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Wells, Williams Lead Yankees Past Red Sox

September 08, 2003|From Associated Press

With their East Division lead down to 1 1/2 games, the New York Yankees needed a win badly to hold off the Boston Red Sox. So David Wells pitched his best game this season and Bernie Williams hit his first home run since mid-August, propelling the Yankees to a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Williams broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Jeff Suppan (1-2). Wells (13-6) took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Mariano Rivera got the last five outs in the final scheduled meeting this season between the teams.

The Yankees (85-56) boosted their division lead to 2 1/2 games over the Red Sox (83-59) with three weeks remaining.

Boston had won five straight and was on the verge of closing within a half-game of first -- the Red Sox haven't been that close in September since winning the division in 1995, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Minnesota 5, Texas 4 -- Torii Hunter hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Twins their fifth consecutive victory.

The Twins, who have won 10 of their last 13, also kept pace with the Chicago White Sox. The Twins and White Sox are tied for first in the Central Division and open a four-game series at Chicago tonight.

Chicago 7, Cleveland 3 -- Frank Thomas, hitless in his last 11 at-bats, hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning at Chicago. The White Sox trailed, 3-2, when Thomas hit the first pitch from reliever Danys Baez into the seats in left field. Chicago has won three straight and is 10 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Tampa Bay 11, Oakland 2 -- Victor Zambrano pitched his first career complete game and the Devil Rays roughed up Barry Zito at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Zambrano (10-8) gave up nine hits, walked none and struck out eight in his 35th major league start. Zito (11-12) yielded seven runs, six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Baltimore 2, Seattle 1 -- At Baltimore, Pat Hentgen (6-7) yielded five hits in eight innings to beat the struggling Mariners, who have lost four of five and 11 of 17. But they remained two games behind the Athletics in the West Division and 1 1/2 games back of the Red Sox in the wild-card race.

Toronto 8, Detroit 0 -- At Toronto, Frank Catalanotto homered twice as the Blue Jays won their third straight. The Tigers haven't scored a run in 22 innings and have been blanked a league-high 15 times this season.

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