Kevin Brown thought he might be nearing the end of his career.
He spent the first two months of the season battling his body, perplexed by his performance. Then he spent seven weeks on the disabled list because of back spasms and an intestinal parasite that weakened him.
"You just can't help but look over your shoulder and wonder," he said.
Brown got his answer yesterday, when he pitched his best game of the season.
In his second start since coming off the disabled list, Brown threw four-hit ball over eight shutout innings to beat Oakland's Barry Zito. Newly signed John Olerud went 3 for 3 with a two-run double on his 36th birthday, leading the New York Yankees over the Athletics, 5-1, at Yankee Stadium.
"That's the Kevin Brown we knew was in there somewhere, and he knew was in there somewhere," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said.
Brown (9-1) struck out seven and walked two as he matched the longest outing by a Yankees starter this season. "I'm not 100 percent as far as strength and stamina," he said, "but I'm a heck of a lot better."
* ROYALS 6, WHITE SOX 4: Zack Greinke allowed one run in seven innings, and Matt Stairs homered twice in a game that was delayed 24 minutes by a power outage in the ninth inning in Kansas City.
The teams were just about to start the top of the ninth when the Kauffman Stadium lights brightened momentarily before going out in two-thirds of the stadium. The scoreboard and videoboard also lost power, which returned moments later before going out again.
After about 13 minutes, the game was ready to resume and Royals reliever D.J. Carrasco was in his windup set to throw a pitch to Paul Konerko when power went out yet again before returning about 11 minutes later. The Royals said the outages at the ballpark and surrounding areas were due to a problem with a transformer outside the stadium.
* ANGELS 8, TWINS 3: Aaron Sele won his seventh straight decision with another fine performance against host Minnesota, and Jose Guillen drove in three runs. Sele (7-0) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings, running his record against Minnesota to 16-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 22 career starts.
* RANGERS 2, TIGERS 1: Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking homer, Ryan Drese pitched six strong innings and visiting Texas completed a three-game sweep.
* MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 2: Randy Winn and Bret Boone each hit an RBI single during a three-run 11th inning, and visiting Seattle snapped a six-game losing streak.
* INDIANS 6, BLUE JAYS 3: Grady Sizemore hit a two-run double in the 10th inning for visiting Cleveland.