OAKLAND, Calif. – Aaron Small replaced injured Mike Mussina and pitched his first career shutout, and Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer to help the New York Yankees move back into a tie for the AL wild-card lead with a 7-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Hideki Matsui drove in New York’s first two runs without a hit and Alex Rodriguez added a two-run single in a six-run seventh inning.

New York and Oakland (76-59) are tied atop the wild-card standings, with Cleveland (75-59) and AL West-leading Los Angeles (76-58) playing later Saturday.

Small’s five-hitter followed a 12-0 loss in the series opener and yet another team meeting called before the game by New York manager Joe Torre.

The Yankees began the day 31/2 games behind Boston in the AL East, providing a sense or urgency for the final four weeks, but Torre insisted after the meeting that “my team is fine.”

Devil Rays 3, Blue Jays 2

TORONTO – Travis Lee hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning that led the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Saturday and stopped a five-game losing streak.

Jorge Cantu singled off Josh Towers leading off the ninth. Scott Schoeneweis relieved and got Aubrey Huff to ground out, and Miguel Batista (5-6) came in and retired Jonny Gomes on a flyout.

Lee fell behind in the count 0-2, then homered to right to overcome a 2-1 deficit.

Seth McClung (6-8) allowed just two runs and two hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked three.

Cubs 9, Pirates 5

PITTSBURGH – Carlos Zambrano the hitter was nearly as difficult for the Pittsburgh Pirates to handle as Zambrano the pitcher.

Zambrano beat Pittsburgh for the seventh consecutive time over two seasons, helping himself and the Chicago Cubs with two hits in a 9-5 victory Saturday.

Zambrano (12-5) went 5-0 against the Pirates last season – the first pitcher to beat them five times in season since Tom Seaver in 1973 – and is 2-0 in three starts against them this year. He gave up Craig Wilson’s RBI single in the first, then allowed only more two hits until he gave up three runs in the eighth.

Pitching 7 2-3 innings, Zambrano won his fourth in a row overall and his fifth in six decisions, though he failed for the first time in 13 starts to allow three or fewer runs. He gave up five runs and five hits, striking out nine and walking four.

Twins 3, Indians 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Aaron Boone and Bobby Howry made throwing errors in the ninth inning, giving the Minnesota Twins a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.

Coco Crisp’s sacrifice fly tied the score in the top of the ninth following a leadoff double by Casey Blake off Joe Nathan (7-3), but the Twins won it in the bottom half.

Juan Castro led off the bottom of the inning with a bunt single to third off Howry (6-3) and advanced to second when Boone’s throw sailed past first baseman Jose Hernandez.

Nick Punto followed with another bunt down the third-base line. Howry picked it up, but his throw to first also was off the mark, allowing Castro to come home with the winning run.

Rangers 5, Royals 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Juan Dominguez took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning Saturday night in his fifth start of the season, leading the Texas Rangers over the Kansas City Royals 5-3.

Emil Brown singled to center leading off the seventh, and Dominguez (3-3) wound up allowing one run, two hits and four walks in 7 1-3 innings. He left after Aaron Guiel’s double in the eighth. Dominguez, a 25-year-old right-hander, is 3-1 since joining the Texas rotation on Aug. 13.

Adrian Gonzalez and David Dellucci homered for the Rangers, who lead the majors with 224. Michael Young, who started the day leading the AL in batting average, went 1-for-5 and dropped one point to .325.

Kansas City’s D.J. Carrasco (5-8) gave up five runs on 10 hits and three walks in seven innings He is Carrasco is 0-4 in six starts since July 24.

Cardinals 4, Astros 2

HOUSTON – Chris Carpenter became baseball’s first 20-game winner this season, and the St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of Roger Clemens’ injury to beat the Houston Astros 4-2 Saturday night.

Clemens came out after five innings because of a strained left hamstring, leaving him without a decision in a marquee matchup of NL Cy Young Award candidates.

Carpenter (20-4) won his 12th straight decision over 15 starts, pitching his major league-leading seventh complete game.

The right-hander allowed eight hits, including four for extra bases, in his 20th career complete game. It was his fourth victory this season over Houston, which has managed just three runs off him in 33 innings. He struck out eight, walked two and threw 120 pitches.

Marlins 5, Mets 4

MIAMI – Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run double with two outs in the seventh inning Saturday night to cap a comeback by the Florida Marlins, who beat the New York Mets 5-4 to give manager Jack McKeon his 1,000th major league win.

With two runners on in the ninth, Todd Jones retired Carlos Beltran on an easy grounder to end it.

Florida overcame a shaky showing by Josh Beckett, who needed 98 pitches to get through five innings before departing for a pinch-hitter.

Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer for the Marlins, his 27th. Cliff Floyd hit a two-run homer, his first since Aug. 16 and his 28th this year, but barely missed catching Cabrera’s liner.

Padres 6, Brewers 1

MILWAUKEE – Woody Williams pitched six solid innings to win for the second time in 10 starts, and the San Diego Padres beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 Saturday night.

Williams (7-11) pitched out of trouble early as Milwaukee went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings. But the right-hander retired 11 of his final 12 batters to snap his three-game skid. Williams was 1-6 with a 6.44 ERA in his previous nine starts.

Milwaukee starter Wes Obermueller (1-3), recalled from Triple-A Nashville to replace Ben Sheets in the rotation, gave up five runs, six hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings. It was the right-hander’s first start since June 5 and first appearance since June 18. Williams gave up one run and five hits while striking out four.

Braves 9, Reds 3

ATLANTA – Jeff Francoeur’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run third inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-3 Saturday night to move 20 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones each drove in a run in the third for Atlanta (78-58), which has won three straight and four of five. Rafael Furcal added a two-run single and Marcus Giles a two-run double in the sixth. Jorge Sosa (10-3) labored through five innings, allowing four hits and three runs – two earned – to win for the second time in three starts.

The right-hander made his 15th start this year.

Rockies 11, Dodgers 1

DENVER – Byung-Hyun Kim won back-to-back starts for only the second time in his major league career, and Brad Hawpe hit a three-run homer in a five-run fifth inning to lead the Colorado Rockies over the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-1 Saturday night.

Coming off a 2-1 win at San Francisco, Kim (5-10) allowed one run and five hits in six innings. The only other time he won consecutive starts was in his 2003 finale and 2004 opener, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He has allowed two earned runs in his last three starts. Hawpe, activated Friday after a stint on the disabled list caused by a strained left hamstring, had a career-high four RBIs. Garrett Atkins had three hits, including a home run.

Nationals 5, Phillies 4

WASHINGTON – Preston Wilson’s one-out RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning off Aquilino Lopez gave the Washington Nationals a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.

Jose Guillen walked with one out, advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored on Wilson’s blooper to right on a 2-1 pitch from Lopez (0-1). Wilson ran to first with a fist raised, and he and Guillen were mobbed by teammates in the infield. The hit made a winner of Hector Carrasco (4-3), who threw a perfect 12th, although Bobby Abreu hit a drive to center field that Wilson caught with his back against the wall.

Before Carrasco, Nationals reliever Gary Majewski threw two innings and got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the 11th.


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.