Friday, March 19, 2010
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[March 19, 2010]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Torii Hunter could laugh.

"Shoeless Torii -- that was pretty funny. My spike got caught in the wall," he said. "I was running out of my shoes right there."

HardwareHunter lost a shoe chasing Mark Teixeira's two-run triple in the New York Yankees' 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. While this was just a possible playoff preview, the Yankees and Angels could meet next month in the AL championship series.

"It was good to have a nice game today for kind of everyone to know we can play well against the Angels," Teixeira said. "We know the teams that we're going to hopefully be playing in October if we get there, and the Angels are going to be one of them."

Pinch-runner Brett Gardner slid into third base on the front end of a double steal following Teixeira's one-out double in the eighth off Jered Weaver (15-6), then popped up and came home with the go-ahead run as catcher Mike Napoli's throw rolled into left field. Robinson Cano added a run-scoring single.


"They obviously didn't put me out there to score on a single," Gardner said. "They told me to take a chance."

Melky Cabrera cost the Yankees a run when he ran into third baseman Chone Figgins while jumping to avoid Johnny Damon's grounder in the fifth, and Mariano Rivera reached 40 saves for the seventh time in his career and first since 2005.

The Angels' Vladimir Guerrero and New York's Nick Swisher homered into the second deck in the makeup of a May 3 rainout to raise the home run total at new Yankee Stadium to 217 -- two more than were ever hit in a season at the original ballpark across the street.

Kendry Morales tied the game in the eighth on a double-play grounder after Los Angeles loaded the bases with no outs against Phil Hughes (7-3).

New York opened a 7 1/2-game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East with 17 to play. The Yankees also took a six-game lead over the Angels for the AL's best record.

Los Angeles, which remained six games ahead of second-place Texas in the AL West, has gone 34-20 against the Yankees in the regular season since 2004 and eliminated New York in the first round of the playoffs in 2002 and 2005.

"I told Torii and all those guys this offseason when I signed with the Yankees, I said, `Hopefully, we'll see you guys in October,'" Teixeira said.

If the standings stay the same, the Angels would host Boston and the Yankees would be home against Detroit in the AL playoff openers. Hunter, the Angels' All-Star center fielder, has been impressed by what he's seen of the Yankees.

"This year, I think it's something different about those guys," he said. "It's a fire, some kind of fire, I see in those guys. It's totally different."

Athletics 9, Rangers 0

At Arlington, Texas, Brett Tomko (5-3) pitched a five-hitter for his 100th major league win, dropping the Rangers 4 1/2 games behind idle Boston in the wild-card race.

Texas has lost three of four.

Released by the Yankees on July 29, Tomko struck out three and walked none in his second career shutout and 13th complete game.

Scott Feldman (16-5) allowed six runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. He had gone 7-0 in eight starts since losing to Detroit on July 29.

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Tigers 6, Blue Jays 5

At Detroit, shortstop Marco Scutaro's second error of the game allowed Brandon Inge to score from second base in the 10th.

Pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff hit a tying three-run homer in the ninth and Ryan Raburn also went deep for Detroit, which maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central.

Bobby Seay (6-3) retired one batter for the win. Brian Wolfe (1-2) was the loser.

Twins 6, Indians 3

At Minneapolis, Michael Cuddyer hit a tying, three-run homer in a six-run eighth against Chris Perez (0-1), who allowed the go-ahead run to score on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Jason Kubel followed with a two-run, upper-deck homer.

Ron Mahay (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning, and Joe Nathan got his 39th save.

Minnesota said Justin Morneau's season is over because of a stress fracture in his lower back. The 2006 AL MVP, who has 30 homers and 100 RBIs, was hurt on a headfirst slide into first base on Friday.


Rays 8, Orioles 4

At Baltimore, the Rays avoided becoming the first World Series team with a 12-game losing streak the following year

David Price (8-7) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in seven innings, and rookie Reid Brignac had a career-high four hits -- his first big league homer, two doubles and a single. B.J. Upton also connected for Tampa Bay, which had been held to eight runs in its previous seven games.

Orioles rookie David Hernandez (4-8) wasted a 4-1 lead and fell to 0-4 in his last six starts, allowing five runs and nine hits in three-plus innings.

[Associated Press; By RONALD BLUM]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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