Derek Jeter sliced a two-out, two-run single beyond right fielder Manny Ramirez in the 10th inning last night in New York, providing a perfect ending for the Yankees in a 9-8 win over the Cleveland Indians.
On a night when David Cone never came close to duplicating his perfect-game performance last Sunday against Montreal, Jeter delivered the key hit at 12:11 a.m.
A crowd of 52,704 saw the Yankees move past Cleveland for the best record in the majors. New York won its fourth in a row and sent the Indians to their seventh loss in eight games.
Roberto Alomar hit a grand slam off Cone and started a sensational double play for the Indians. Cleveland then took an 8-7 lead in the 10th on Enrique Wilson's RBI single with two outs off Jason Grimsley (7-1).
But Chili Davis singled to start the bottom half off Mike Jackson (3-4). Two-out walks to Jorge Posada and Chuck Knoblauch loaded the bases and brought up Jeter, who was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts at that point.
Jeter went the opposite way and hit a drive barely past the reach of Ramirez in deep right-center for the winner. Jeter raised his arm as he rounded first base and his parents high-fived each other in the stands.
TIGERS 14, RED SOX 5: Five players homered for host Detroit and the travails of Boston right-hander Tomokazu Ohka continued.
Ohka (0-2), who was knocked out in the second inning of his major league debut after giving up two runs to the Florida Marlins on July 19, gave up three runs in the Detroit first. Ohka, signed last November from the Japanese professional leagues, yielded seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Rookie Mario Santana, who relieved Ohka, gave up the next seven runs, including six in the sixth -- during which the Tigers hit three homers.
Karim Garcia, Deivi Cruz, Gregg Jefferies, Jason Wood and Luis Polonia each homered for the Tigers.
A thunderstorm that blew through Detroit in the late afternoon tore some panels off the front of the press box, delaying the start of the game by 47 minutes. No one was injured when the aluminum-covered plywood panels, each approximately 20 square yards, landed in unoccupied seating areas below the press box.
RANGERS 11, DEVIL RAYS 8: Todd Zeile hit a three-run homer, and Danny Kolb got his first major league victory as visiting Texas won its sixth straight.
The Rangers lost both outfielder Juan Gonzalez and starting pitcher Mike Morgan to injuries early in the game.
Texas, at 56-40, has its best record after 96 games. The Rangers, who have gone 8-1 despite homering in just three games since the all-star break, homered four times. Lee Stevens and Ivan Rodriguez added two-run homers and Rusty Greer hit a solo shot.
Gonzalez jammed his right wrist sliding into third base in the fourth inning and was taken out for precautionary X-rays, which were negative.
"Juan sprained his wrist," Manager Johnny Oates said. "Hopefully he'll be okay tomorrow. We'll just have to wait and see."
Morgan left after two innings with a bruised right forearm after being hit by Bubba Trammell's line drive. X-rays were negative and Morgan is listed as day-to-day.
BLUE JAYS 2, WHITE SOX 1: Mike Matheny hit a two-run homer to lead visiting Toronto to its seventh straight victory. Matheny's homer in the fifth gave Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Joey Hamilton (3-5) walked two and struck out three in 6 2/3 innings. He entered the game with a 7.58 ERA, but held Chicago scoreless until Frank Thomas's 13th homer in the seventh made it 2-1. Billy Koch loaded the bases in the ninth, but got Brian Simmons to ground out for his 18th save.
Shawn Green extended his hitting streak to a career-high 21 games with a first-inning double off Jim Parque. With the double, Green tied Thomas and the Orioles' B.J. Surhoff for the AL's longest hitting streak this year.
ROYALS 12, ATHLETICS 7: Jermaine Dye hit a bases-loaded double in a seven-run third inning and Kansas City rallied to win its seventh straight home game against Oakland.
TWINS 5, MARINERS 4: Matt Lawton's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth led Minnesota back from a 4-0 deficit at home.