ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Hank Blalock hit a two-run homer off Wayne Franklin in the eighth inning, rallying the Texas Rangers past the New York Yankees 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Blalock’s two-out homer off Franklin (0-1) skimmed over the top of the right-center field fence and dropped into the Rangers bullpen.

David Dellucci and Michael Young started the eighth with consecutive singles before Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play. Blalock then hit his 19th homer, the major league-leading 157th for the Rangers.

The Yankees lost for only the third time in 14 games and dropped a half-game behind Boston in the AL East, one day after taking sole possession of first place for the first time since a season-opening victory over the Red Sox.

A night after the Yankees won 11-10 in the opener of the series matching two of the three highest-scoring teams in the major leagues, pitching and defense dominated.

The Yankees didn’t score off Chan Ho Park until the eighth, when Bubba Crosby drew a leadoff walk, moved up on Derek Jeter’s sacrifice bunt and came around on Robinson Cano’s single.

Mike Mussina pitched six shutout innings without getting his 10th win, leaving with the game scoreless after throwing 109 pitches. Park struck out five, but allowed six hits and three walks while hitting two other batters over 109 pitches through 7 1-3 innings.

Kameron Loe (4-2) got two outs in the eighth, and Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 22nd save in 27 chances, getting pinch-hitter Tino Martinez to fly out with two on.

Mussina struck out seven while allowing four singles and three walks in the right-hander’s 29th career start against the Rangers.

Blue Jays 12, Mariners 10

TORONTO – Eric Hinske homered twice and the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 12-10 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Hinske hit a two-run homer off Aaron Sele (6-10) in the third, and his two-run shot off Matt Thornton in the sixth gave Toronto a 12-9 lead after Seattle had gotten within one run in the top of the inning.

Toronto’s first baseman has been booed at home recently and general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he wouldn’t rule out sending him to the minors.

Hinske responded with a season-high four RBIs and the fifth multihomer game of his career. His last was Aug. 15, 2003, at Oakland. He’s hitting .240 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs.

The Blue Jays had 17 hits, one more than Seattle.

Royals 4, Indians 0

CLEVELAND – Zack Greinke pitched seven shutout innings for his second win since the All-Star break and Emil Brown homered off unlucky Cleveland starter Kevin Millwood, sending the Kansas City Royals to a 4-0 victory over the Indians on Tuesday night.

Greinke (3-11) allowed four hits while improving to 2-0 in the season’s unofficial second half after dragging into the break with a 1-11 mark. The right-hander walked none and struck out three.

Ambiorix Burgos worked the eighth and Mike MacDougal the ninth.

Brown hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Millwood (3-9), who again didn’t get any run support from the Indians. Cleveland has been shut out seven times this season, including three times in the past six games.

Tigers 7, White Sox 1

CHICAGO – Omar Infante hit a three-run homer to back Jeremy Bonderman, and the Detroit Tigers beat the White Sox 7-1 Tuesday night to stop Chicago’s five-game winning streak.

Infante’s sixth homer of the season gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the second inning. They scored four more off Jose Contreras with two outs in the sixth on five straight run-scoring hits, four of them doubles.

Bonderman (12-6) held the winningest team in the major leagues to one run and three hits in eight innings. He struck out five and walked two.

Twins 4, Orioles 3

MINNEAPOLIS – Jacque Jones beat out an infield single to drive in the winning run with a ninth-inning single and lift the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

B.J. Ryan blew his fifth save in 26 chances, three of those against the Twins.

Brian Roberts had hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field in the top of the inning to put the Orioles ahead 3-2. Palmeiro had two more hits, raising his career total to 3,009 and moving into sole possession of 24th place, past Al Kaline, on the career list. Tejada had two hits and an RBI and Luis Matos had a sacrifice fly for Baltimore.

Jesse Crain (9-1) moved into the Minnesota lead for victories after giving up the tying run.

The Twins won for just the second time in six games after the All-Star break. They’ve scored just 16 runs in those.

Mauer had two doubles and an RBI for the Twins. Nick Punto also had two hits including the tying single in the sixth but he inexplicably bunted toward first base with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and was easily tagged out.

While Baltimore is thought to be in talks to acquire Florida’s A.J. Burnett in a trade to bolster the rotation, Orioles starters have pitched pretty well out of the break. That includes hard-throwing young righty Daniel Cabrera, who gave up just two hits and two earned runs over eight innings in a 5-3 victory at Seattle last Thursday.

In May, Cabrera stifled the Twins for eight scoreless innings while scattering three hits and striking out a career high 11 during a 3-0 win in Baltimore. This time, he wasn’t quite as effective – but Minnesota’s struggling lineup continued to sputter at the plate.

Jones led off the sixth with a double, though, and Cabrera yielded to Steve Kline with one out. Punto tied the game at 2 with a two-out single, costing Cabrera a chance at his fourth straight victory.

He gave up five hits, two runs and four walks in 5 1-3 innings while striking out seven and throwing 106 pitches.

Twins starter Kyle Lohse didn’t factor in the decision, either, surrendering 10 hits, two runs and one walk in six innings with one strikeout.

Minnesota made it tougher on itself by running into outs. Rookie Luis Rodriguez, batting leadoff for the first time, drew walks his first two times up. He got caught in a rundown between second and third when Stewart hit a one-out fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop in the first.

Then in the third inning, Rodriguez was at third after a one-out double by Mauer – another one of Minnesota’s scarce reliable hitters these days. He broke for home on a fielder’s choice grounder hit by Stewart to third, and Melvin Mora threw him out with a high throw when Rodriguez’s slide underneath catcher Sal Fasano stopped just short of the plate.

Hunter, batting just .200 (10-for-50) this year with runners in scoring position and two outs, struck out on a pitch that bounced in the dirt to end the third and hit a fielder’s choice bouncer to shortstop with men at first and third and two outs in the fifth.

Notes: Hunter stole two bases in the second inning, giving him 21 for the season. His career high is 23. … Cabrera has struck out seven or more in seven of his last 16 starts.

AP-ES-07-19-05 2341EDT


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