NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada each homered twice, and the surging New York Yankees routed the Detroit Tigers 12-3 Tuesday night behind Mike Mussina to move three games over .500 for the first time this season.

Robinson Cano hit his first major league homer and Gary Sheffield also connected, showing his sore left hand is healthy enough for him to hit. The Yankees (24-21) finished with a season-high six home runs, four off starter Wilfredo Ledezma, and won for the 13th time in 15 games.

Mussina (5-2) allowed six hits in seven shutout innings, winning his fourth straight decision in a span of five starts. He improved to 16-5 against the Tigers.

Even on a windy, 48-degree night in the Bronx, New York’s hitters warmed up quickly, scoring 10 or more runs for the seventh time this season.

Posada homered from both sides of the plate for the sixth time in his career and drove in four runs. Rodriguez increased his major league-leading total to 16 homers with the 39th multihomer game of his career, the third this season. He also walked, scored three times and knocked in three runs.

Orioles 3, Mariners 2

BALTIMORE – Jay Gibbons homered to break an eighth-inning tie, and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Tuesday night, spoiling the return of former manager Mike Hargrove.

Melvin Mora had three hits and drove in a run for the Orioles, who stranded 13 runners but got the clutch hits they needed late in the game.

After Baltimore pulled even in the seventh inning, Gibbons hit a solo shot to center off J.J. Putz (1-1) to give the Orioles their first lead.

Rangers 4, Royals 3

ARLINGTON, Texas – Richard Hidalgo homered twice to back Ryan Drese, and the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Tuesday night to stretch their winning streak to four.

Drese (4-4), who had lost three of his previous four decisions, allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 15th save in 17 chances, helping the Rangers (25-20) move five games over .500 for the first time this season.

Terrence Long hit a one-out single, took third on Ruben Gotay’s double and scored when second baseman Alfonso Soriano bobbled the relay throw for an error. With Gotay on second, Cordero struck out Angel Berroa, then ended the game by throwing a called third strike past David DeJesus.

Twins 6, Indians 3

CLEVELAND – Justin Morneau dropped in a three-run double just out of center fielder Grady Sizemore’s reach with two outs in the 11th inning, sending the Minnesota Twins to a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

After falling behind 0-2 to Scott Sauerbeck, Morneau hit a soft liner toward the gap in left-center that a diving Sizemore couldn’t snag, clearing the bases to propel the Twins to their fifth win in seven games.

Jesse Crain (4-0) pitched two innings, and Joe Nathan worked the 11th for 13th save in 14 tries.

Devil Rays 5, Athletics 4

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Josh Phelps homered and had three RBIs, and Julio Lugo snapped a seventh inning tie with a run-scoring single to help the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Tuesday night.

Reliever Travis Harper (1-2) bailed the Devil Rays out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of seventh and got two outs in the eighth for the win. Danys Baez pitched the last 1 1-3 innings for his fifth save in eight opportunities.

Phelps went 3-for-4, including an RBI single and two-run homer off Oakland starter Seth Etherton. He also doubled off Kirk Saarloos (1-3) in the sixth.

Saarloos opened the door for the unearned run that put Tampa Bay ahead for good in the seventh.

The pitcher was charged with Oakland’s 12th error in the past seven games when he missed the bag on Alex Gonzalez’s grounder to first baseman Scott Hatteberg.


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