Jacque Jones hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning right after Chicago shortstop Jose Valentin dropped his foul popup with two outs, and the visiting Minnesota Twins went on to beat the White Sox, 5-4, yesterday to complete a three-game sweep.
The Twins won for the 10th time in 12 tries and moved 31/2 games ahead of the White Sox in the AL Central. Minnesota has won four in a row and Chicago has lost four straight.
With the score tied at 4, Chicago put runners at first and third with one out in the ninth. Joe Borchard hit a hard grounder that third baseman Corey Koskie gloved, and second baseman Michael Cuddyer made a tough turn for an inning-ending double play.
Cristian Guzman drew a leadoff walk in the Twins' 10th off Shingo Takatsu (4-2) and moved up on a sacrifice. After Justin Morneau was intentionally walked and Torii Hunter was thrown out trying to bunt, Jones hit a foul fly near the left field stands. Valentin ran down the ball and had plenty of room, but dropped a back-handed attempt. Two pitches later, Jones followed with a line-drive single to left.
"I know I was close. I got right under it and I just dropped it," Valentin said.
* ANGELS 2, RANGERS 0: In Anaheim, Calif., John Lackey held Texas scoreless over 81/3 innings and Troy Percival completed the three-hit shutout to earn his 300th career save for the Angels.
Lackey (9-9) won for the fifth time in six decisions, tying a season high with seven strikeouts. Kenny Rogers (13-4) took the loss, yielding two runs and nine hits over seven-plus innings.
The loss reduced the Rangers' lead in the AL West to a half-game over Oakland and three over the third-place Angels.
* ATHLETICS 3, MARINERS 2: Mark Kotsay delivered a pinch-hit single to drive in the winning run in the ninth inning, helping Mark Mulder collect his major league-leading 14th victory as Oakland handed Seattle its club-record 15th straight road loss.
Eric Byrnes hit a tying solo homer in the eighth off Shigetoshi Hasegawa, then Julio Mateo (1-2) gave up Kotsay's one-out hit that scored Scott Hatteberg from second base.
Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 20 games for the Mariners.
* BLUE JAYS 3, YANKEES 2: Vernon Wells homered in the 10th inning and Carlos Delgado had a tying RBI double in the eighth to lead Toronto at home. A night after hitting his 400th career home run, New York's Gary Sheffield homered into SkyDome's fifth deck, just the 12th time a ball has reached the uppermost tier.
* INDIANS 5, TIGERS 4: Scott Elarton won for the first time in 18 starts and Casey Blake homered and had three RBI as host Cleveland moved two games over .500 for the first time since April 27, 2002.
Bob Wickman picked up his first save since July 20, 2002, five months before he underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery.
* DEVIL RAYS 10, ROYALS 1: In St. Petersburg, Fla., Mark Hendrickson pitched a four-hitter as Tampa Bay handed Kansas City its sixth straight loss. Jose Cruz Jr., Aubrey Huff and Tino Martinez homered for the Devil Rays.