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AL roundup

By Wire services
Published June 15, 2006

ROYALS 4, ANGELS 3: ANAHEIM, Calif. - Matt Stairs drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth and Mark Grudzielanek homered, leading Kansas City.

Mark Redman won his third straight start.

The Royals snapped a four-game losing streak and have endured skids of 13, 11 and six games this season. They would have to go 46-52 the rest of the way to avoid their fourth 100-loss season in five years and Buddy Bell's second as a major-league manager. His 1996 Detroit Tigers lost 109.

Scot Shields relieved Angels starter Kelvim Escobar in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single by David DeJesus, who advanced to third on Grudzielanek's sacrifice bunt and Doug Mientkiewicz's groundout. Stairs drove in DeJesus with a bouncing single up the middle on a 1-and-1 pitch.

Escobar was staked to a 3-1 lead on Robb Quinlan's three-run homer in the second. The right-hander is 0-5 in his past six starts.

NOTABLE: Angels first baseman and former Seminole High standout Casey Kotchman, sidelined since May 9 with a viral syndrome, got some blood work done this week. The test results are expected back today.

ATHLETICS 7, MARINERS 2: OAKLAND, Calif. - Dan Haren pitched seven strong innings, and the Athletics won their season-high sixth straight game.

Haren retired 12 in a row at one point and didn't allow a hit after Carl Everett's leadoff single in the second. He improved to 7-0 over the past two Junes.

Jason Kendall and Bobby Kielty each drove in two as the A's beat Seattle for the eighth straight time.

Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. He is 33-for-63 (.524) during that streak to raise his average from .323 to .367. Jose Lopez had two hits and an RBI.

Suzuki led off the game with a single and scored when Raul Ibanez grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.

Joel Pineiro lasted four-plus innings, matching his second-shortest outing of the season, and pitched into trouble in every inning after a perfect first.

Eric Chavez snapped an 0-for-16 streak with a single in the fifth, ending Pineiro's night.

NOTABLE: A's second baseman Mark Ellis, on the DL since June 1, is scheduled to have his broken right thumb X-rayed next week to see how it's healing.

YANKEES 6, INDIANS 1: NEW YORK - Randy Johnson's control was outstanding all night. Perhaps the only time he missed the target was on his final pitch, which sailed right past Eduardo Perez.

Johnson's encouraging outing ended abruptly when he was ejected for throwing inside, and the Yankees beat slumping Cleveland in a testy game.

"This could be a great turnaround for him," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It looked like he was proud of his stuff, proud enough to dare them to hit it."

Johnny Damon and Andy Phillips homered for New York, which won its second straight after losing four in a row. Bernie Williams added a key run-scoring double and Robinson Cano had three hits, sending the Indians to their 14th loss in 16 games at Yankee Stadium since 2002.

Indians starter Jason Johnson was the lesser Johnson, and Cleveland's dangerous lineup was shut down for the second straight night. The Indians have lost five of six and eight of 11.

Derek Jeter got buzzed up and in during the fifth, and Jorge Posada and Jason Johnson exchanged words after the New York catcher was hit near the elbow by a pitch in the sixth. Both benches were warned.

"I don't know what he was yelling about," Johnson, the former Devil Ray, said. "I have no idea and I don't even care."

With Randy Johnson nursing a 6-1 lead the next inning, Perez, a longtime nemesis, came to the plate with one out and nobody on. Johnson threw his first pitch way inside, and the ex-Ray pointed his bat at the mound and took a few steps toward the pitcher.

"I was taught how to play this game, and that's not the way you play the game, unless someone changed the memo and didn't tell me," Perez said.

Posada stepped in front of Perez as both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown. Randy Johnson and Torre were immediately ejected.

QUOTABLE: "I've faced Randy Johnson. Let's put it this way: If he's going to hit you, he's going to hit you." - Perez

RANGERS 8, WHITE SOX 0: ARLINGTON, Texas - Getting a turn as Texas' DH, Hank Blalock snapped out of his offensive slump with a homer and a run-scoring double.

Vicente Padilla allowed only three singles in eight innings. After allowing runners in the first four innings, the right-hander retired 14 of the last 16 batters he faced.

Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth to wrap up the Rangers' fifth shutout of the season. Chicago was scoreless for the second time.

Blalock led off the second with his 10th homer, a 416-foot blast into the second deck of seats in rightfield, to put the Rangers ahead. His double an inning later was part of a four-run outburst in which they batted around to go up 5-0.

Gary Matthews also homered for Texas, which avoided its first three-game losing streak since being swept May 5-7 by the Yankees.

Blalock was the DH for only the second time this season. The two-time All-Star third baseman was 2-for-17 his previous four games.

NOTABLE: White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was hit by pitches his first two at-bats, prompting home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi to issue warnings to both benches in the fourth.

BLUE JAYS 6, ORIOLES 3: TORONTO - Alex Rios, Frank Catalanotto and Vernon Wells homered to lead the Blue Jays.

Rios and Catalanotto hit back-to-back homers to open the first against Rodrigo Lopez. Toronto has hit consecutive home runs seven times this season.

Wells homered off Lopez in the third for the Blue Jays, who have won two straight since a three-game losing skid.

B.J. Ryan, the former Baltimore closer, pitched two hitless innings for his 16th save in 17 chances.

Rios has four home runs in his past four games. He's hitting .341 with 15 home runs, 49 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

Miguel Tejada went 3-for-4 for the Orioles, who have lost two straight.

After Rios and Catalanotto homered in the first, Wells walked before scoring on Lyle Overbay's single.

NOTABLE: Scott Downs started for Toronto in place of Gustavo Chacin, who is expected to miss at least a month with a sore left elbow. Downs will return to the bullpen as the Blue Jays won't need a fifth starter with off days coming up.

TWINS 8, RED SOX 1: MINNEAPOLIS - Jason Kubel homered again and Justin Morneau hit a grand slam, sparking suddenly powerful Minnesota.

Kubel, whose grand slam gave the Twins a 5-2 win in the 12th inning the night before, hit a two-run shot in the second off Matt Clement. Morneau's slam in the sixth was Minnesota's sixth of the season and fourth in eight days. The team record is eight, set in 1961.

This comes from a team that hasn't had a 30-homer player since 1987, by far the longest drought in the majors. Morneau, who has 15 homers, is on pace to end that streak.

Tampa's Brad Radke was the beneficiary. He gave up fewer than four runs for the fourth time in his 14 starts.

Radke survived what could have been a messy first, his Achilles' heel of innings, by getting Trot Nixon to pop up to shortstop and retiring Jason Varitek on a long fly to right.

The Twins won for the fifth time in six games.

NOTABLE: An All-Star last year whose season soured after the break, Clement is struggling again, having posted quality starts (six or more innings, three or fewer runs) in four of 12 outings, none consecutive.

[Last modified June 15, 2006, 01:44:19]

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