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Neither Twins or White Sox can make up ground in AL Central

Saturday, September 27, 2008

By The Associated Press

DETROIT -- Gary Sheffield hit two home runs and Ramon Santiago also went deep to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 6-4 win over Tampa Bay on Friday night, keeping the Rays from clinching their first division title for the second straight day.

The Rays' magic number for winning the AL East is one, pending the outcome of the New York Yankees' game against the Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay would win the division with a Boston loss.

Sheffield has 499 career home runs and Santiago homered for the third time in two days. Magglio Ordonez drove in two runs for Detroit, which beat Tampa Bay 7-5 on Thursday.

B.J. Upton homered and drove in two runs for the Rays.

Justin Verlander (11-17) won his first game since Aug. 22. He allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, walking three and striking out eight.

Andy Sonnanstine (13-9) gave up five runs on five hits in 5 2-3 innings for the Rays, walking five and striking out seven.

Royals 8, Twins 1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A night after erasing a five-run deficit against the White Sox to reclaim first place in the AL Central, the Twins fell flat in an loss to the surging Royals.

Kansas City hammered Francisco Liriano (6-4) for six runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Kyle Davies (9-7) allowed one run and four hits in six innings and tied a career high with eight strikeouts, helping the Royals win for the 12th time in 14 games. They've won seven straight on the road.

The Twins came into Friday with a half-game lead on the White Sox. Minnesota is seeking its fifth division title in seven seasons.

Billy Butler had three hits and a homer and Mike Aviles added a double and a homer for the Royals, who are looking to crash another party in the final series of a season.

Indians 11, White Sox 8

CHICAGO (AP) -- Ryan Garko and Cleveland kept struggling Chicago in second place.

Garko homered twice, including a grand slam in a six-run fifth inning, and had five RBIs to help the Indians send the White Sox to their fourth straight loss.

Chicago missed a chance to move back into first in the AL Central when Minnesota lost at home to Kansas City, 8-1. Instead, they remained a half game behind Minnesota after a shaky pitching effort that included six walks -- one with the bases loaded -- and a wild pitch that also scored a run.

The White Sox have two games left against the Indians and possibly a makeup game Monday against Detroit, if needed.

Cleveland lefty Scott Lewis (4-0) served up homers to Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski during his five innings but got the victory.

John Danks (11-9) allowed seven runs and seven hits in four innings.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 0, 7 innings

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Scott Richmond pitched six innings of four-hit ball to earn his first major league victory and Toronto handed Baltimore its 10th straight loss, winning in a game halted by rain in the seventh.

Curtis Thigpen hit his first big league homer in the seventh, minutes before rain forced a stoppage in play. After a delay of 1 hour, 5 minutes, umpires called the game.

Richmond (1-3) struck out three and walked none. Richmond outpitched rookie Chris Waters (3-5), who allowed three runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

The 10-game skid is the Orioles' longest since they lost 12 in a row in August 2004.



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