Brian Daubach hit a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics, 6-5, last night and keep their lead in the American League wild-card race.
Oakland, which would have tied Boston with a win, led 4-0 after three innings and was ahead 5-3 in the ninth with closer Doug Jones (3-5) on the mound.
After singles to Jason Varitek and pinch hitter Butch Huskey, Trot Nixon hit a fly ball that was caught at the left field wall by a leaping Jason McDonald.
Jose Offerman singled to load the bases, John Valentin struck out and Tim Worrell relieved.
Daubach, a rookie who was selected AL player of the week yesterday, worked the count full, then fouled off five consecutive pitches -- including one that just missed being a home run.
"The thing I was impressed with was the ball he fouled off," A's designated hitter Matt Stairs said. "A lot of guys get flustered and forget their at-bat. He didn't. He took a moment and went right back in there."
Daubach asked for a moment to collect himself, then lined the game-winning hit off the Green Monster.
"It's been a magical season, to tell you the truth," said Daubach, a nine-year minor leaguer. "I could easily be in the minor leagues right now."
Oakland took a 4-0 lead in the third on a three-run homer by A.J. Hinch, his sixth of the season and third in 15 at-bats, and an RBI single by John Jaha.
RANGERS 13, INDIANS 5: Rafael Palmeiro, making a rare pinch-hitting appearance, hit a three-run homer and Ivan Rodriguez homered twice as visiting Texas snapped Cleveland's six-game winning streak.
"When we end a winning streak," said Indians Manager Mike Hargrove, "we just don't end it, we blow it right out of the water."
Palmeiro, pinch-hitting for the second time this season, connected for his 31st homer in Texas's five-run seventh inning as the Rangers rallied in a matchup of division leaders.
Royce Clayton and Mark McLemore also homered for the Rangers, who posted their 34th come-from-behind victory. Rodriguez hit a solo homer in the first and connected for a two-run shot, his 28th, in the ninth.
Texas relievers shut out the Indians over the final five innings and have given up two runs in their last 24 innings.
Richie Sexson had three RBI for Cleveland. Carlos Baerga, acquired earlier in the day, contributed two singles and an error at third base.
MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 5: Alex Rodriguez homered for the fifth straight game as visiting Seattle sent Toronto to a fifth straight loss. Rodriguez's two-run shot in the eighth inning, his 32nd homer, traveled 423 feet into the second deck at SkyDome.
The major league record for consecutive games with a home run is eight by Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956).
All of Rodriguez's homers have come since he was activated from the disabled list May 14. He is 10 for 19 with 12 RBI in his last five games.
Toronto starter Chris Carpenter (9-6) went 6 2/3 innings and tied a team record by walking nine. He lost for the first time in 11 starts since May 28.
YANKEES 2, TWINS 0: Roger Clemens allowed four hits in 8 2/3 innings, outpitching former Yankees farmhand Eric Milton as New York beat visiting Minnesota.
Shane Spencer's single with one out in the eighth broke up a scoreless game.
Clemens (11-5) faced the minimum 24 batters through eight innings. He departed after allowing a single to pinch hitter Marty Cordova. Mariano Rivera got the final out for his 33rd save.
Milton (4-10) retired 16 straight before walking Jorge Posada with one out in the eighth. Tino Martinez singled for his second hit of the game. After Spencer's RBI single, a wild pickoff throw by Milton set up Scott Brosius's sacrifice fly.
WHITE SOX 6, ANGELS 1: Mike Sirotka (8-10) pitched a six-hitter for his first win since July 3 as Chicago beat visiting Anaheim. He struck out seven and walked two in his third complete game this season. He had gone 0-2 in seven starts between wins.
"If they got a hit, I tried to contain them and keep it just a hit or a walk so nothing blossomed out of any of their innings," Sirotka said.
Paul Konerko's 17th homer highlighted a four-run fourth inning. Mo Vaughn hit his first home run since July 22 and his 19th of the year when he led off the fourth for the Angels' run.
DEVIL RAYS 9, TIGERS 1: In Detroit, Rolando Arrojo won for the first time since May 18 as Tampa Bay turned five double plays and won its third straight. Aaron Ledesma had four RBI, John Flaherty was 3 for 5 with a two-run double and Fred McGriff homered for the Devil Rays, who scored all their runs with two outs.