The New York Yankees extended their American League East division lead to 1 1/2 games over Baltimore by beating the Minnesota Twins 6-3 while the Orioles split a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees, who entered yesterday with a one-game lead atop the division, got home runs from Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez. Andy Pettitte pitched six scoreless innings in Minneapolis as the Yankees took the opener of their seven-game road trip.
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays 4-1 in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader in Baltimore and lost the nightcap 9-5 as Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia hit a seventh-inning grand slam.
The Yankees (89-64) have nine games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season, while the Orioles (88-66) have eight to play. The team that doesn’t win the division will probably get one of the AL’s two wild-card postseason berths and have to play a one-game playoff to reach the division series.
The Chicago White Sox remain one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central after beating the Cleveland Indians 5-4 last night behind a pair of home runs by Adam Dunn. The Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 6-2 win against the Kansas City Royals.
The Texas Rangers beat Oakland 5-4 on Adrian Beltre’s run- scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning, pushing their lead over the Athletics atop the AL West to five games. At 86-67, the A’s are in position for the second of the two AL wild-card berths, two games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead last night as Robinson Cano had a run-scoring groundout and Swisher followed with a two-run homer.
Granderson pushed the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning with a solo homer, his 40th of the season. Granderson became the fifth player in franchise history with 40 or more home runs in back-to-back seasons, joining Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Jason Giambi.
New York got solo homers from Ibanez and Chavez in the seventh inning to open a 6-0 lead, while Pettitte scattered seven hits over six innings to pick up the win. He’s 10-0 in his past 11 starts against the Twins.
In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals strengthened their hold on a wild-card berth with a 6-1 win at the Houston Astros. The Cardinals (83-71) have a 3 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the second wild-card spot. The Atlanta Braves (88-65) are in position for the first wild card.
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