© St. Petersburg Times, published April 20, 2003
BOSTON -- Red Sox starter Derek Lowe felt like he got away with one against Toronto.
Trot Nixon and Todd Walker each drove in two during Boston's five-run third inning as the Red Sox won their sixth straight, 7-2 over the Blue Jays on Saturday.
Lowe, who gave up two unearned runs and seven hits in five innings, escaped a pair of bases-loaded jams in the first four innings.
"It was a win," Lowe said. "That's all you can really say about it. It was a struggle to get through five innings."
Boston's bullpen has settled down. Jason Shiell pitched three scoreless innings in his Red Sox debut and Brandon Lyon finished.
"When you have the type of game Derek has and he comes away with a win, you have to be happy," Red Sox manager Grady Little said.
Boston's offense is performing well, though, averaging 6.6 runs.
Toronto has lost three straight and nine of 10. The Blue Jays, who entered as the AL's worst fielding team, committed three errors that led to three unearned runs.
The Blue Jays equaled their worst start since also going 6-12 in 1979.
"We're hitting balls right at people that are getting caught," manager Carlos Tosca said. "We're putting too many people on base and to magnify the problem we're not catching the ball in certain situations."
The benches emptied in the fourth after Boston's Manny Ramirez was hit on the left elbow by Tanyon Sturtze's pitch, but no punches were thrown and there were no ejections.
"I don't know what the big deal was about," Sturtze said. "He just started yelling."
Kevin Millar went 0-for-4 to snap his 14-game hitting streak.
YANKEES 4, TWINS 2: Bernie Williams and Raul Mondesi homered for visiting New York.
Andy Pettitte improved the rotation's record to 12-0, the longest season-opening streak in 50 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Juan Acevedo came on with runners on first and third and two outs in the ninth and struck out pinch-hitter Dustan Mohr.
Twins centerfielder Torii Hunter went 2-for-3, including a double, an RBI and he had a homer-robbing catch. He brought Nick Johnson's drive to straightaway center back over the wall with a leaping, two-handed grab, and was okay despite landing hard on his head as he fell.
ROYALS 9, TIGERS 2: Even losing their starter after three innings to a blister couldn't slow Kansas City.
Albie Lopez pitched five scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Affeldt as the Royals dropped Detroit to 1-15.
Desi Relaford homered and Raul Ibanez had a two-run single in a five-run third inning for the Royals, who improved to 7-0 at Kauffman Stadium this season and are the only undefeated team at home in the majors. Their 13-3 start is the best in club history.
ATHLETICS 12, RANGERS 2: Mark Mulder pitched seven strong innings and Miguel Tejada and Scott Hatteberg homered for Oakland. Mulder was hit on the pitching arm by a line drive by Einar Diaz in the third, then retired the next four batters, including two straight strikeouts. Rafael Palmeiro and Carl Everett each homered for Texas, which lost its fourth straight road game.
WHITE SOX 12, INDIANS 3: Rookie Josh Stewart got his first major-league win and host Chicago got six unearned runs in the first. Cleveland committed four errors, including two on wild throws by rightfielder Karim Garcia, who also had trouble reaching several fly balls.
ANGELS 7, MARINERS 6: David Eckstein singled to drive in a run and scored on Tim Salmon's single, and Eric Owens scored the winning run on third baseman Mark McLemore's error as host Anaheim rallied for three runs in the ninth.