Ruben Sierra gave the New York Yankees a win after Orlando Hernandez gave the frail pitching rotation a big boost heading into their weekend series at Fenway Park.
"El Duque" bewildered Toronto for seven innings, and Sierra homered with two outs in the ninth to lift New York over the Blue Jays, 1-0, yesterday for a two-game sweep at Yankee Stadium.
"Changing speeds, arm angles, he's tough to pick up," Toronto's Carlos Delgado said.
Ted Lilly pitched 62/3 innings against his former team, and New York was outhit 5-3 before the ninth.
But after Vinnie Chulk (0-2) struck out Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez to open the inning, Sierra connected for his 12th homer. It was Sierra's first game-ending home run since April 1989 off Texas's Tom Henke.
With Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown still sidelined, the Yankees headed to Boston for a weekend set that has Jon Lieber, Tanyon Sturtze and Jose Contreras scheduled to start against the second-place Red Sox. Boston starts Curt Schilling, Bronson Arroyo and Derek Lowe.
* ROYALS 13, TIGERS 7: Mike Sweeney hit a grand slam and a three-run homer to lead visiting Kansas City.
Ken Harvey also connected for the Royals, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the 13th time in 44 road games. Sweeney's slam in the second and three-run homer in the eighth gave him a career-high seven RBI, matching a club record, and his second multihomer game in 11 days.
* ANGELS 11, RANGERS 1: Bartolo Colon allowed just three singles in seven innings to lead Anaheim over host Texas.
"He was throwing the ball the last couple of innings better than we've seen in a while," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "His velocity was the best we've seen in a long time."
Robb Quinlan had four hits for the Angels, who snapped a four-game losing streak and won for only the second time in seven games.
The Rangers lost for just the second time in the same stretch since the all-star break. Third-place Anaheim is still five games behind AL-West leading Texas.
* TWINS 7, DEVIL RAYS 5: Michael Cuddyer hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth and Nick Punto had a grand slam, leading Minnesota at home.
Rocco Baldelli tied it at 5 with his first career grand slam for the Devil Rays, who have lost 12 of 17 since moving a season-high two games over .500 on July 3.
Cuddyer connected on an 0-2 pitch from Travis Harper (2-2) leading off the eighth, and Minnesota added a run on an error by right fielder Jose Cruz Jr.
* WHITE SOX 3, INDIANS 0: Freddy Garcia pitched seven scoreless innings and Chicago blanked host Cleveland for the second straight night.
Garcia (8-8) improved to 4-1 since joining the White Sox, who acquired the right-hander for the playoff drive in a trade last month with Seattle.
Twenty-four hours after Mark Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters and pitched a two-hitter in a 14-0 rout, Garcia allowed five hits and struck out nine in seven innings.
* MARINERS 4, ATHLETICS 2: Bret Boone homered for the second night in a row, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth to give host Seattle the win.
Seattle has won four of its last five. Boone's shot off Mark Redman gave the left-hander his second complete-game loss of the season.