Manager Joe Torre saw two very clear signs the Yankees are back on track: the velocity of Roger Clemens's fastball and Paul O'Neill's helmet.
O'Neill had six RBI and Clemens allowed three hits in seven innings last night as the New York Yankees pounded host Cleveland for the second straight night, 9-4.
By winning its fourth straight following a four-game losing streak, New York maintained its four-game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East and tied Cleveland for the best record in the AL.
The Yankees have won five in a row over the Indians, who they've met in the postseason the past two years and may see again in October.
"It's nice to be able to offset the four losses in a row," said Torre. "But we've got a great deal of respect for them as they do for us. It's always just a matter of who pitches better."
Clemens (13-9) won for the first time in four starts, getting stronger as the game went on. He allowed one hit over the first five innings, and got four of his six strikeouts in his final two innings.
O'Neill went 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and two doubles. In his last four games, he has three homers, including a grand slam, and 13 RBI.
Even in the midst of his huge night, O'Neill, one of baseball's most intense players, threw his helmet in disgust after bouncing out in the sixth inning.
"He made an out and went berserk," Torre said. "He's got that passion back where he thinks he should get a hit every time up. It took that home run to put him where we need him."
MARINERS 4, TWINS 3: David Bell hit a leadoff home run in the ninth to bail out the Mariners' bullpen and give host Seattle the win. After the Twins scored two runs in the top of the inning to tie it, Bell homered over the scoreboard in left field to win it.
It was the 57th home run by the Mariners' middle infield tandem of Bell and Alex Rodriguez, tying a major league record. Boston's Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens did it in 1949-50 and the Cubs' Ryne Sandberg and Shawon Dunston matched the feat in 1990.
RED SOX 14, TIGERS 3: Mike Stanley homered and drove in five runs as Boston returned from a successful road trip to beat Detroit and start its final homestand. The Red Sox moved 4 1/2 games ahead of Oakland for the wild-card spot.
WHITE SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 3: Brian Simmons hit a three-run homer and Kip Wells won for the third time in his first four starts as visiting Chicago dealt a blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of Toronto. The Blue Jays fell 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race.
ROYALS 9, ATHLETICS 3: In Oakland, Carlos Beltran became the first rookie since Boston's Fred Lynn in 1975 to reach 100 RBI and 100 runs. Beltran had three hits, scored three times and drove in a run; he has 102 runs scored and 101 RBI.
DEVIL RAYS 7, RANGERS 5: In Arlington, Tex., John Flaherty homered twice, and Jose Canseco homered and drove in three runs for Tampa Bay.