Rafael Palmeiro hit his 47th homer to tie a team record and the Texas Rangers trounced the Seattle Mariners, 10-0, last night in Arlington, Tex., for their fifth straight victory.
The AL West champions won their 94th game, matching the club mark set in 1977. Texas trails New York by one game and Cleveland by two in the race for the best record in the league.
"We'd like to win enough for home-field advantage," Rangers Manager Johnny Oates said. "We'd like this team to have the most wins in our history. Jerry Narron [the Rangers' third-base coach] said when we were in San Diego [in early July], `Let's win 95.' That's certainly reachable now."
Jeff Fassero, Mike Morgan, Danny Patterson and Danny Kolb combined on a five-hitter. Morgan (13-8) threw three innings of three-hit relief.
Palmeiro hit a solo home run in the fourth, tying Juan Gonzalez's total in 1996. Palmeiro trails league leader Ken Griffey Jr. of Seattle by one homer.
Rusty Greer had two runs batted in and has 100 RBI this season, giving Texas four players with at last 100 for the first time. Palmeiro, Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez also have hit the mark.
"What's important is that we're playing good baseball and we're keeping it up," Palmeiro said. "What these records say is that we've had a good season as a team."
BLUE JAYS 8, DEVIL RAYS 2: Shawn Green homered, doubled and tied a career high with five RBI last night, leading David Wells and Toronto over host Tampa Bay.
Brian McRae hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Tampa Bay rookie Jim Morris.
Morris, 35, pitched a hitless eighth, and retired the first two batters in the ninth before Jacob Brumfield tripled, Green walked and McRae homered. Morris had set down all four hitters he faced in his first two appearances.
Green hit a three-run homer in the first inning and added a two-run double in the seventh. He set a Toronto record with 84 extra-base hits this season, and has 41 home runs and 121 RBI.
"I've been feeling pretty good the last month or so," Green said. "I've been a little inconsistent, kind of hot and cold. Hopefully the last week or so, I'll be hot. It would be nice to end on a good note."
Wells (16-10) allowed five hits in seven innings.
ATHLETICS 9, ANGELS 3: In Anaheim, Calif., Jason Giambi hit his 33rd home run and Oakland avoided elimination in the AL wild-card race.
The Boston Red Sox began the day needing one win or an Oakland loss to clinch a playoff spot. But Boston was rained out at Chicago, and the Athletics stayed in contention with five games left.
Tim Hudson (11-2) won for the ninth time in 10 decisions.
INDIANS 2, ROYALS 1: Jaret Wright and three relievers combined on a three-hitter and Cleveland won in Kansas City, Mo. Forty-nine of Cleveland's 96 wins this season have been come-from-behind victories.
Down 1-0, the Indians scored twice in the eighth inning against three pitchers.
TIGERS 7, TWINS 4: In Minneapolis, Detroit won its fourth in a row for the first time this season. Dean Palmer hit a three-run homer with two outs to cap a five-run ninth inning for the Tigers.
After playing in front of 43,356 fans in the final game at Tiger Stadium on Monday, Detroit played in front of 11,875 at the Metrodome last night.
RED SOX-WHITE SOX, PPD.: Boston's game with host Chicago was rained out and will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.