Matt Stairs hit two homers, including a tiebreaking grand slam in the fifth inning, as the visiting Oakland A's beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-8, last night in the opener of a three-game series between AL wild-card contenders.

The A's moved within 1 1/2 games of the Blue Jays.

Stairs, who went 3 for 5 with five RBI, gave Oakland an 8-5 lead in the seventh with his 29th homer.

RED SOX 11, MARINERS 6: Troy O'Leary had a tiebreaking bases-loaded triple and Brian Daubach drove in a career-high five runs with a homer and two doubles to lift host Boston to a win over Seattle.

Darren Lewis scored a career-high five runs for the Red Sox, who won for the seventh time in nine games to move a half-game ahead of Toronto.

WHITE SOX 4-7, RANGERS 2-4: Ray Durham drove in three runs in the second game of a doubleheader to lead host Chicago to victory and a sweep. In the opener, Kip Wells (2-0) won his second big league start.

YANKEES 14, TWINS 2: Chuck Knoblauch hit a grand slam and Bernie Williams and Luis Sojo hit homers as host New York routed Minnesota.

TIGERS 8, ANGELS 7: Dean Palmer's single scored the winning run in the 10th as host Detroit beat Anaheim.

ROYALS 2, DEVIL RAYS 1: Joe Randa hit a bases-loaded single over a drawn-in infield to lift host Kansas City over Tampa Bay.