Bret Saberhagen, back in the ballpark where he won two Cy Young awards, gave up four hits in eight innings yesterday as the Boston Red Sox beat Kansas City, 9-3, for their fifth victory in six games.

"It's always a joy to come back here," said Saberhagen (9-4), who won 110 games in Kansas City from 1984 to '91.

He pitched more than seven innings for the first time in four years and raised his record against his old team to 3-0.

Saberhagen threw just 76 pitches in eight innings. He gave up a solo home run in the second to Mike Sweeney -- who extended his hitting streak to 23 games -- and another solo homer in the eighth to Tim Spehr.

Boston pounded Jose Rosado (7-9) for six runs and five hits in just four innings. While Saberhagen did not walk anybody, Rosado walked five, all in the four-run fourth inning.

MARINERS 11, WHITE SOX 2: Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in five runs as host Seattle routed Chicago to complete a three-game sweep.

Rodriguez, who went 3 for 4, has 28 homers, all since he was activated from the disabled list May 14. He hit an RBI single in the first, a two-run single in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth.

Edgar Martinez and Raul Ibanez also hit two-run homers for Seattle, which scored six runs in the first and swept the White Sox for the first time since Aug. 7-9, 1995. Chicago has lost a season-high seven straight.

Seattle starter Paul Abbott (3-0) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings.

BLUE JAYS 6, TWINS 3: Chris Carpenter pitched a complete game for his sixth straight win and Carlos Delgado hit his 34th home run as visiting Toronto beat Minnesota.

Carpenter (9-5) gave up only six singles and a two-run homer in the ninth inning. The right-hander struck out a season-high nine and walked none for his fourth complete game of the season and sixth of his career.

With the win, Toronto maintained its one-game lead over Boston in the AL wild-card race.

RANGERS 8, TIGERS 2: Rick Helling pitched a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season and Tom Goodwin drove in three runs as host Texas beat Detroit.

Helling (9-7) won his third straight decision, striking out eight and walking two in the seventh complete game of his career. Texas is 20-6 since the all-star break.

Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Kelly homered for the Rangers.

YANKEES 5, ATHLETICS 3: Tino Martinez's RBI double off the right-field wall broke a ninth-inning tie and led the Yankees to the win in Oakland.

The game featured a bench-clearing incident in the first inning after Oakland's Tony Phillips barreled into New York catcher Jorge Posada while trying to score from second on a single by Randy Velarde.

Posada held on to tag Phillips out, and then punched the air with his fist. It was unclear whether Posada was celebrating the out or gesturing toward Phillips, who immediately began arguing with the catcher. Both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown.

INDIANS 4, ANGELS 3: Manny Ramirez and Roberto Alomar both homered as visiting Cleveland beat Anaheim to complete a three-game sweep and send the Angels to their sixth straight loss.