AL ROUNDUP Olerud's single supplies decisive margin for N.Y.
The Yankees improved to a season-high 34 games over .500.
SEATTLE -- John Olerud hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth inning against his former team, and the New York Yankees overcame another mediocre start by Esteban Loaiza to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 Saturday.
After Loaiza wasted a three-run lead and fell behind 4-3, the Yankees tied the score in the seventh on consecutive doubles by Enrique Wilson and John Flaherty off Jamie Moyer.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (4-5) hit Gary Sheffield with a pitch leading off the eighth, then allowed a double to deep center by Bernie Williams that put runners on second and third.
George Sherrill relieved and retired Hideki Matsui on a weak grounder to first, then intentionally walked Ruben Sierra to face Olerud, who singled to right field. Olerud, who batted .245 for Seattle with 22 RBIs in 78 games, is hitting .333 (11-for-33) with 11 RBIs in nine games with the Yankees.
Gary Sheffield and Williams homered for the Yankees (75-41), who won their fourth straight game to improve to a season-high 34 games over .500. The last-place Mariners (43-73) lost their third straight and dropped a season-low 30 games under.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter made an outstanding defensive play in the seventh to keep Seattle from taking a 5-4 lead. With two on and two outs, he dived to snare Dan Wilson's grounder up the middle and tossed to second for the forceout.
Paul Quantrill (6-2) got the victory with one inning of relief. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 40th save in 43 chances.
Alex Rodriguez, who missed Friday night's game with the flu and stayed back at the team hotel Saturday, dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension issued for his involvement in the July 24 brawl at Boston and began serving the penalty. He won't be eligible to play until Thursday night at Minnesota.
Sheffield and Williams hit back-to-back homers in the first inning, and the Yankees made it 3-0 in the third when Jeter doubled to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, stole third and scored on Sheffield's infield out.
With the Yankees temporarily going to a six-man rotation because Mike Mussina is coming off the disabled list Tuesday, Loaiza didn't help himself in his competition with Orlando Hernandez and Jon Lieber for the final two spots. Loaiza allowed four runs, seven hits, four walks and a wild pitch in 5 1-3 innings, giving up 27th homer of the season, third in the AL behind Anaheim's Bartolo Colon (30) and Moyer, who leads the major leagues with 33.
Loaiza, acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 31 for Jose Contreras, is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts with the Yankees. Contreras won at Fenway Park for the first time on Friday night and is 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA for the White Sox.
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Olerud 1b4012Jcbsen 1b5010
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E--EWilson (6). DP--New York 1. LOB--New York 7, Seattle 11. 2B--Jeter (29), BWilliams (20), EWilson (9), Flaherty (6), Lopez (1). HR--Sheffield (27), BWilliams (16), Lopez (1). SB--Jeter (17). CS--ISuzuki (9). S--Cairo. SF--BBoone, Ibanez.
Hasegawa pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. HBP--by Nageotte (Sheffield), by Hasegawa (Sheffield). WP--Loaiza. Umpires--Home, Alfonso Marquez; First, Ed Rapuano; Second, Ted Barrett; Third, Lance Barksdale. T--3:03. A--46,530.
Athletics 6, Royals 1
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Mark Kotsay made a run-saving catch to preserve a tie in the top of the sixth inning and then homered to lead off a five-run bottom half and help the Oakland Athletics beat the Kansas City Royals.
Damian Miller went 3-for-3 with a three-run double, and Rich Harden (7-5) won his fourth straight decision as the first-place A's stopped a three-game losing streak.
Harden allowed one run and five hits in six innings to remain unbeaten in seven starts since the All-Star break. After the A's lost games started by aces Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder the previous two days, Harden got them back on the winning track.
Harden got a big boost from his defense in the sixth inning. With Aaron Guiel on second and one out, Ruben Mateo blooped a ball into shallow center field. Kotsay charged and made a sliding catch and threw to second for the double play.
Guiel ran on contact and thought he had scored when he reached home plate, only to be told Kotsay had robbed the Royals of a run.
Kotsay then led off the bottom half against Brian Anderson (2-10) with a drive into the seats in left-center for his 11th homer this season, giving the A's a 2-1 lead.
Eric Byrnes then blooped a hustle double into center field. One out later, Jermaine Dye reached on an error by third baseman Joe Randa and Anderson was replaced after walking Scott Hatteberg to load the bases.
Miller hit Scott Sullivan's first pitch off the center-field wall to clear the bases and make it a 5-1 game. Miller is 7-for-14 with 15 RBIs with the bases loaded this season. Marco Scutaro added an RBI single in the inning.
Anderson, who hadn't allowed an earned run in his previous 16 innings, gave up five runs -- four earned -- and five hits in 51/3 innings.
The A's broke on top in the second on an RBI double by Erubiel Durazo but the Royals tied it the next inning on John Buck's run-scoring single.
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E--Randa (9). DP--Oakland 1. LOB--Kansas City 6, Oakland 6. 2B--Guiel (3), Gotay (3), Kotsay (24), Byrnes (26), DMiller (21), Durazo (24). HR--Kotsay (11).
BriAnderson L,2-105 1-355433
Umpires--Home, Brian Gorman; First, Dale Scott; Second, Ron Kulpa; Third, Bill Miller. T--2:30. A--36,942.
Blue Jays 7, Orioles 2
TORONTO -- Josh Towers beat his former team to win for the sixth time in seven starts, and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles to stop a four-game losing streak.
Towers (8-4) allowed two runs and six hits in 62/3 innings, improving to 16-5 in 27 career games with Toronto. The 27-year-old right-hander was 8-10 for Baltimore in 2001, but then went 0-3 on 2002 and was let go.
Justin Speier and Kerry Ligtenberg finished with hitless relief.
Carlos Delgado went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for the Blue Jays, 2-4 since John Gibbons replaced the fired Carlos Tosca as manager. Ju
Baltimore, which had won four straight at Toronto, lost for just the second time in 12 games overall. Joe Borkowski (3-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings.
Larry Bigbie's RBI single out the Orioles ahead in the second, but Frank Catalanotto led off the bottom half with a double and scored on Gabe Gross' RBI double. Orlando Hudson doubled leading off the third and scored on Delgado's double for a 2-1 lead.
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E--Tejada (17), RPalmeiro (7), OHudson (10). DP--Baltimore 2. LOB--Baltimore 6, Toronto 11. 2B--BRoberts (38), Mora (27), OHudson 2 (19), CDelgado (17), Catalanotto (19), Zaun (20), Gross (2). HR--CDelgado (18). SB--Rios (8). CS--Bigbie (3), Gomez (1).
Towers W,8-46 2-362213
Borkowski pitched to 1 batter in the 5th, Parrish pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. HBP--by Towers (Hairston Jr.). WP--Parrish. Umpires--Home, Terry Craft; First, Paul Emmel; Second, Mike DiMuro; Third, Joe West. T--2:59. A--35,768.