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GAME OF THE DAY

Twins Beat the A's to Pick Up Ground

September 12, 2006|From the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Carlos Silva threw seven smooth innings, Michael Cuddyer homered and drove in four runs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics, 9-4, Monday night to move within 1 1/2 games of idle Detroit in the AL Central.

"I want to win with the team. I want to celebrate with the team. That's all I'm looking for," said Silva, whose only blemish was a fourth-inning home run by Frank Thomas.

Thomas homered for the sixth straight game, two shy of the major league record, and has 36 this year.

Torii Hunter homered and Nick Punto added a two-run single for the Twins, who trailed the Tigers by 12 games at the All-Star break and had not been this close to first place since April 18.

Silva (9-13) lowered his earned-run average to 6.08. He has struggled all season, but his last two starts have been the best of the year.

He gave up five hits, one run and one walk while striking out one, impressing his team by finishing a scoreless seventh after the first two batters reached base.

"You it see on his face today. It's a sigh of relief," Cuddyer said. "It's tension-free. He's not down on himself."

First-place Oakland stayed 5 1/2 games ahead of the Angels in the AL West. The Chicago White Sox, who beat the Angels on Monday, remained 1 1/2 games behind the Twins in the wild-card standings.

Joe Blanton (15-11) was the fourth straight A's starter to have trouble, after Barry Zito, Esteban Loaiza and Dan Haren each gave up four runs or more in outings that lasted six innings or less over the weekend.

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ROUNDUP

New York 9, at Baltimore 6: Robinson Cano doubled in three runs with a seventh-inning line drive over stumbling left fielder Fernando Tatis, giving the Yankees the lead for good. Derek Jeter went two for five to extend his career-best hitting streak to 21 games and help the Yankees stretch their lead in the AL East over Boston to a season-high 10 1/2 games. New York, which won three of four from the Orioles, also moved 30 games over .500 (86-56) for the first time since 2004.

Toronto 6, at Seattle 2: Ted Lilly got his career-high 13th win, giving up four hits in seven innings. Lilly (13-12) gave up two runs, struck out five and walked two. Brandon League and Jeremy Accardo finished the five-hitter for the Blue Jays (75-69), who closed within 1 1/2 games of second-place Boston (76-67) in the AL East. Jake Woods (4-3) gave up five runs, eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He has not pitched six innings in any of his five major league starts. Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre went one for four after missing three straight games because of the birth of his son.

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