American League roundup


MINNEAPOLIS – Joe Mauer singled home the winning run in the ninth inning after Justin Morneau hit a tying homer in the eighth, and the Minnesota Twins completed a four-game sweep of the slumping Oakland Athletics with a 4-3 victory Sunday.

Eric Chavez homered for the A’s, who have lost seven in a row – their longest skid since also dropping seven straight in late May last season. They have scored three runs or fewer in 10 straight games, matching a team record set in September 1978.

Luis Castillo led off the ninth with a triple against Joe Kennedy (2-8) and trotted home on Mauer’s third hit of the game, which bounced through a drawn-in infield.

Dan Haren started for the A’s, his first outing since starting the All-Star game last Tuesday for the AL. He gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.

Pat Neshek (4-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Tigers 11, Mariners 7

SEATTLE – Justin Verlander earned his 11th win and Marcus Thames hit a three-run homer off Jeff Weaver, helping Detroit gain a four-game split in an entertaining series between surging teams.

Verlander (11-3) allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings, reaching 100 mph with his overpowering fastball. He struck out six, walked one and won for the sixth time in seven starts.

Thames finished with three hits and four RBIs. Magglio Ordonez and Omar Infante also homered for the Tigers, and Gary Sheffield stole home on a pickoff throw to first.

Seattle got a major scare in the fifth when All-Star center fielder Ichiro Suzuki was hit around his right thigh by Verlander’s 96 mph fastball. He was lifted moments later after slowly advancing to second on a wild pitch. The team said the ball hit Suzuki in the muscle just above the knee and he has a bruised right thigh.

Weaver (2-7), who beat Detroit to clinch the World Series title for St. Louis last year, gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings. He was 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his previous six starts.

Yankees 7, Devil Rays 6

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Derek Jeter hit a two-run homer, Andy Phillips snapped an eighth-inning tie with an RBI single and New York rallied past Tampa Bay to climb above .500 for the first time in more than three weeks.

Phillips also made a diving catch at first base with a runner on second in the eighth, starting an inning-ending double play that preserved a one-run lead. Mariano Rivera wriggled out of a two-on, none-out jam in the ninth for his 13th save.

Jeter homered off starter Edwin Jackson to finish a four-run fifth that erased a 3-0 deficit. Phillips had an RBI triple in the inning and put the Yankees ahead for good with his eighth-inning single off Gary Glover.

After falling behind 5-4 on Carlos Pena’s two-run homer off Ron Villone in the seventh, New York (45-44) moved above .500 for the first time since June 22.

Robinson Cano made it 5-all in the eighth with a sacrifice fly off Casey Fossum (5-8), and Jeter put the Yankees up 7-5 with an RBI infield single later in the inning.

Luis Vizcaino (5-2) retired the only batter he faced and got the win.

Indians 5, Royals 3

CLEVELAND – Travis Hafner had three hits, including a long two-run homer, to help Fausto Carmona and Cleveland defeat Kansas City.

Carmona (11-4) improved to 8-0 with a 1.98 ERA in nine daytime starts. The right-hander allowed two runs over seven innings to win his third straight start as the Indians improved baseball’s best home record to 33-13 with their seventh victory in eight games at Jacobs Field.

Ryan Garko also connected for Cleveland, and Joe Borowski earned his 26th save in 29 chances.

Hafner’s 15th homer after a walk to Victor Martinez made it 2-0 in the first inning against Jorge De La Rosa (7-10). It was the first homer by Cleveland’s DH since he agreed to a four-year, $57 million contract extension on Thursday.

De La Rosa left in the fourth with a bruised left thumb. He had won his previous three starts by a combined score of 30-7.

Rangers 5, Angels 4, 11 innings

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Mark Teixeira homered leading off the 11th inning and had an RBI double in the eighth, leading Texas to a victory over Los Angeles.

Angels starter Jered Weaver allowed a pair of unearned runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out six and retired his last 11 batters. But the Rangers tied the score 4-all in the eighth against Scot Shields with two-out RBI doubles by Teixeira and Marlon Byrd, snapping Shields’ scoreless streak at 24 2-3 innings.

Justin Speier (0-1) came on in the 11th and allowed Teixeira’s 13th homer on a 3-2 pitch – less than 24 hours after striking out the side in his first game off the disabled list.

C.J. Wilson (1-1) got one out for the win and Eric Gagne earned his 13th save in 14 attempts.

Chone Figgins was 3-for-4 with a pair of tiebreaking RBI singles. He also stole three bases to break the Angels’ record for career steals.

Orioles 5, White Sox 3

BALTIMORE – Brian Roberts and Corey Patterson homered, Garrett Olson earned his first major league win and Baltimore handed Chicago’s Jose Contreras his AL-high 11th loss.

Aubrey Huff had two RBIs for the Orioles, who won the final three games of the series after dropping the opener. Baltimore went 5-3 against Chicago this year, its first series win over the White Sox since 1999.

The Orioles have their first three-game winning streak under interim manager Dave Trembley, who is 12-10 since taking over for Sam Perlozzo.

Jermaine Dye homered twice for Chicago.

Olson (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits in five-plus innings. It was his second big league start since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk to replace injured Steve Trachsel in the rotation.

Chris Ray worked the ninth for his 16th save.

Contreras (5-11) gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings. The five-year veteran has lost four straight decisions for the first time in his career, and is 1-7 with a 6.92 ERA in his last nine starts.