While Nick Swisher grinned through a face full of shaving cream, Bobby Crosby quietly chuckled in the corner of the Oakland Athletics' clubhouse.
Swisher's first week in the big leagues had just been capped by a rookie hazing. Crosby is long past those first-year rituals, but both rookies came through yesterday to stop the A's five-game losing streak.
Crosby and Swisher hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning against Bob Howry, leading the A's to a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Oakland.
Oakland rallied from a four-run deficit in the final three innings to keep its AL West lead. It wouldn't have happened without the rookies.
With another bit of their customary late-season magic, the A's stayed on top of the division for at least one more day. The A's have a two-game lead over the Anaheim Angels.
The A's appeared headed for their longest losing skid of the season after C.C. Sabathia held them scoreless through six innings. Travis Hafner hit a three-run homer in the seventh, staking Cleveland to a 4-0 lead.
But Oakland put together a three-run rally in the seventh -- and with one out in the eighth, Crosby homered to left off Howry (1-1). Five pitches later, Swisher connected with his second homer of the season, a drive to right.
* WHITE SOX 13, ANGELS 6: Paul Konerko singled, doubled, scored twice and drove in three runs -- all during an eight-run second inning -- and Chicago went on to a victory over host Anaheim.
Konerko's bases-loaded double scored three runs, and Jamie Burke singled home a pair of runs as the White Sox sent 13 batters to the plate and pounded Aaron Sele (8-3) for eight runs -- four earned -- in the second.
* RED SOX 9, MARINERS 0: Bronson Arroyo pitched seven shutout innings, and Manny Ramirez and Mark Bellhorn homered, leading Boston in Seattle.
With pro-Boston fans in the Safeco Field crowd of 44,401 chanting "Let's Go Red Sox!" Boston stayed 21/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East with their 28th win in 34 games.
Arroyo (9-9) won his fourth straight decision, allowing four hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
* TWINS 3, TIGERS 2: Cristian Guzman and Shannon Stewart each homered to lead visiting Minnesota.
Detroit lost its two all-stars to right knee injuries. Shortstop Carlos Guillen sprained his knee while sliding awkwardly into third base in the fifth inning, and catcher Ivan Rodriguez left in the seventh with a bruised knee after being hit by foul tip. Guillen underwent an MRI exam after the game. X-rays of Rodriguez's knee were negative.
* DEVIL RAYS 8, ROYALS 6: Tampa Bay stopped the second-longest losing streak in team history at 12 games, rallying past host Kansas City behind Julio Lugo.
* RANGERS 10, BLUE JAYS 7: David Dellucci hit a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, Francisco Cordero earned his 43rd save to match a Rangers record and Texas beat visiting Toronto.