) pitched eight innings and former Red Sox Brandon Moss homered and doubled to spark host Pittsburgh.
Mets 12, Nationals 0 - Daniel Murphy homered and drove in three runs to help John Maine (10-7) and New York rout host Washington.
Brewers 7, Padres 1 - In San Diego, CC Sabathia pitched seven solid innings to remain perfect with Milwaukee, which extended its winning streak to eight games.
Sabathia (7-0), allowed one run and nine hits and lowered his ERA with Milwaukee to 1.55. He struck out eight and walked one.
Mariners 10, Angels 7 - After striking out four times, Wladimir Balentien hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 12th inning as Seattle won in Los Angeles.
Blue Jays 4, Tigers 3 - Vernon Wells hit a grand slam and David Purcey pitched six shutout innings as visiting Toronto won its third straight game.
Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 5 - Brad Hawpe hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth to help host Colorado snap a three-game losing streak.