Jim Thome's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning last night rallied the Cleveland Indians to their 50th win of the season, a 5-4 victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins.
One of Cleveland's stated goals before the year was 100 regular season wins, and the Indians are now halfway there following their 30th come-from-behind victory of the season and their ninth in their last at-bat at home.
Thome and Manny Ramirez added homers as the Indians improved to 50-25 with the help of some stellar defense and controversial offense.
Ron Coomer and Torii Hunter homered for the Twins.
Trailing 4-3, the Indians tied it in the ninth off Mike Trombley (1-5) without hitting the ball out of the infield.
Omar Vizquel led off with a bunt single, and on the next pitch, Roberto Alomar dropped a bunt toward third and barely beat out third baseman Coomer's throw with a headfirst slide into first. Replays appeared to show Alomar was out.
"Some of the stuff that happens on the field is an absolute joke," said Denny Hocking, who entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement for the Twins. "Sometimes when you think you get 27 outs, you really don't."
Ramirez bounced into a force at second, and David Justice went to a full count before walking. Richie Sexson then topped a ball down the first-base line and Trombley only had a play at first as Vizquel scored the tying run.
Thome followed by lining a 1-2 pitch through the middle for the win. As he tried to get back to the dugout, Thome -- forced to leave Monday's game in the fifth inning with a stiff lower back -- was pounded in celebration by his teammates.
RANGERS 5, ANGELS 0: In Anaheim, Calif., John Burkett, relegated to the Texas bullpen last month, gave up one hit and allowed only two baserunners in seven innings.
Burkett, a 34-year-old right-hander who allowed an AL-high 123 runs last season, gave up a leadoff double to Matt Walbeck in the third and walked Darin Erstad later in the inning.
He then retired the next 13 Angels in a row before Jeff Zimmerman relieved to start the eighth.
Zimmerman and John Wetteland did not allow a hit over the final two innings, giving the Rangers the fifth combined one-hitter in their history.
YANKEES 3, TIGERS 0: Roger Clemens (8-2) pitched an eight-hitter for his first shutout as a Yankee, leading host New York to its seventh straight victory.
Derek Jeter and Shane Spencer homered as New York matched its longest winning streak of the season.
Clemens is 20-9 lifetime against the Tigers, including 2-0 with 16 2/3 shutout innings this season. He lowered his ERA from 5.13 to 4.52.
Clemens has 241 career wins, tying him with Amos "The Hoosier Thunderbolt" Rusie and Herb Pennock for 44th all-time.
ROYALS 7, WHITE SOX 4: Joe Randa drove in three runs and scored twice as Kansas City earned just its third victory in 19 home games against Chicago.
Kevin Appier (7-6) went six innings and snapped a personal four-game losing streak with his first win since May 28, giving up three runs on eight hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. Three of his wins are against the White Sox, who are 22-7 in Kansas City since 1995.
MARINERS 2, ATHLETICS 1: Raul Ibanez's RBI single in the 12th inning gave Seattle the road win and Oakland its sixth straight defeat.
Edgar Martinez led off the 12th with a single to center and pinch-runner Charles Gipson moved to second on David Segui's sacrifice. Ibanez then lined a single to center off T.J. Mathews (6-3), who came in to start the 12th.