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Lester pitches Red Sox by Blue Jays

Sunday, September 14, 2008

By The Associated Press

BOSTON -- Jon Lester held Toronto to four hits over eight innings and Coco Crisp drove in two runs to lead the Boston Red Sox over Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Sunday.

The Red Sox moved within one game of AL East-leading Tampa Bay, which lost to New York 8-4. Boston and the Rays begin a three-game series on Monday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are 0-6 so far this season.

Lester (15-5), who has not lost since the Blue Jays scored seven off him on Aug. 23, struck out six for his second straight victory. He has allowed just two earned runs in 19 1-3 innings over his last three starts, winning two.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 38th save.

Halladay (18-11) took the loss while pitching on three days' rest, allowing two earned runs on six hits and striking out five in seven innings. He has lost consecutive starts since winning five in a row.

White Sox 4, Tigers 2, 1st game

CHICAGO (AP) -- Javier Vazquez took a shutout into the eighth, Alexei Ramirez homered and the White Sox hung on to beat Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader.

Vazquez (12-13) helped the White Sox move a game ahead of Minnesota in the American League Central. He allowed three hits in 7 2-3 scoreless innings while striking out eight, giving him 2,003 in his career.

Juan Uribe singled in Ken Griffey Jr. in the fifth inning and Ramirez made it 2-0 in the seventh with his 17th homer, sending the White Sox to just their second win in six games. DeWayne Wise added an RBI double, and Jermaine Dye drove him in with a single that made it 4-0 and chased Justin Verlander (10-16).

Detroit's Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run homer off Bobby Jenks in the ninth and the Tigers had the tying run on after Matt Joyce singled with one out, before Gary Sheffield grounded into a game-ending double play.

Yankees 8, Rays 4

NEW YORK (AP) -- Derek Jeter collected three hits for the third straight game, Alex Rodriguez belted a grand slam and New York beat Tampa Bay to win the weekend series against the AL East leaders.

Jeter moved into a tie with Lou Gehrig for most career hits at Yankee Stadium and Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer for New York.

Mariano Rivera entered with two on in the ninth and struck out Erick Aybar for his 35th save in 36 opportunities. The All-Star closer also moved into a tie with Lee Smith for second on the career list with 478 saves.

Oft-injured Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano (3-1) allowed three earned runs and five hits before he was booed off the mound in the sixth inning following a visit by the trainer and manager Joe Girardi.

Edwin Jackson (11-11) dropped to 0-3 in his past three starts. Orioles 7, Twins 3

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Radhames Liz pitched eight shutout innings, and Baltimore hit five home runs in a victory over Minnesota.

Nick Markakis and Oscar Salazar each homered twice, and Lou Montanez also connected to help Baltimore salvage the finale of the three-game series. The five homers tied a season high for the Orioles, who had only five in their past six games.

Four of the home runs were off rookie Nick Blackburn, who had yielded only four homers in his previous nine starts. Blackburn (10-9) gave up six runs and nine hits in four innings.

Liz (6-5) gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one in his longest and most effective outing in the big leagues. Making his 19th career start, the right-hander did not permit a runner past second base.

Angels 4, Mariners 3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Chone Figgins singled home the winning run in the ninth inning and Mark Teixeira hit his 200th career homer as Los Angeles beat Seattle for a four-game sweep.

Ninth-place hitter Sean Rodriguez tripled just beyond the reach of Ichiro Suzuki with one out. Figgins followed with a drive off the right-field wall against Roy Corcoran (5-1) for his third game-ending hit this season.

Jose Arredondo (9-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory.

Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez wasn't needed, a day after setting the major league record with his 58th save this year.

Royals 13, Indians 3

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Brian Bannister won for the first time in nearly three months and Ryan Shealy homered twice and drove in five runs and Kansas City defeated Cleveland.

Bannister (8-15) gave up four hits and three runs in the first inning, then settled down and won for the first time in 14 starts to snap his nine-game losing streak.

Edward Mujica (2-2) took the loss for Cleveland.

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