ARLINGTON, Texas – After 3 months of struggles, the New York Yankees moved back into first place.

Kevin Brown struggled in his return to the rotation, but Jorge Posada, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui homered and Ruben Sierra hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning in an 11-10 victory over the Texas Rangers.

New York, which won for the 11th time in 13 games, improved to a season-high nine games over .500 at 50-41.

Cardinals 11, Brewers 4

ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols homered, singled, doubled and scored four times as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-4.

Cubs 9, Reds 4

CINCINNATI – Derrek Lee hit two of Chicago’s five homers off left-hander Brandon Claussen, bringing thousands of blue-clad fans to their feet for “MVP!” chants, and the resurgent Cubs rolled to an 9-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds .

Astros 11, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH – Humberto Quintero’s three-run double in the fourth inning ended Houston’s season-long scoreless streak in Pittsburgh and Brandon Backe limited the Pirates to a run over six innings, leading the Astros to an 11-1 win.

Rockies 5, Nationals 4

WASHINGTON – Washington third baseman Vinny Castilla’s second error of the game allowed the Colorado Rockies to score the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory over the Nationals.

Orioles 3, Twins 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Sammy Sosa homered to move past Mark McGwire on the career list, Rafael Palmeiro had three hits to tie Al Kaline and Miguel Tejada homered in the 11th inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles over the Minnesota Twins 3-2 Monday night.

Sosa’s two-run homer in the seventh off Carlos Silva was his 584th, moving him into sole possession of sixth place, two behind Frank Robinson. Sosa had not homered in 78 at-bats since connecting June 18 off Colorado’s Byung-Hyun Kim.

Palmeiro went 3-for-5 to tie Kaline for 24th place at 3,007.

Tejada also had not homered since June 18, a span of 95 at-bats, before connecting on a 1-2 slider from Juan Rincon (1-2) to break a 2-2 tie. It was Tejada’s 20th home run of the season.

Baltimore’s Erik Bedard, in his first start since May 21, allowed four hits in six shutout innings and struck out seven. Bedard, who went on the disabled list on May 22 with a sprained left knee, was activated before the game.

Minnesota, which has lost eight of 11, trailed 2-0 before rallying.

Luis Rodriguez hit an RBI single off Jason Grimsley in the seventh to make the score 2-1.

Torii Hunter led off the ninth with a double into the corner off closer B.J. Ryan. Bret Boone followed with a bunt single, and Hunter raced around and scored to tie the game after Ryan dropped the throw from Palmeiro at first.

Hunter had a chance to win it against Jorge Julio (3-2) with runners on first and second and two outs in the 10th but struck out for the fourth time.

Silva gave up two runs and eight hits, needing just 85 pitches to get through nine innings.

Notes: The Twins recognized Palmeiro for joining the 3,000-hit club Friday. The fans gave him a standing ovation and Palmeiro obliged with a tip of the cap. … Hunter argued with plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after being called out on strikes in the fourth. Hunter tried to check his swing, but Wendelstedt ruled he went around.

AP-ES-07-18-05 2335EDT


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