The Boston Red Sox surged back into the pennant race, beating nemesis Roger Clemens and completing their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium since 1986 with a testy 4-1 win yesterday over New York.
A sellout crowd of 56,028 watched a brushback battle between Clemens and Bret Saberhagen, two home-plate collisions and a heated exchange between Jose Offerman and the Yankees dugout. The fans also saw a much more scary sight--Boston pulling within 3 1/2 games of the AL East leaders.
"We're just playing aggressive, that's all," Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams said. "We have to."
Clemens (12-9) held Boston to two hits for seven innings, but consecutive singles by Trot Nixon, Offerman and Darren Lewis in the eighth broke a 1-1 tie and keyed a three-run burst. Nomar Garciaparra had a sacrifice fly and Troy O'Leary hit an RBI single.
ANGELS 6, TWINS 3: One day after Eric Milton pitched a no-hitter against Anaheim, the Angels' Jarrod Washburn retired 22 straight batters in Minnesota.
Pitching coach Dick Pole "told me to quit thinking about what I was doing and just start throwing the ball," Washburn said. "I guess he realized I'm not smart enough to think about mechanics and throw the ball at the same time."
Washburn (2-3) gave up a leadoff single to Denny Hocking, then retired 22 batters before Chad Allen's one-out single in the eighth.
BLUE JAYS 5, TIGERS 3: Darrin Fletcher had a two-run double, Shawn Green hit his 38th home run and Carlos Delgado hit his 43rd homer, leading Toronto in Detroit.
ATHLETICS 4, DEVIL RAYS 3: In St. Petersburg, Fla., Jason Giambi and Matt Stairs hit two-run homers, and Oakland (79-64) beat Tampa Bay to move 15 games over .500 for the first time in seven years.
ROYALS 6, RANGERS 3: Mike Sweeney hit a two-run homer, and Joe Randa and Sal Fasano had RBI doubles in Kansas City's four-run sixth inning as the Royals beat visiting Texas.
WHITE SOX 4, INDIANS 3: Magglio Ordonez homered to lead Chicago over visiting Cleveland. The White Sox had lost six straight.