AMERICAN LEAGUE Yanks' Martinez bombs Red Sox
The Athletics won again to hurt Boston's wild-card hopes.
NEW YORK -- Mike Mussina didn't come close to perfection. Thanks to Tino Martinez, he didn't need to this time.
Martinez homered twice and drove in five runs while Mussina, who came within one strike of a perfect game at Fenway Park in his last start, pitched the New York Yankees over Boston 9-2 Saturday.
"I had a sense that the way the fans were reacting, Mike was trying to do it again. The first five or six hitters, he had three-ball counts on and then it looked like he was trying to make perfect pitches to them," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Mussina (15-11) struck out the side in the first inning on 19 pitches.
Troy O'Leary drew a two-out walk in the second from Mussina. Trot Nixon ended the no-hit suspense when he led off the fourth with a line-drive double to right-center field.
"It's just the way the game goes sometimes. You have to get the same guys out six or seven times in a row," Mussina said.
"Sometimes it's harder, sometimes it works out. Today, for me, it worked out," he said.
Martinez, in the final year of his five-year contract with the Yankees, leads the team with 31 home runs and 102 RBIs.
"I'm just trying to help the team win. I'm not playing for next year, I'm playing for this year," Martinez said.
Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning. He added his 31st homer, a three-run shot, to trigger a seven-run sixth.
Beating the Red Sox for the fifth straight time, the Yankees extended their AL East lead over Boston to 12 games.
For the second straight start, Mussina outpitched David Cone (8-5). Last Sunday night, Mussina won 1-0.
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E--EWilson (2). DP--Boston 1. LOB--Boston 8, New York 5. 2B--TNixon (26), Velarde (18), Soriano (31). 3B--EWilson (1). HR--TMartinez 2 (31). SB--Soriano (40). CS--Soriano (12).
Cone L,8-55 2-366633
WP--Cone. Umpires--Home, Bucknor; First, Kellogg; Second, Runge, Brian; Third, Reilly. T--3:14. A--55,316.
Athletics 10, Devil Rays 4: OAKLAND, Calif. -- Even without Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon, the Oakland A's overpowered the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for their sixth straight win.
Miguel Tejada, Ron Gant, Frank Menechino and Jermaine Dye all homered for the A's.
Mark Mulder (18-7) became the A's first left-handed 18-game winner since Vida Blue in 1976.
With Boston's loss to the Yankees, the A's widened their lead in the wild card race to 12 games.
Tampa Bay, already eliminated from playoff contention, has lost three straight and eight of its last 11. The Devil Rays have never won a series in Oakland.
Giambi was scratched from the starting lineup before the game to give the reigning AL MVP a day off. He has been nursing a sore left hamstring.
Damon, who has a sore left thumb, was also scratched and replaced by F.P. Santangelo. Damon homered in the A's 9-3 victory over the Devil Rays Friday night, but had taken the previous two games off.
The other A's picked up the slack.
Mulder allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.
Tejada hit his 26th home run in the second inning off rookie left-hander Nick Bierbrodt (1-4).
Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the third with one out. Randy Winn had an RBI grounder and Mulder struck out Greg Vaughn.
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E--JGuillen (2), Huff (20), EChavez (11). DP--Tampa Bay 1. LOB--Tampa Bay 8, Oakland 7. 2B--Hall (10), Long 2 (36). HR--Menechino (12), Dye (24), Gant (2), Tejada (26). CS--GVaughn (5).
Bierbrodt L,1-44 2-387544
HBP--by Mulder (Grieve). Umpires--Home, Cuzzi; First, Barron; Second, Froemming; Third, Meals. T--2:51. A--32,548.
Tigers 4, Blue Jays: DETROIT -- Heath Murray won for the first time in more than four years and Jose Macias drove in three runs.
Murray (1-4) got his first win since June 2, 1997, in his first start of the season. He had made nine starts and 63 relief appearances since beating Greg Maddux and Atlanta for San Diego in 1997.
Roy Halladay (3-2) took the loss despite allowing just one run and four hits in four innings. He left after a rain delay of 1 hour, 40 minutes.
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E--Izturis (3), Loaiza (3), Halter (20). DP--Detroit 1. LOB--Toronto 6, Detroit 6. 2B--JoCruz (33), Magee (10), Cardona (6). 3B--Fullmer (2). SB--Cedeno (55), Halter (2). CS--Macias (4). S--Cardona. SF--Stewart.
Loaiza pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. WP--Pettyjohn. Umpires--Home, Scott; First, Spieler; Second, Miller; Third, Timmons. T--2:45. A--29,158.
Royals 8, Rangers 3: ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alex Rodriguez extended his AL record for homers by a shortstop with his 44th for Texas, but the Kansas City won behind strong pitching from rookie Chris George (3-5).
Rodriguez, who has 11 homers in his last 23 games, is three homers shy of tying Ernie Banks major league mark for the position.
Mike Sweeney homered and drove in two runs off Darren Oliver (11-9) for the Royals, who ended their three-game losing streak.
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McCrty dh2111Hslman c2111
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E--ARodriguez (15). DP--Kansas City 3, Texas 1. LOB--Kansas City 7, Texas 5. 2B--Febles 2 (9), CBeltran (26), McCarty (10). 3B--CBeltran (10), Catalanotto (5). HR--MJSweeney (27), Alicea (4), ARodriguez (44), Haselman (2). SF--McCarty.
George W,3-56 1-383313
Umpires--Home, Brinkman; First, Diaz; Second, Higgins, Scott; Third, Hollowell. T--2:38. A--37,501.