AL roundup: Papelbon, homers bail out Boston
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. ó Jonathan Papelbon bailed Boston out of an eighth-inning jam and Jason Bay, J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis homered Tuesday night to help the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 in the opener of a series crucial to the AL wild-card race.
Papelbon entered with two runs in and the bases loaded with no outs and shut down the AL champions in the eighth with help from a diving catch by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who snared Jason Bartlett’s sinking liner before scrambling to his feet to keep a runner from tagging up at third.
Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 33rd save, fifth of more than one inning.
Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless seventh.
Jon Lester (11-7) allowed two runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out nine in six innings.
Yankees 9, Orioles 6
BALTIMORE ó Jorge Posada homered twice, and Nick Swisher and Eric Hinske hit successive drives in a three-run seventh inning that carried New York to its fifth straight win.
Robinson Cano also connected for Yankees, who will try to complete a three-game sweep Wednesday.
Posada hit a solo shot in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fifth, but the Yankees trailed 6-5 in the sixth before rallying for their 22nd win in 28 games. The victory put New York 36 games over .500 (84-48).
The AL East leaders remained 61/2 games ahead of second-place Boston, which beat Tampa Bay.
Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2, 1st game
Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2, 2nd game
ARLINGTON, Texas ó Josh Hamilton snapped out of his extended power drought with two home runs and Brandon McCarthy pitched into the seventh inning of his first start in nearly three months, leading Texas past Toronto for a doubleheader sweep.
Hamilton had gone 23 games and 99 at-bats since his previous homer Aug. 7 until a 435-foot drive on the first pitch of the fourth. An inning later, Hamilton hit a two-run shot Both homers came against Brian Tallet (5-9).
Tigers 8, Indians 5
DETROIT ó Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen homered on successive pitches and Brandon Inge also went deep, lifting the Tigers over Cleveland.
Aubrey Huff added three RBIs for Detroit, which won its second straight.
Edwin Jackson (11-6) allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings, walking two and striking out six. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 31 chances.
Twins 4, White Sox 3
MINNEAPOLIS ó Pinch-hitter Jose Morales singled home Nick Punto with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Twins to their ninth win in 11 games.
Jason Kubel led off the ninth with a single off Matt Thornton (6-3) and Punto was inserted as a pinch runner. He advanced to third on a single by Brendan Harris, but Tony Pena got Carlos Gomez swinging to take away the sacrifice option.
Morales, just recently recalled from Triple-A Rochester, followed with a rope to right-center.
Michael Cuddyer hit two homers and Jeff Manship was sharp in his first big league start for the Twins.
Jon Rauch (2-0) pitched one inning for the win. Matt