Bengie Molina went 4 for 4 with a three-run homer, Kelvim Escobar outpitched Kevin Brown and the Anaheim Angels completed a three-game sweep of the slumping Yankees with a 4-3 victory yesterday in New York.
Gary Sheffield homered and had two RBI for the Yankees, who scored only four runs in the series and were booed by a sellout crowd of 53,885.
New York lost for the sixth time in seven games and has been outscored 37-11 in the defeats. After Boston's win last night, the Yankees' AL East lead dipped to 51/2 games for the first time since June 28
They were ahead of the Red Sox by a season-high 101/2 games on Aug. 15.
"I guess that's what the lead is all about. You have fouls to give," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said before the game. "You certainly can't worry about who's running after you."
Molina tied his career high for hits in his second start since returning from a broken finger, leading the Angels to their fifth straight win and 13th in 17 games.
They pulled off their first sweep of New York since May 11-13, 1999, also at Yankee Stadium, and finished 5-1 on a road trip that included a stop in Tampa Bay.
Escobar (8-9) allowed just three hits and struck out eight in seven stellar innings, winning for the third time in four starts.
Brown (9-3) lost for the first time in 10 starts at home this season.
* RED SOX 6, WHITE SOX 5: In Chicago, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz homered on consecutive pitches to start the eighth inning, giving Boston its sixth straight win.
Boston has 12 wins in its past 15 games and a one-game lead in the AL wild-card race.
The Red Sox swept the White Sox for the first time since taking three straight Sept. 26-28, 2000, in Chicago.
The White Sox lost for the 19th time in 27 games and fell under .500 for the first time since April 8.
Ramirez hit Freddy Garcia's first pitch of the eighth for his 33rd homer, giving him 11 RBI in the three games.
Damaso Marte (4-5) relieved and Ortiz -- who entered in an 0-for-15 slump -- hit his first pitch to right-center for a 6-5 lead. Ortiz's 31 homers match his career high.
* TWINS 7, INDIANS 3: Justin Morneau drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning before leaving when he was hit on the hand by a pitch, and host Minnesota completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland.
Corey Koskie homered and Torii Hunter had three hits, including a three-run double, for Minnesota. The first-place Twins, who led Cleveland by only a game on Aug. 15, took a seven-game lead in the AL Central.
The Indians have lost seven straight, including four to the Twins.
"They played well and took it to us," Cleveland Manager Eric Wedge said. "We need to clear our heads and get a fresh start at home."
* ROYALS 10, RANGERS 2: Calvin Pickering drove in six runs with a grand slam and a two-run home run in his first major league appearance in almost three years to power Kansas City in Arlington, Tex.
* MARINERS 5, TIGERS 3: Willie Bloomquist hit his first homer in more than 13 months -- a go-ahead three-run shot in the fifth -- to lead Seattle to a win on the road.
* DEVIL RAYS 2, ATHLETICS 1: Dewon Brazelton pitched seven strong innings, and Jose Cruz Jr. hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth to lift Tampa Bay at home.