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Red Sox Rally Off Rivera to Win, 3-2

September 18, 2004|From Associated Press

The way the Boston Red Sox are playing these days, nothing seems to be able to stop them. Not even Mariano Rivera.

Orlando Cabrera and Johnny Damon hit RBI singles in the ninth inning off the majors' top reliever, and visiting Boston stormed past New York, 3-2, Friday night to cut the Yankees' American League East lead to 2 1/2 games.

"Without question, it was definitely a blow to their ego," Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo said. "We start getting a little closer, they start doubting themselves a little bit more."

The Red Sox are 25-5 since trailing their longtime rivals by 10 1/2 games on Aug. 15. Boston has two more games at Yankee Stadium, highlighted by Pedro Martinez vs. Mike Mussina on Sunday, and three against New York next weekend at Fenway Park.

Rivera took over in the ninth with a 2-1 lead, poised to earn his career high-tying 50th save. But with a boisterous crowd standing and stomping, Boston had other ideas.

Trot Nixon drew a leadoff walk on a full-count pitch and pinch-runner Dave Roberts stole second as Jason Varitek struck out. Rivera hit Kevin Millar with a pitch and then Cabrera, playing in his first Red Sox-Yankee game, grounded a tying single to right.

Rivera struck out Kevin Youkilis, but Damon blooped a soft single to center field.

Rivera (4-2) leads the majors with 49 saves and has blown only four save chances, two to Boston.

Seattle 6, Oakland 3 -- Rookie Greg Dobbs' three-run pinch-hit double started the Mariners' five-run seventh inning in a victory at Seattle. The victory cut the Athletics' lead in the AL West to one game over the Angels.

Ichiro Suzuki broke the major league single-season record with his 199th single in the seventh. He bettered the mark of 198 set by Lloyd Waner of Pittsburgh in 1927. Suzuki went two for four, giving him 235 hits this season -- 22 shy of the major league single-season record set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in 1920.

Edgar Martinez got his 1,000th career RBI.

Kansas City 6, Cleveland 4 -- Jody Gerut of the Indians injured his right knee chasing Abraham Nunez's line drive, enabling the Royal player to complete an inside-the-park homer in a victory for Kansas City at Cleveland.

Baltimore 11, Minnesota 2 -- Rafael Palmeiro hit his 548th homer to tie Mike Schmidt for 10th place on the career list, and Larry Bigbie had a career-high seven RBIs at Minneapolis as the Orioles ended the Twins' nine-game winning streak.

Detroit 11, Chicago 10 -- Carlos Pena homered off Shingo Takatsu to lead off the 10th inning and the Tigers outslugged the White Sox at Detroit.

Tampa Bay 11, Toronto 4 -- Aubrey Huff homered and drove in three runs and B.J. Upton hit a three-run shot to lead the Devil Rays at Toronto.

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