Bernie Williams hit a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning and Paul O'Neill hit another slam in the ninth as the visiting New York Yankees powered past the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-6, last night to end a four-game losing streak.
The Yankees trailed 6-1 in the eighth inning and were on the verge of matching their longest losing streak of the season and having their lead over Boston sliced to 2 1/2 games in the AL East.
Roy Halladay took a three-hitter into the eighth and Chili Davis appeared to hit into an inning-ending double play. Ricky Ledee, who was on first, dropped to the turf to avoid a tag by second baseman Homer Bush, who then threw to first. By the time Carlos Delgado's throw reached second, Ledee had slid in safely.
"This was the biggest win of the season, and you may look at the smallest reason and that was Ledee getting out of that double play and keeping the inning going," New York Manager Joe Torre said.
Halladay then walked Chuck Knoblauch and gave up an RBI single to Derek Jeter.
Graeme Lloyd relieved and O'Neill reached when catcher Darrin Fletcher botched a slow roller in front of the plate, loading the bases on the error.
Billy Koch (0-4) came on to face Williams, who was in a 4-for-24 slump. His 419-foot shot into the second deck of SkyDome was his second grand slam of the season and the seventh of his career. O'Neill's slam gave the Yankees two grand slams in one game for the third time; the others were May 24, 1936, in Philadelphia, and June 29, 1987, in Toronto.
RED SOX 12, INDIANS 3: In Cleveland, Troy O'Leary drove in four runs and Jose Offerman went 4 for 4 to spark surging Boston. Derek Lowe (6-3) pitched 3 1/3 innings of hitless relief to give Boston its 11th win in 14 games.
The Indians have one hit in 30 at-bats against Lowe this season.
The Red Sox remained 3 1/2 games behind New York in the AL East and increased their wild-card lead to three games over Oakland.
ANGELS 8-6, ROYALS 6-5: Mark Quinn became the third player this century to hit two homers in his major league debut, but Kansas City's bullpen blew ninth-inning leads in both games of a doubleheader sweep by visiting Anaheim.
In the second game, Quinn hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning a two-run shot in the eighth before Tim Byrdak (0-3) gave up two runs on two hits -- including Darin Erstad's go-ahead, RBI single -- and two walks in the ninth.
Tim Salmon's three-run homer in the ninth of the first game completed Anaheim's comeback from a five-run deficit. Anaheim has won eight of nine.
The Royals have 30 blown saves this season, one short of the AL record.
Quinn became the first player to hit two homers in his debut since Bert Campaneris of the Kansas City A's on July 23, 1964. The only other player to do it this century was Bob Nieman of the St. Louis Browns on Sept. 14, 1951. Charlie Reilly of the Columbus Colts did it on Oct. 9, 1889.
RANGERS 5, TWINS 4: Rafael Palmeiro's two-out RBI double in the ninth rallied Texas to its 12th straight win over host Minnesota. Ivan Rodriguez hit his 34th homer for Texas, tying Minnesota's Terry Steinbach for the AL single-season record for catchers. Steinbach, then with Oakland, had hit 35 home runs in 1996 -- 34 as a catcher.
TIGERS 7, WHITE SOX 0: C.J. Nitkowski (3-5) yielded just two hits in seven innings for his first win as a starter since 1996 and Karim Garcia homered twice to lead visiting Detroit. Matt Anderson and Nelson Cruz completed the four-hit shutout.
MARINERS 5, DEVIL RAYS 1: Ken Griffey Jr. hit his AL-leading 45th home run to help visiting Seattle snap a four-game losing streak. Jamie Moyer (14-6) allowed seven hits, none after the fifth inning, to improve to 6-0 when pitching on six days rest. The complete game was the third this season. He walked one and struck out seven.