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AL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 21, 2001

Groggy Yanks rebound for win

Groggy Yanks rebound for win

NEW YORK -- Tino Martinez hit a first-inning grand slam and Andy Pettitte came within one out of a shutout as the weary Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-1 Friday night.

The Yankees were buoyed by the return to the lineup of Bernie Williams, who missed the past 10 games to tend to his ailing father in Puerto Rico.

Williams got a standing ovation from the crowd of 54,366 before his first at-bat and made a spectacular leaping catch to rob Carl Everett of a homer in the third inning.

"Obviously he's a big part of our team," Martinez said. "He contributes so much on offense and defense. We really missed him."

New York needed any boost it could get after not arriving back at Yankee Stadium until 5 a.m., after Thursday's 17-inning 6-5 win at Toronto. The players looked groggy as they showed up Friday, many drinking coffee before getting in uniform.

The 5-hour, 57-minute game was the longest in Toronto's 25-year history.

But Pettitte had returned from Toronto before the marathon game and was well rested. He retired 10 in a row at one point and extended the Yankees' scoreless streak to 23 innings.

"Tino gave us an early 4-0 lead, and that makes any pitcher's life easier," manager Joe Torre said. "Once we got the lead, Pettitte pitched very aggressively and made them earn everything they got."

Only an run-scoring double by Troy O'Leary with two outs in the ninth prevented Pettitte from a shutout. The left-hander gave up six hits and struck out seven.

Manager Joe Torre needed every inning he got out of Pettitte, one night after using his bullpen for 11 innings.

TWINS 4, WHITE SOX 1: Brad Radke became the majors' first four-game winner and Corey Koskie hit a go-ahead homer as visiting Minnesota won its 12th in 15 games.

The 12-3 start is the Twins' best through 15 games since their 1972 team ran out to the same record.

Radke allowed seven hits -- including Frank Thomas' check-swing run-scoring single in the first -- and pitched his first complete game this season while beating the White Sox for the second time in less than a week.

Koskie's second homer, off Chicago's Jim Parque, was a two-run shot and broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth. David Ortiz, whose fourth homer tied the score in the second, then tripled into the rightfield corner and scored on Bobby Kielty's sacrifice fly for a 4-1 lead.

Parque, who hasn't won in four starts this season, gave up seven hits and pitched his first complete game of his career.

Thomas' single in the first scored Ray Durham, who had led off with a single and moved to second on a bunt by Jose Valentin.

Tony Graffanino led off the eighth with a double but after Harold Baines struck out, he was doubled off second on Durham's pop to shallow right.

INDIANS 5, TIGERS 4: Einar Diaz hit a bases-loaded single barely beyond diving shortstop Deivi Cruz in the bottom of the ninth inning to boost Cleveland.

With the score tied at 4, Diaz grounded his single off Todd Jones up the middle. The ball went just to the left of second base, out of Cruz's reach.

Juan Gonzalez singled off C.J. Nitkowski to open the Indians' ninth. After Jim Thome struck out, Jones relieved and yielded a bloop single by Ellis Burks that sent Gonzalez to second.

Pinch-hitter Jacob Cruz walked to load the bases and Russell Branyan struck out before Diaz singled.

Bob Wickman got the final two outs in the top of the ninth for the win.

Gonzalez had three hits against his former team. Burks and Kenny Lofton each had two hits and for Cleveland.

Tony Clark hit a two-run homer and Juan Encarnacion added a homer for Detroit, both off Chuck Finley.

Clark's third homer, a line shot over the wall in center, tied it at 3 in the sixth.

Encarnacion hit his second homer leading off the third.

It took the Indians four batters and 18 pitches to get more production off Tigers starter Steve Sparks than they got in a 1-0 loss to the knuckleballer April 14 in Detroit.

Lofton drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a groundout by Omar Vizquel. One out later, Gonzalez lined a run-scoring double off the top of the leftfield wall.

RANGERS 9, ATHLETICS 6: Darren Oliver, winless in his final 10 starts last season, won his fourth game in a row for host Texas.

The left-hander is 4-0 for the second time in his career, though his 4-0 record in 1994 came as a reliever for the Rangers.

Rusty Greer homered and drove in four runs for Texas. Alex Rodriguez homered for the second day in a row, giving him six home runs this season, all against the Athletics.

MARINERS 4, ANGELS 1: Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 to stretch his hitting streak to a major league-best 15 games for host Seattle.

Seattle starter John Halama allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, striking out five. Halama is 5-0 with a 2.82 ERA in seven career games against the Angels.

Jeff Nelson followed with a perfect eighth inning, and Kazuhiro Sasaki earned his AL-leading ninth save in 10 opportunities.

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