KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Angel Berroa hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, matching his career high, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 17-8 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

The victory was only the sixth in 34 games for the Royals, who own the worst record (44-91) in the majors. Kansas City had 18 hits in its highest-scoring game of the season.

Berroa homered in the second with Matt Stairs and Mark Teahen aboard. It was Berroa’s first extra-base hit in 23 games, a span of 82 at-bats.

Berroa added a two-run single in the sixth. He also had five RBIs on Aug. 9, 2004, at Detroit.

Aaron Guiel had three hits, including his first home run since Aug. 23, 2004, and scored three runs.

Emil Brown drove in a career-high four runs with a two-run homer in the eighth and a two-double in the third.

The Royals batted around in a five-run third and chased Rangers right-hander Edison Volquez, who was making his second big league start.

Devil Rays 1, Blue Jays 0

TORONTO – Scott Kazmir and two relievers combined on a four-hitter, leading the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Sunday.

Toby Hall drove in the lone run with a sacrifice fly in the second. Tampa Bay has won two straight after losing five in a row.

Kazmir (8-9) allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked one in seven innings. He escaped a jam in the first, when he put the first two runners on.

Twins 7, Indians 5

MINNEAPOLIS – Shannon Stewart drove in the go-ahead run with a sixth-inning single and Mike Redmond delivered a three-run double in the seventh, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Redmond’s hit off the glove of right fielder Casey Blake broke open a game that included four lead changes through the first six innings, the last coming when Stewart’s single to right-center scored two runs and put Minnesota ahead 4-3.

The Twins won the final two games of the three-game series between AL Central rivals. Cleveland began the day one game behind the wild-card leaders, while Minnesota was five back.

Angels 5, Mariners 3

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer and Bartolo Colon earned his AL-leading 18th win despite leaving with a back injury in the sixth inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-3 victory Sunday over the Seattle Mariners.

Casey Kotchman hit a three-run homer, a double and a single for the Angels, who began the day tied with Oakland atop the AL West.

White Sox 2, Tigers 0

CHICAGO – Jon Garland got his 17th win on his fifth try and Paul Konerko homered Sunday, sending the Chicago White Sox to a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers and a sweep of their four-game series.

After losing three straight decisions, Garland (17-8) allowed four hits in his third complete game of the season – all shutouts. Winning for the first time since Aug. 7, the right-hander tied Angels ace Bartolo Colon, who was scheduled to pitch later Sunday, for the AL lead in victories.

Cardinals 4, Astros 1

HOUSTON – Jason Marquis pitched his second straight complete game and Jim Edmonds hit the go-ahead two-run double in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-1 victory over Houston on Sunday that kept the Astros from taking over the NL wild-card lead.

Marquis (11-13) had lost seven straight starts before a two-hit shutout in his last appearance, Aug. 27 at Washington. The right-hander limited Houston to five hits with five strikeouts and no walks in his third career complete game – all this season.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0

PITTSBURGH – Nomar Garciaparra homered, Jerome Williams pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Williams (5-7), who had lost four of five decisions and got only five outs in his previous start against the Dodgers, walked two and struck out five in 7 1-3 innings.

Ryan Dempster fanned all three batters in the ninth for his 22nd save, finishing the four-hitter.

Rockies 7, Dodgers 6

DENVER – Brad Hawpe drove in the winning run with a single with one out in the 10th inning as the Colorado Rockies completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 7-6 victory Sunday.

Cory Sullivan had four hits, including a leadoff double in the 10th.

Matt Holliday drove in two runs with his 15th home run, and Omar Quintanilla doubled and had two RBIs.

Scott Dohman (2-1) worked a scoreless 10th inning for the win.

Sullivan led off the 10th with a double into the right-field corner off Duaner Sanchez (4-5). Todd Helton was intentionally walked and Sanchez struck out Holliday before Hawpe drove a 3-2 pitch to the wall in center to score Sullivan.

Mets 7, Marlins 1

MIAMI – Jae Seo pitched seven strong innings, Cliff Floyd hit a two-run homer and the New York Mets salvaged the finale of their three-game series against the Florida Marlins with a 7-1 victory Sunday.

Seo (7-1) limited Florida to one run and five hits. He improved to 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 6.

A.J. Burnett (12-9) consistently threw 96 or 97 mph and still lost his third consecutive start. He struck out nine but allowed seven hits and five runs and departed trailing 5-1.

Brewers 3, Padres 2

MILWAUKEE – Brady Clark’s suicide squeeze scored Corey Hart from third with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Milwaukee Brewers a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Wes Helms singled to lead off against Akinori Otsuka (1-6). Hart ran for Helms and stole second, and then moved to third on Chad Moeller’s sacrifice.

After pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks walked, Clark bunted the second pitch and Otsuka attempted a late flip to catcher Miguel Olivo but Hart scored standing.

Nationals 6, Phillies 1

WASHINGTON – Esteban Loaiza struck out 11 and took a shutout into the eighth inning on short rest, and Preston Wilson and Brian Schneider each hit a three-run homer to lead the Washington Nationals past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 Sunday.

Loaiza (10-10) gave up a run, four hits and four walks, and matched his career high for strikeouts. When he got Pat Burrell looking at a 92 mph fastball to end the eighth with his 128th and final pitch, Loaiza bent over and pumped his right fist twice.

The Phillies had their chances before Jason Michaels’ RBI single in the eighth, but they left two runners on in the first, second and sixth innings.

Reds 8, Braves 3

ATLANTA – Jason LaRue’s pinch-hit grand slam capped a five-run 12th inning, and Ken Griffey Jr. connected before getting injured to help the Cincinnati Reds end a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory Sunday over the Atlanta Braves.

Austin Kearns hit an RBI double in the 12th off Dan Kolb (3-7) to give Cincinnati a 4-3 lead.

Griffey hit his 536th homer, tying Mickey Mantle for 12th on the career list.

Yankees 7, Athletics 3

OAKLAND, Calif. – Derek Jeter homered on the first pitch of the game, Mark Bellhorn also connected and Hideki Matsui added an RBI triple, and the New York Yankees took an important series from the Oakland Athletics with a 7-3 victory Sunday night.

Shawn Chacon pitched 6 2-3 effective innings to win for the fourth time in five starts, staked to an early lead thanks to New York’s suddenly potent offense.

Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada each hit RBI singles in the third as the Yankees built a quick 4-1 lead against Barry Zito, then New York added two more in the fourth on three straight hits – a leadoff double by Jeter, Matsui’s triple and an RBI single by Gary Sheffield.

The Yankees moved one game ahead of Oakland in the AL wild-card race and the A’s fell a game behind the first-place Los Angeles Angels in the AL West after all three teams entered play Sunday with identical 76-59 records.

The Angels beat Seattle 5-3.

New York has an off day Monday before playing three at Yankee Stadium against lowly Tampa Bay, then a weekend series at home against the archrival Boston Red Sox.

Chacon (4-2) gave the Yankees another solid pitching effort a day after Aaron Small started in place of the injured Mike Mussina and surprised everyone by pitching his first career shutout. Chacon, who had his three-game winning streak snapped last Tuesday at Seattle, allowed two runs and five hits, struck out three and walked three.

The A’s won the opener Friday 12-0, then New York bounced back with a 7-0 victory Saturday.

Zito’s pitch count went up in a hurry and he was knocked out after 3 1-3 innings to match his shortest outing of the year, which he also did April 9 at Tampa Bay. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits, struck out three and walked three before giving way to Keiichi Yabu.

The left-handed Zito (12-11) was 9-2 with a 2.17 ERA over his previous 14 starts, including an impressive nine-inning effort in the A’s 2-1, 11-inning win over the Angels last Tuesday.

Jeter hit his 15th homer of the year, third leadoff homer of the season and 15th of his career. Bellhorn, earning the start as manager Joe Torre tries to give his bench some necessary at-bats before the stretch run, hit a solo homer with two outs in the second for his eighth of the year.

Marco Scutaro hit his sixth homer with two outs in the fifth, and Jay Payton and Scott Hatteberg each had two hits for the A’s, who lost for the fourth time in five games following a seven-game winning streak.

Zito is 2-7 in 13 career starts against the Yankees, his worst winning percentage against any team he’s faced at least twice. Zito allowed three runs and six hits over 7 1-3 innings in the A’s 6-3, 10-inning win at Yankee Stadium on May 6, but did not receive a decision.

Oakland’s Jason Kendall, who had his seven-game hitting streak snapped, came in batting .556 against Chacon.

Notes: Zito has allowed 14 home runs in 75 2-3 career innings against the Yankees. … New York 1B Tino Martinez missed his fourth straight game with a strained rib cage. … A’s third-base coach Ron Washington has received an outpouring of support from the A’s after his house was flooded in Hurricane Katrina in his native New Orleans. The A’s raised money for him, and Giambi, who worked with Washington in the Oakland farm system, gave $20,000 to help Washington and his family recover. Washington will leave the A’s late Monday and spend three days in Alabama with his wife and family – all 26 of them – working to get them moved from a shelter into three houses.

AP-ES-09-04-05 2349EDT


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