Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez and their New York teammates caused another meltdown by Kenny Rogers against the Yankees, overcoming Alfonso Soriano's triumphant return to the Bronx.

Staked to a four-run lead, Rogers allowed five home runs, and Sheffield's second of the game propelled the Yankees over the Texas Rangers, 7-6, Friday night. With its 10th win in 11 games, New York opened a season-high 31/2-game lead over Boston in the AL East.

"The sky's the limit for this team," Sheffield said. "We're starting to hit our stride."

Derek Jeter left in the fourth inning with a tight left groin, and Yankees Manager Joe Torre said his captain probably wouldn't play again until Tuesday. Jeter's bat was hardly missed, and his replacement at shortstop, Enrique Wilson, made two sparkling plays, including one that preserved the lead in the seventh inning.

"Hopefully, it's just a couple of days," Torre said.

* ROYALS 5, RED SOX 2: Jimmy Gobble pitched six strong innings, retiring 15 consecutive batters during one stretch, leading Kansas City at home over struggling Boston.

The 22-year-old left-hander, coming off his shortest outing of the season, gave up two runs on five hits, with no walks and one strikeout. Jeremy Affeldt pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.

After Johnny Damon led off with a double and was stranded at third, Gobble (3-3) didn't allow another base runner until Doug Mirabelli homered leading off the sixth.

The Red Sox lost their fourth in a row -- and sixth in eight games -- and fell to a season-worst 31/2 games behind first-place New York in the AL East.

* TWINS 3, TIGERS 2: Torii Hunter's solo homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Minnesota a dramatic win at home.

Hunter hit a 2-2 pitch from reliever Jamie Walker (0-2) over the left-center fence for his eighth homer of the season. Corey Koskie connected earlier for the Twins, who won for just the fourth time in 12 games.

* BLUE JAYS 6, ATHLETICS 1: Eric Hinske hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and a two-run double in the ninth to lead Toronto on the road.

The Blue Jays scored five runs in the final two frames to snap Oakland's eight-game home winning streak. The A's won the last five of those games in extra innings, including the previous three days.

* WHITE SOX 4, MARINERS 2: Jon Garland pitched into the eighth inning, and Frank Thomas hit a go-ahead two-run homer to lead Chicago in Seattle.

Garland (5-2) allowed two runs on four hits and a walk and had three strikeouts in winning his third straight decision, and fourth in five. Billy Koch pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances.

* INDIANS 9, ANGELS 6: Ronnie Belliard gave Cleveland the lead with his first homer of the season, a three-run shot in the eighth off Francisco Rodriguez, and the Indians rallied from four runs down to win on the road.

Josh Towers delivers for the Blue Jays, who scored five runs during the final two innings to beat A's, 6-1. Towers scattered six hits in seven innings.