Red Sox 7, Angels 4
BOSTON -- Johnny Damon lined a three-run double over the head of center fielder Steve Finley to break an eighth-inning tie. The Angels led 4-1 and Kelvim Escobar was coasting, allowing just three Red Sox hits and one unearned run over six innings. But Escobar, in just his second start since bone spurs landed him on the disabled list, was lifted after 95 pitches and Boston scored three times off Brendan Donnelly in the seventh and three more off Scot Shields (4-3) in the eighth. Mike Myers (2-1) was charged with one hit and an intentional walk in one inning, striking out two to win the matchup of first-round opponents from last year's AL playoffs. Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his 12th save -- his first since May 20. He struck out Finley with the bases loaded to end it.
Tigers 5, Orioles 3
DETROIT -- Ivan Rodriguez homered and hit a tie-breaking double, and Jason Johnson pitched into the ninth inning to lead Detroit (26-26), which has won six of seven -- including a three-game sweep last weekend at Baltimore -- to reach .500 this late in the season for the first time since Sept. 8, 2000. Johnson (4-4) gave up three runs -- one earned -- and six hits in eight-plus innings, striking out six and walking one. He improved to 3-1 in six career starts against Baltimore, where he played from 1999-03. Baltimore's Bruce Chen (5-3) allowed three runs and five hits while striking out four in 61/3 innings.
Twins 6, Yankees 3
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lew Ford homered, tripled and drove in three runs to lead undermanned Minnesota past New York. An upset George Steinbrenner held a conference call Friday afternoon with manager Joe Torre and GM Brian Cashman after watching his team get swept by the Kansas City Royals, the worst team in the major leagues. Steinbrenner made it clear that the team's five-game losing streak was unacceptable. However, the Yankees (27-27) squandered a 3-0 lead and lost their sixth in a row, their longest skid since dropping seven straight in September and October 2000. The Twins roughed up Yankees starter Mike Mussina (5-4) with two home runs and eight hits to win their third in a row and sixth in their last eight. Brent Abernathy hit his first homer of the season to start the Twins' comeback in the fourth, and Kyle Lohse (5-3) settled down after a rocky start to get the victory.
Royals 2, Rangers 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Matt Stairs homered and Runelvys Hernandez pitched six solid innings, leading resurgent Kansas City to its first four-game winning streak in 21 months. Buddy Bell joined Whitey Herzog as the only Royals managers to win their first four games. Stairs hit a 1-0 pitch from Pedro Astacio (2-6) over the fence in left leading off the second inning for his seventh home run and second in two games. The Rangers, who swept the Royals at home last week, became the last team in the majors to lose three straight. Rookie left-hander Andrew Sisco (1-1) got his first major league win with 11/3 innings of hitless relief. Mike MacDougal, selected by Bell as the closer, pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities.
Nationals 3, Marlins 2, 11 innings
WASHINGTON -- Ryan Church drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off John Riedling in the 11th inning. Jamey Carroll walked to open the bottom of the 11th, and Jose Guillen hit a grounder to Nate Bump (0-3) that seemed destined for a rally-ending double play. But the reliever's throw to second sailed over shortstop Alex Gonzalez's head for an error. Matt Perisho then walked Nick Johnson to load the bases with no outs. One out later, Church, a former member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, hit a shallow fly to left, and Carroll easily beat left fielder Miguel Cabrera's throw to the plate, which was wide and short. Luis Ayala (4-3) threw just one inning, getting out of a bit of a jam in the 11th with an inning-ending double play. The Nationals, who didn't have a hit after the fourth inning, got their 19th comeback victory of the season.
Cardinals 2, Astros 0
HOUSTON -- Chris Carpenter pitched eight innings and Albert Pujols hit a solo homer in the ninth to lead St. Louis. Carpenter (8-3) became the latest pitcher to stifle the Astros' punchless offense, striking out six and walking two for his fourth win in five starts. Julian Tavarez got three outs for his third save. Carpenter gave up eight hits and joined a list of starters that includes teammate Mark Mulder, Atlanta's Tim Hudson and Atlanta's Mike Hampton in keeping Houston scoreless for at least seven innings. The Astros have been shut out a major league-leading 10 times this season. Andy Pettitte (3-6) allowed five hits in seven innings, striking out five with no walks. But his solid effort was wasted -- again -- as the Astros came up with nothing against Carpenter.