NEW YORK – Bernie Williams hit a pair of two-run homers, helping Randy Johnson win for the first time in a month and leading the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 5-1 Friday night.

Alex Rodriguez also homered, helping the Yankees beat the Royals for the first time this season. New York lost all three games at Kansas City from May 31-June 2 in Buddy Bell’s first series as Royals manager.

Johnson (12-8) allowed four hits and struck out six in eight innings. He had been 0-2 with a 6.49 ERA in four starts since beating Minnesota in the Yankees’ 4-0 victory on July 26.

Williams hit his 11th homer in the sixth, two batters after Rodriguez homered. He added another drive in the eighth for his first multihomer game since Sept. 13, 2003, against Tampa Bay.

Mariano Rivera finished the six-hitter.

Mike Wood (4-5), the winning pitcher last Saturday when Kansas City beat Oakland to snap its 19-game losing streak, allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.

The Royals had followed their skid by winning four of five, but Friday’s loss dropped them to 0-9 at Yankee Stadium since Aug. 6, 2002.

Devil Rays 12, Angels 8

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Jorge Cantu, Travis Lee and Jonny Gomes all homered in a nine-run fourth inning, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays went on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 12-8 on Friday night.

Cantu also had a first-inning RBI double and a two-run double in the seventh to finish with a career-high five RBIs. He has a team-leading 21 homers and 88 RBIs.

Lee’s homer was the 100th of his career. Gomes’ homer was his 18th, coming on his 230th at-bat this season.

Casey Fossum (8-10) won his second straight start despite allowing seven runs and nine hits over five innings.

Athletics 4, Orioles 1

BALTIMORE – Joe Blanton allowed four hits over six shutout innings and Bobby Crosby hit a two-run homer, leading the Oakland Athletics past the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Friday night.

Eric Chavez drove in a run and scored one for the Athletics, who have won three straight after losing seven of eight. Oakland is 15-3 in its last 18 road games.

Blanton (8-9) struck out six and walked three in winning his third straight decision.

The rookie is 3-0 with an 0.95 ERA in five starts in August.

Rangers 6, Twins 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – David Dellucci and Alfonso Soriano homered in a four-run third inning, and rookie Kameron Loe pitched five shutout innings in his second major league start as the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-0 on Friday night.

Loe (6-4) was making his first start of the season after 40 relief appearances, and he allowed five hits and struck out five without a walk.

Rookie C.J. Wilson allowed one hit over the final four innings for his first career save to help the Rangers to their fifth shutout of the season.

Michael Young also homered for the Rangers, who have won three of four at home following a 1-12 road trip, while Mark DeRosa went 3-for-4.

Nationals 4, Cardinals 1

WASHINGTON – Esteban Loaiza carried a shutout into the seventh inning, Brad Wilkerson hit a leadoff homer and the Washington Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Friday night.

Washington won its 67th game of the season, matching the Montreal Expos’ total from 2004.

The Nationals, who had lost six of nine games, trailed Philadelphia by 21/2 games in the NL wild-card race entering Friday’s games.

Loaiza (9-9) allowed one run and three hits over seven-plus innings, walked four and struck out seven.

He won for the third time in four starts. At one point, he fanned five straight hitters and six of seven.

Reds 6, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH – Ken Griffey Jr. hit two homers, giving him three in two games, and winning pitcher Aaron Harang ended the longest hitless streak by a major leaguer in 14 years with an RBI single, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a soggy 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Griffey, enjoying being healthy so late in a season for the first time in five years, hit a solo drive in the third and a two-run shot in the seventh for his 31st and 32nd homers.

Adam Dunn added a two-run shot, his 35th, in the Reds’ three-run third as Pirates pitchers gave up two or more homers for the third consecutive game.

But the hit the Reds celebrated most, bringing players out of their dugout yelling and gesturing, was Harang’s single up the middle in the second that ended an 0-for-49 streak.

The streak was the longest by any major league batter since Padres pitcher Andy Benes went 0-for-50 in 1991 and the longest by a Reds player since pitcher Jack Billingham went 0-for-67 in 1973.

Brewers 3, Braves 1

MILWAUKEE – Ben Sheets strained his right shoulder and left the game in the eighth inning of the Milwaukee Brewers’ 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Chipper Jones was batting with two outs in the eighth and behind in the count 0-2 when Sheets bounced a pitch behind the batter.

Sheets came off the mound in obvious pain, holding his right shoulder as Brewers manager Ned Yost and trainer Roger Caplinger rushed to his aid.

Sheets (10-9), who was replaced by Kane Davis, struck out eight, allowed five hits and left with a 3-0 lead.

Andruw Jones hit an RBI single off Davis before Dana Eveland retired pinch-hitter Julio Franco on an inning-ending groundout.

Derrick Turnbow struck out three in the ninth while allowing two hits for his 29th save.

Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer for Milwaukee, which on Turn Back the Clock Night wore retro uniforms of the Milwaukee Braves, who moved to Atlanta in 1966.


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