Curt Schilling got his 20th win on the eve of Boston's big series with the New York Yankees. Now he wants much more.
"In a couple of weeks, hopefully, it will get a lot better," he said after becoming the first 20-game winner in the major leagues with an 11-4 victory last night over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in Boston.
By that time, he hopes, the Red Sox will have clinched the AL East title. They trail the Yankees by 31/2 games, but the teams have six meetings left -- three in New York this weekend and three in Boston beginning next Friday.
"This is a great warmup," Johnny Damon said, referring to Boston's 24th victory in 29 games. "This is the time to shine. I think this is the best assembled team in the league and it's time to show it."
Damon and Kevin Millar each homered and drove in four runs, and Boston scored at least nine runs for the fifth time in Schilling's last six starts. The 20-6 right-hander has won seven straight starts for the first time in his career.
* ATHLETICS 5, RANGERS 4: Rich Harden and Bobby Crosby, Oakland's youngest regulars, were the biggest contributors in the A's home win, with Harden pitching into the seventh inning and Crosby hitting a three-run double.
Neither Texas starter Kenny Rogers nor the A's cared much about Rogers's streak of 18 victories and 35 appearances in Oakland without a loss stretching from Aug. 7, 1994. The playoff race is a bigger concern for both teams, and with a much-needed win, the A's maintained their slim AL West lead.
The Rangers' Alfonso Soriano hurt his left leg in an awkward headfirst slide while stealing third base in the eighth inning. His left foot got caught under his right leg, and he left the game after consulting with trainers. He'll undergo tests today.
"It doesn't look very good," Rangers Manager Buck Showalter said. "But we won't comment until the MRI."
* ANGELS 6, MARINERS 1: Anaheim took advantage of two errors by Gold Glove second baseman Bret Boone, scoring four times in the eighth inning en route to victory in Seattle.
The Angels stayed within 51/2 games of Boston in the AL wild-card race and remained two games back of Oakland the AL West.
* TWINS 10, WHITE SOX 1: In Minneapolis, Kyle Lohse pitched seven sharp innings, Michael Cuddyer went 3 for 4 with a homer and Minnesota won its ninth straight.
The streaking Twins are quickly closing in on their third consecutive AL Central title. They reduced their magic number for clinching the division to four.
* TIGERS 6, INDIANS 4: Eric Munson and Omar Infante each hit two-run homers, leading host Detroit over Cleveland.
Munson homered in the second off C.C. Sabathia and Infante connected in Detroit's three-run fifth.
Nook Logan's RBI triple in the ninth gave the Tigers an insurance run and a 6-4 lead.