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AL: Wells keeps Yanks on track for homefield

©Associated Press
September 29, 2002

BALTIMORE -- David Wells allowed two hits over six innings, and Bernie Williams had three hits and two RBIs as the New York Yankees won their fourth straight, 4-2 over the Orioles on Saturday night.

The Yankees maintained their half-game lead over Oakland in the race for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Orioles lost their 11th in a row, matching the fourth-longest skid in team history. It's the longest since a 21-game slide at the beginning of the 1988 season.

Geronimo Gil homered off Mariano Rivera in the eighth for the Orioles. Baltimore has lost 31 of 35, eight straight at home.

Williams' three hits gave him 204, breaking his single-season franchise record for hits in a season by a switch-hitter. He had 202 in 1999.

Williams hit a two-run double off Travis Driskill in a three-run fifth that broke open a scoreless game.

In his final tuneup before the playoffs, Wells struck out three and allowed two baserunners in winning his fourth straight start. The left-hander threw 60 pitches, 45 of them strikes.

Wells has not walked a batter in his past four starts. He's 7-1 in eight starts since Aug. 10.

Mike Stanton worked the ninth for his sixth save. It was his 78th appearance, a Yankees record for pitchers.

Driskill matched zeros with Wells until the fifth. After Rondell White hit a one-out double, Driskill issued a pair of two-out walks to load the bases. The right-hander then hit Jason Giambi with a pitch, forcing in a run, before Williams doubled to right.

A'S 10, RANGERS 8: Terrance Long and Eric Byrnes had consecutive run-scoring singles in the seventh as visiting Oakland rallied from a five-run deficit.

Texas led 7-2 in the third and was ahead 7-6 in the seventh when Danny Kolb hit Jermaine Dye with a pitch and walked Olmedo Saenz, the only batters he faced.

Long hit a pinch-single off Juan Alvarez that tied the score, and Byrnes, one of four rookies in Oakland's lineup, broke the tie.

TWINS 3, WHITE SOX 2: Bobby Kielty ruined Mark Buehrle's quest for 20 wins with a two-run homer in the eighth to lift host Minnesota.

With two outs, Michael Restovich singled and Kielty hit Buehrle's pitch high into right-centerfield to give the Central champions their fourth win in five games.

With 32,072 fans waving their Homer Hankies, Kielty came back on the field and tipped his cap.

"That was pretty exciting for me," said Kielty, who couldn't remember doing a curtain call.

ANGELS 8, MARINERS 4: Brad Fullmer hit a two-run triple and a single during a seven-run sixth that propelled host Anaheim.

The Angels, the wild-card winner, extended a team record with their 98th victory. They matched the club mark of 53 home wins set in 1967.

Former Rays pitcher Mickey Callaway allowed three runs and eight hits in eight innings against a Seattle lineup peppered with reserves.

INDIANS 6, ROYALS 5 (10): Jim Thome tied the score with his 52nd homer, a three-run drive in the eighth, and host Cleveland won when pinch-hitter Ellis Burks hit a run-scoring grounder to shortstop in the 10th.

BLUE JAYS 10, TIGERS 2: Carlos Delgado hit his 10th homer in September and host Toronto matched its season high with its sixth straight win and improved to 43-32 since the All-Star break, fourth-best in the majors.

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