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Yanks blast Baltimore to slip ahead of Bosox
Published September 27, 2005
BALTIMORE - All thoughts about Boston can wait. For now, the New York Yankees are focused solely on beating the Orioles.
They're doing a pretty good job of it, too.
After enduring two rain delays totaling nearly two hours, the Yankees regained sole possession of first place in the East with an 11-3 rout of the Orioles on Monday night.
The Yankees moved a half-game ahead of the Red Sox.
"I'm not really worried about Boston right now," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "This is a big series. We've got to play well against Baltimore."
New York has six games left, three against the Orioles, who have lost a season-high nine straight, and three in Boston to finish the season.
If the Orioles keep playing as they have lately, the Yankees can expect to bring some momentum into Fenway Park this weekend. New York has won seven straight against Baltimore, five in the past eight days.
"We control our destiny. If we win all our games, we win. That's the only way you can approach this," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We can't be looking for help from anybody else. Sure, if we get it, we appreciate it, but we can't go in expecting it."
Randy Johnson pitched six shutout innings, Jason Giambi homered to cap a six-run fourth and New York got 12 hits in building an 11-0 lead.
"We're taking every game like it's October, because it is for us," said Alex Rodriguez, who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Angels take control
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Los Angeles Angels are in great position to wrap up the West before the final weekend.
Steve Finley hit a two-run homer, John Lackey pitched six strong innings and the Angels moved within one victory of clinching their second straight division title with a 4-3 win over the Athletics.
The Angels opened a five-game lead and lowered their magic number to two. They send 10-game winner Ervin Santana to the mound against former Devil Rays left-hander Joe Kennedy to try to finish off the A's tonight.
Lackey didn't allow a hit until Jay Payton singled to center to start the fifth, when Oakland's Jason Kendall hit a two-run double.
TIGERS 4, WHITE SOX 3: Curtis Granderson's leadoff homer in the ninth inning lifted host Detroit.
Chicago's Central lead dropped to two games over idle Cleveland, and its magic number remained at five. The White Sox had a 15-game lead Aug.1, and if they fail to finish first it would be one of the biggest collapses in history.
ROYALS 5, TWINS 0: Rookie J.P. Howell pitched five hitless innings before he was pulled, and Angel Berroa homered as Kansas City handed host Minnesota its fourth straight loss.
BLUE JAYS AT RED SOX, PPD.: The rainout will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader today. The games will be played at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m.