NEW YORK – Derek Jeter hit another go-ahead home run and the New York Yankees’ beleaguered bullpen made it hold up, taming Texas 6-5 Friday night and sending the Rangers to their fifth straight loss.

With Mariano Rivera and Tom Gordon held out after a heavy workload, the Yankees relied on a different set of relievers. Felix Rodriguez, Wayne Franklin, Shawn Chacon and Tanyon Sturtze did the job, combining for four scoreless innings.

A night after Jeter hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning that beat Texas 9-8, he connected again.

His 14th home run of the season – an opposite-field shot into the upper deck in right – put the Yankees ahead 6-5 in the fourth, and that was enough.

Blue Jays 12, Orioles 0

BALTIMORE – Josh Towers scattered nine hits in his third career complete game, Gregg Zaun homered and drove in five runs, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 12-0 Friday night.

Corey Koskie, Alex Rios and Shea Hillenbrand also homered for the Blue Jays, who batted around during a four-run first inning and did it again in a six-run sixth.

Toronto has won four straight, tying a season high, and is 16-10 since the All-Star break.

Devil Rays 8, Indians 6

CLEVELAND – Jorge Cantu homered and had three RBIs, Mark Hendrickson survived a miserable start and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays snapped a four-game losing streak with an 8-6 win over the sluggish and sloppy Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

The Indians hardly played like the same team which just went 6-0 during a road trip to Detroit and Kansas City, vaulting them to within 21/2 games of Los Angeles in the AL wild-card chase.

Cubs 4, Cardinals 1

CHICAGO – Carlos Zambrano allowed six hits in six shutout innings and Michael Barrett had two doubles and a homer Friday as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1.

The victory was the Cubs’ second straight over the NL Central leaders following an eight-game losing streak.

D-backs 8, Braves 0

ATLANTA – Tony Clark drove in four runs with his first two-homer game of the season, and Claudio Vargas allowed two hits in seven innings Friday night as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 8-0. Clark hit two-run homers in the first and third innings, giving him 21 – his best mark since hitting 31 for Detroit in 1999.

Giants 1, Marlins 0

MIAMI – Noah Lowry pitched 7 1-3 innings and Randy Winn homered in the sixth to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Florida Marlins 1-0 Friday night.

The Giants won with only five hits off Dontrelle Willis (15-8), who pitched eight innings but failed in his bid to tie for the major league lead in victories. The Oakland, Calif. native fell to 0-3 lifetime against the Giants in five starts with an ERA of 7.83.

Astros 6, Pirates 5

HOUSTON – Morgan Ensberg hit a tying home run in the eighth inning and Adam Everett scored three batters later on Rob Mackowiak’s throwing error, rallying the Houston Astros to a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Dan Wheeler (2-3) allowed one run on one hit in the eighth, and Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 32 chances. After Ensberg homered off Rick White (3-5), Everett singled. Chris Burke then singled to right and Mackowiak threw wild to third base trying to get Everett.

The ball went into the dugout and Everett was awarded home plate.

Pittsburgh rookie Zach Duke made his eighth start of the season since coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis July 1 and remained undefeated (5-0), but he trailed for the second time in his career when the Astros scored two runs in the first inning. The 22-year-old Duke trailed the Dodgers before winning 9-4 last Saturday.

In four innings, Duke gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out two.

Roy Oswalt allowed four runs on 10 hits and two walks in seven innings, and is 0-1 with two no-decisions in his last three starts after winning eight of his previous nine. He has allowed at least nine hits and three runs in each of the last three starts.

Jason Lane was 3-for-5 with three RBI for the Astros, who remained 11/2 games ahead of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race.

Pittsburgh has lost five straight to Houston.

In the first, Craig Biggio doubled in Willy Taveras, and one out later, Lane’s single scored Biggio for the 2-0 lead.

The Pirates closed the lead to a run in the fourth when Brad Eldred hit his third home run of the year.

Lane’s two-run double in the fourth made it 4-1.

Jason Bay drove in Freddy Sanchez with a single to bring the Pirates to 4-2 in the sixth inning.

In the seventh, pinch-hitter Nate McLouth got his first major league hit and RBI with a double to left to drive in Jack Wilson and narrow the Astros lead to 4-3.

Two outs later, Mackowiak drove in McLouth with a single to tie the game at 4.

Jose Castillo homered on the second pitch he saw from reliever Wheeler in the eighth to give the Pirates a 5-4 lead.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.