Johnny Damon went 4 for 5 with two homers and four RBI, and Bronson Arroyo allowed three hits in eight innings for his first win since May 15 as the Boston Red Sox shut out the visiting Texas Rangers, 7-0, last night.
Boston won its fourth straight, its longest streak since winning five in a row from May 21 to 26.
Damon, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single, led off the fifth with his eighth home run to put Boston ahead 2-0. He followed with a two-out double in the sixth that drove in a pair of runs and made it 5-0.
Damon homered into the Rangers' bullpen in the eighth. He's batted .447 during his hitting streak, the longest by a Red Sox player this season.
"I wish I knew what I was doing so I could bottle it up and keep it going," Damon said. "We feel like we can still win the East and don't like to be written off."
With Boston ahead 2-0, Nomar Garciaparra led off the sixth with a single, and Texas starter Joaquin Benoit (3-4) walked Trot Nixon and hit Kevin Millar with a pitch to load the bases.
Bill Mueller's sacrifice fly made it 3-0, and Damon's double off reliever Ron Mahay drove home Nixon and Millar.
Nixon gave the Red Sox a 6-0 lead with an RBI single in the seventh.
Arroyo (3-7) matched his season high with seven strikeouts and allowed just one hit after the first inning.
* ANGELS 5, BLUE JAYS 4: Bartolo Colon pitched seven solid innings for just his second win in his last 11 starts, and Vladimir Guerrero drove in three runs to lead Anaheim in Toronto.
Colon (6-8) entered with the highest ERA among AL starters at 6.57. The 31-year-old right-hander, who signed a four-year, $51 million contract during the offseason, allowed four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and lowered his ERA to 6.38.
* YANKEES 5, DEVIL RAYS 4: Paul Quantrill and Mariano Rivera made sure New York held off Tampa Bay for the second straight night.
Quantrill relieved Javier Vazquez with a two-ball count and the bases loaded in the sixth inning and escaped the jam, and Rivera gave up a run in the ninth, then retired Rocco Baldelli on a foul popup with the bases loaded to end the game.
* WHITE SOX 6, MARINERS 2: In Chicago, Carlos Lee homered twice and drove in five runs, and Jon Garland pitched seven effective innings to lead the White Sox.
Seattle has lost a season-high seven straight games and is 20 games below .500 for the first time since Aug. 5, 1994. They've also lost 10 straight on the road.
* INDIANS 5, ATHLETICS 4: Pinch hitter Lou Merloni's two-run single capped Cleveland's three-run ninth inning off Octavio Dotel as the Indians rallied at home.
Merloni ripped the first pitch from Dotel (1-1) down the left-field line with the bases loaded to score Omar Vizquel and Travis Hafner. The Indians have beaten Oakland four straight times at home this season -- all in their final at-bat.
* TIGERS 5, TWINS 3: Jason Smith hit two of Detroit's three homers to help the Tigers beat Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Carlos Guillen hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Gary Knotts (5-3) held the Twins to two runs over 62/3 innings for his first win in five starts.