Even three homers by Kevin Millar couldn't stop the New York Yankees from beating the Boston Red Sox yet again.
After Millar tied the score in the eighth with his third solo home run, Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI single in the ninth that gave the Yankees an 8-7 victory last night at Fenway Park and extended their lead to 91/2 games in an AL East race that increasingly appears to be over.
"Every loss to me is huge," Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. "We're just trying so desperately to get on the right track."
After losing six of seven to the Red Sox in April, the Yankees have won four straight against their rival, opening their largest margin since winning the division by 101/2 games in 2002.
New York overcame a 4-1, fifth-inning deficit against Curt Schilling to win this one, bursting ahead 7-4 with five runs in the sixth before Boston rallied to tie.
Keith Foulke (2-3) retired his first batter in the ninth before allowing two straight drives off the Green Monster in left -- a double by Gary Sheffield and the single by Rodriguez, who went 1 for 17 in the four-game April series at Fenway Park, his first games in Boston since the failed attempt by the Red Sox to acquire the AL MVP from Texas in December.
Mariano Rivera then closed it out with a perfect bottom half for his 35th save in 36 chances, his 23rd in a row.
* WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 4: Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs to lead Chicago to the home victory. Esteban Loaiza (9-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings to win for the first time in four starts since he beat the Cubs on June 27.
* ANGELS 8, MARINERS 2: Jose Guillen had a homer and five RBI, leading visiting Anaheim over Seattle in a game in which both dugouts emptied after Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero was hit by a pitch. Guillen, who had three hits, put the Angels ahead 5-1 in the fifth with a three-run homer off Jamie Moyer (6-7), who lost his fifth consecutive decision.
* BLUE JAYS 7, DEVIL RAYS 3: Frank Menechino had three hits, including a solo homer, and host Toronto scored six unearned runs in the third inning to beat Tampa Bay.
* INDIANS 3, ROYALS 2: Ben Broussard homered on a 3-0 count with one out in the 11th, lifting host Cleveland to victory.
* RANGERS 8, ATHLETICS 3: Kevin Mench hit a three-run homer during Texas's sixth-inning rally, and the Rangers snapped Mark Mulder's 11-game winning streak in Arlington, Tex.