BOSTON - On his way to the ballpark, Curt Schilling had a feeling it was going to be a big night.
"It's one of those days you pray that you show up and do your job, because it's such an awesome thing to be out there in front of those people," he said Tuesday night after shutting Anaheim down for 72/3 innings in Boston's 10-7 win over the Angels. "It was enough to give me chills."
Manny Ramirez homered twice, and Schilling's 17th victory tied him with Oakland's Mark Mulder for the major-league lead. Boston won its seventh consecutive game to take a 21/2-game lead over Anaheim in the wild-card race.
But that's not all.
Because if Schilling had looked over his shoulder as he left the mound, he would have seen that the Yankees were in the middle of their worst loss in franchise history, 22-0 to Cleveland that cut Boston's deficit in the East to 31/2. The Red Sox have trimmed seven games off the Yankees' lead since Aug. 15; the teams play six times in September.
"We're playing great, the Yankees are having trouble," Schilling said after the Red Sox won for the 13th time in 14 games. "But I don't expect them to fall down on the job. They were good enough to put 101/2 games between us. We're going to need some help to catch up."
Schilling got a huge ovation when he tipped his cap on the way off the field in the eighth inning. It even bested the cheers in response to highlights from the Indians' victory.
Anaheim had won 10 of 11 and went 19-8 in August, almost keeping pace with the Red Sox, who went 21-7.
TWINS 8, RANGERS 5 (11): Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 11th to lead host Minnesota. Hunter drove in a career-high six and Justin Morneau also homered and had two RBIs for the Twins.
With Minnesota leading 5-3 in the fifth, Hank Blalock extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a one-out double. He moved to third on Mark Teixeira's third hit and scored on Alfonso Soriano's fielder's choice. Kevin Mench added a two-out single off reliever Joe Roa to tie it at 5.
A'S 7, WHITE SOX 2: Rich Harden pitched seven solid innings to help visiting Oakland extend its winning streak to eight. Adam Melhuse went 3-for-4 with a home run and Mark Kotsay also had three hits for the Athletics, who matched their longest winning streak of the season and won for the 13th time in 14 games.
MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 5: Ichiro Suzuki got three hits to finish with 56 in August, most in a month by a major-leaguer in 68 years, and visiting Seattle rallied for its season-high fifth straight victory.
ROYALS 9, TIGERS 8: Aaron Guiel's sacrifice fly drove in the winner with one out in the ninth as host Kansas City rallied.