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Tigers extend lead in AL Central

Sunday, August 9, 2009

DETROIT (AP) -- Placido Polanco hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, helping the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 8-7 on Sunday.

The AL Central-leading Tigers have won five of seven games to keep their lead over the Chicago White Sox and third-place Twins. Minnesota has lost seven of nine and trails the Tigers by 5 1/2 games.

Brandon Lyon (5-4) pitched a scoreless eighth and Fernando Rodney closed the game for his 23rd save in 24 chances.

Matt Guerrier (5-1) gave up a leadoff double in the eighth. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire then chose to walk free-swinging Curtis Granderson to face a contact hitter in the hopes of getting a double play, and Polanco made him pay for the decision with a bloop single to right to put Detroit ahead 7-6.

Rangers 7, Angels 0

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Rookie Derek Holland threw a three-hitter against the majors' highest-scoring offense for his first career shutout, and Texas gained ground on the AL West-leading Angels.

The 22-year-old Holland (5-7) didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning of his 12th career start as Texas took two of three from the Angels in their weekend series, cutting Los Angeles' lead in the AL West to 3 1/2 games.

Holland needed just 96 pitches against the Angels' overeager hitters, who drew only one walk and never reached second base while Holland outpitched Los Angeles ace John Lackey (7-5).

Lackey left in the seventh after a career-high 131 pitches, yielding eight hits and two earned runs in his first defeat since July 7.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 3

TORONTO (AP) -- Roy Halladay won his 10th straight decision over Baltimore, and Vernon Wells and Marco Scutaro hit two-run homers in a four-run third.

Halladay (12-5) allowed three runs and nine hits in eight innings, walked one and struck out four. The right-hander is 20-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 31 career games against the Orioles.

Scutaro matched a career high with four hits and Kevin Millar homered and went 3 for 3 with a walk.

Baltimore rookie Brian Matusz (1-1), making his second career start, gave up the three home runs.

Athletics 6, Royals 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Bobby Crosby homered twice and Ryan Sweeney hit a three-run shot, lifting Oakland to a win over the Royals.

Sweeney and Crosby hit consecutive homers in the second inning off Luke Hochevar (6-5) to stake Brett Anderson (8-9) to an early 4-0 lead. The Royals scored three runs in the seventh to get within one, but Kurt Suzuki hit a solo homer in the eighth and Crosby had one in the ninth to put the A's up 6-3.

Indians 8, White Sox 4

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jamey Carroll hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning and added a solo homer in the seventh, leading Cleveland to its third straight series win against a division rival.

The Indians have won 12 of 18.

Cleveland starter David Huff (6-6) shook off a three-run second inning to pitch into the seventh. The left-hander allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.

A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez hit solo home runs for the White Sox, who fell three games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

Jose Contreras (4-11) allowed four runs on six hits in 4 2-3 innings. Mariners 11, Rays 2

SEATTLE (AP) -- Russell Branyan broke out of a slump with his first grand slam in six years, Ryan Rowland-Smith rebounded from a shaky beginning to pitch effectively into the seventh inning and Seattle rolled over Tampa Bay.

Franklin Gutierrez's second consecutive three-hit game included a game-turning home run in the second inning off Scott Kazmir (6-7).

Rowland-Smith (2-1) allowed two early runs but nothing else. He struck out a season-high six in 6 2-3 innings, as Seattle took two of three games from last season's AL champions to stay on the fringes of the wild-card race.



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