AL: Byrd lifts Boston in wild-card race

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 31, 2009

Associated Press
BOSTON ó Paul Byrd, making his first major league start since last September, pitched six shutout innings and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep with a 7-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
The win was the sixth in seven games for Boston, which pulled 31/2 games ahead of Texas in the AL wild-card race.
Byrd (1-0), out of baseball after finishing last year with the Red Sox, signed a minor league contract on Aug. 5. He gave up three hits and walked three.
Scoring single runs in each of the first four innings, the Red Sox sent Roy Halladay (13-8) to his third consecutive loss for the first time since last April.
Yankees 8, White Sox 3
NEW YORK ó Mark Teixeira homered and drove in four runs, Johnny Damon also went deep and the Yankees polished off a three-game sweep of the struggling White Sox.
Teixeira is making a push for MVP.
Alfredo Aceves (9-1) provided stellar relief pitching after Joba Chamberlain’s abbreviated outing, and the streaking Yankees won for the 20th time in 26 games.
Derek Jeter scored three times for the AL East leaders, who boosted baseball’s best record to 82-48.
They are 31-11 since the All-Star break, also the top mark in the majors.
Orioles 5, Indians 2BALTIMORE ó Brian Matusz pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, Felix Pie homered, and the Orioles beat the Indians for a split of the four-game series.
Making his sixth major league start, Matusz (3-2) allowed one run and had a career-high eight strikeouts.
The 22-year-old rookie held the Indians hitless over four innings and permitted only one hit through five.
Selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, Matusz has a collective 14-4 record in his first professional season.
Tigers 4, Rays 3DETROIT ó Placido Polanco hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, lifting the Tigers to a win over the Rays.
Third baseman Brandon Inge sealed the victory, leaping to snag B.J. Upton’s high hopper down the line with a runner on first and throwing across the diamond for the final out.
Justin Verlander (15-7) gave up three runs, six hits and four walks over eight innings and struck out four, matching a season low. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 30 chances.
Royals 3, Mariners 0
SEATTLE ó Zack Greinke pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a second-inning single by Kenji Johjima, and the Royals beat the Mariners.
Twins 5, Rangers 3
MINNEAPOLISó Pinch-runner Carlos Gomez scored the go-ahead run as the Twins scored three times in the eighth inning to beat the Rangers.
Angels 9, Athletics 1ANAHEIM, Calif. ó John Lackey pitched eight innings of five-hit ball for his 100th victory, and Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales hit three-run homers.