Bronson Arroyo gave the surging Boston Red Sox another strong start, allowing six hits in 71/3 innings in a 4-1 win last night over the visiting Detroit Tigers.
Arroyo (7-9) gave up only an unearned run and has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 of his last 14 starts, giving the Red Sox another solid starter to go along with Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez.
"It's always nice to feel like you're getting on a roll, especially at the same time the team is playing well," said Arroyo. "It's coming down to the home stretch at the end of the season and you don't want to be the guy to go there and kind of lose the momentum for the team."
Arroyo struck out eight, walked two and allowed three earned runs or fewer for the 11th time in his last 14 starts. Mike Timlin retired two batters and Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 29 chances, completing the six-hitter.
Boston remained 51/2 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees, winning for the ninth time in 10 games and improving to a season-best 20 games over .500 at 73-53. The Red Sox lead idle Anaheim by a half-game in the wild-card race.
Boston scored in the first inning on David Ortiz's RBI double and took the lead for good at 2-1 on Dave Roberts's sacrifice fly in the fourth after Bill Mueller's double.
Boston added runs when Kevin Millar hit into a double play in the fifth and on a single by Mark Bellhorn in the eighth.
* YANKEES 7, BLUE JAYS 4: Alex Rodriguez finally came through in the clutch, hitting a go-ahead single in the ninth inning to lift New York to victory in Toronto.
After the Yankees came back from a 4-0 deficit to tie it, Derek Jeter drew a leadoff walk from Jason Frasor (4-4) in the ninth. Gary Sheffield doubled before Rodriguez lined an 0-2 pitch down the left field line for a two-run single and a 6-4 lead.
Frustrated by failures with runners on all season, Rodriguez slammed his bat to the turf in satisfaction as he ran to first.
He entered the at-bat hitting just .197 (23 for 117) with runners in scoring position. He grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fifth, falling to 0 for 10 with the bases loaded this season.
Carlos Delgado and Orlando Hudson homered for the last-place Blue Jays.
* WHITE SOX 14, INDIANS 9: Carl Everett homered and drove in four runs, leading Chicago over the Indians in Cleveland.
Ben Davis hit a two-run homer and Juan Uribe a solo shot for the White Sox, who pulled even with the Indians for second place in the AL Central.
Coco Crisp, Ben Broussard, Josh Phelps and Ronnie Belliard homered for Cleveland, which lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
* RANGERS 8, TWINS 3: In Arlington, Texas, Chan Ho Park (3-4) held Minnesota to two runs over six innings in his return from the disabled list to help the Rangers (71-55) equal their win total from last year.
Hank Blalock homered for the fifth time in six games as he and Alfonso Soriano drove in three runs apiece for Texas.
* ROYALS 7, MARINERS 3: In Seattle, Abraham Nunez hit his second grand slam in two weeks to power Kansas City. The Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki homered in the ninth inning to become the first player to reach 200 hits in each of his first four seasons.