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AL: Reserves key Yanks sweep

©Associated Press

September 11, 2002


NEW YORK -- Jeff Weaver made the most out of his rare opportunity to start.

NEW YORK -- Jeff Weaver made the most out of his rare opportunity to start.

Weaver allowed one run in eight innings and Raul Mondesi homered as the Yankees completed a sweep of a split doubleheader with a 3-1 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday night.

"That's what I'm meant to do," said Weaver, who has spent most of the past month in the bullpen. "I feel more confident about it and it's what I do best. I was fortunate I had the opportunity to go out there and start."

Rookie Juan Rivera drove in two, including a tiebreaking single in the seventh, and Andy Pettitte allowed one run in 71/3 innings to lead New York to a 5-2 victory in the opener.

The Yankees have won seven of eight, reducing their magic number to 10 for clinching their fifth straight East title.

Joe Torre's second-game lineup looked more like a split-squad team from spring training than the regular Yankees.

Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Robin Ventura sat out in favor of Enrique Wilson, Alex Arias, John Vander Wal, Chris Widger and Ron Coomer.

But it proved to be enough against the Orioles, who have lost 16 of 17 games.

"The season is not over," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "We haven't given up. We're still playing hard. For 15, 16 days, things haven't worked for us."

After Chris Richard's run-scoring double gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead in the second, the Yankees tied it in the third.

Vander Wal and Rivera opened the inning with line drives to leftfield. Marty Cordova just missed on diving attempts on both, putting runners on second and third.

With one out, Vander Wal scored on a passed ball by Brook Fordyce, narrowly beating Fordyce's throw to Sidney Ponson.

"I thought that he was out," Ponson said. "But the umpire called it already. You can't do anything about it."

With one out in the fourth, Mondesi hit his 26th homer, giving the Yankees 209 on the season, second-most in franchise history. Led by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, New York hit 240 homers in 1961.

Rivera added a run-scoring single to right in the seventh, giving him three RBIs on the day and four in his career as he tries to win a spot on New York's postseason roster.

"He has a good approach to hitting for a youngster," Torre said. "He doesn't try to pull the ball and do too much."

RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2: Pinch-hitter Todd Greene drove in the go-ahead run for host Texas, whose record streak of 27 games with a home run ended.

Herbert Perry, who went 2-for-3, led off the eighth with a double off Joel Pineiro, and pinch-runner Donnie Sadler went to third on Kevin Mench's sacrifice.

Greene's groundout, a high bouncer to third, gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

TWINS 11, TIGERS 4: Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer and threw out two runners from centerfield to lead host Minnesota.

Dustan Mohr went 3-for-4 with a homer for the Twins, who lowered their magic number to five for clinching the Central and their first playoff berth since winning the World Series in 1991.

BLUE JAYS 5, INDIANS 4: A throwing error by reliever Mark Wohlers in the ninth allowed Shannon Stewart to score the go-ahead run for visiting Toronto.

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