Ivan Rodriguez homered twice and drove in four runs last night as the host Texas Rangers beat Minnesota, 5-4, to remain unbeaten in eight games against the Twins this season.
Rangers reliever Jeff Zimmerman (9-0) had his string of scoreless appearances end at a club-record 26, but still managed to pick up the win.
The victory enabled Zimmerman to tie Whitey Ford and Joe Pate for the AL record for consecutive wins at the start of a career. It also matched Pate's mark of consecutive wins by a rookie relief pitcher.
Texas trailed 3-2 in the seventh when Royce Clayton tripled off LaTroy Hawkins and Mark McLemore drew a walk from reliever Eddie Guardado (2-3). Rodriguez, who is 15 for 23 in his last five games with four homers and 13 RBI, followed with his 21st home run into the left field seats.
YANKEES 3, BLUE JAYS 1: With trade rumors finally put to rest, Andy Pettitte pitched his best game of the season.
Pettitte allowed one run in eight innings and Derek Jeter broke out of the worst slump of his career with a tiebreaking two-run homer to lead New York to the home victory.
"I was relaxed tonight," Pettitte said. "I didn't overthrow my pitches and I kept focused. That's the key."
Jeter's career-high 20th homer ended an 0-for-17 skid that matched the longest hitless streak of his career.
Pettitte (8-8), nearly dealt to Philadelphia at last week's trade deadline, had been ineffective all season. His lack of aggressiveness drew the ire of owner George Steinbrenner, who was pushing for the trade.
On Sunday, Steinbrenner issued a challenge to Pettitte to "show what kind of man he is."
"That's Mr. Steinbrenner," Pettitte said. "I think he respects me and what I have done. Maybe that's his way to motivate me. Let him feel like he was the one who got me going."
INDIANS 7, RED SOX 5: In Boston, David Justice hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the ninth as Cleveland won despite blowing an early five-run lead.
Justice, who had missed the last seven games with a strained left wrist, said Sunday that he didn't feel his wrist would be ready for him to play last night. But he was healthy enough to send the Indians to their sixth win in seven games.
"I knew after I had batting practice," Justice said of his decision to play. "I really didn't feel my wrist in the game."
With the score tied at 5 in the ninth, Jim Thome walked against Rich Garces (0-1). After Garces retired Richie Sexson on a fly out, Mark Guthrie entered and Justice belted a shot over the Red Sox bullpen in right.
"You guys can sit here all night and try to think of adjectives for how bad I am," Guthrie said. "But you won't think of one bad enough."
WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 2: Kip Wells pitched 5 1/3 solid innings to win his major league debut and Frank Thomas went 4 for 5 to lead Chicago to the road victory.
"I tried to play it like it was the Greenville Braves or whoever it would've been in Double-A," Wells said.
Wells was called up earlier in the day from Class AA Birmingham as an emergency starter for Jim Parque, who is injured.
ROYALS 12, ANGELS 4: Jermaine Dye homered, drove in four runs and scored three times for visiting Kansas City. Royals starter Jose Rosado (7-8), who won consecutive starts for the first time this season, gave up seven hits in seven innings and struck out five to hand the Angels their 15th loss in 17 games.
MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 0: Freddy Garcia won his 11th game, the most among major league rookies, as Seattle won at home. Garcia (11-6), who came to the Mariners in the Randy Johnson trade with Houston last year, allowed six hits and tied his career high with 10 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. He hit a batter and walked one.