Royals 7, White Sox 5: At Kansas City, Mo., John Buck hit a two-run double to key a four-run seventh, and Kansas City beat Chicago to cut the White Sox’s lead in the Central to 4 1/2 games. Chicago has given idle Cleveland a sliver of hope for winning the division crown.
Yankees 9, Devil Rays 5: At St. Petersburg, Fla., Alex Rodriguez hit his 42nd home run and Robinson Cano erased a four-run deficit with a grand slam, helping Aaron Small (8-0) and New York rally to beat Tampa Bay. New York’s fourth straight win continued its strong push in the East and wild-card races. The Yankees closed within 1 1/2 games of Boston in the East and pulled within one-half game of idle Cleveland for the wild card.
Athletics 6, Red Sox 2: At Boston, Mark Kotsay singled in two runs before Curt Schilling recorded his first out, and Mark Ellis also drove in a pair of runs as Oakland beat Boston. The A’s moved into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Angels in the West. Boston’s lead over the Yankees is its smallest since Aug. 29.
Tigers 8, Angels 6: At Anaheim, Calif., Curtis Granderson gave Detroit the lead with a three-run, inside-the-park homer, and Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe also homered in a victory over slumping Los Angeles. The Angels lost their fourth in a row.
Nationals 6, Mets 5 (10): At New York, Vinny Castilla drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 10th after Braden Looper and the Mets’ sloppy defense wasted a ninth-inning lead, and Washington beat New York to complete a three-game sweep. The Nationals are 2 1/2 games behind Houston in the wild-card race.
Brewers 14, Diamondbacks 2: At Phoenix, Tomo Ohka (11-8) pitched seven strong innings, Bill Hall had a career-high five hits and Chad Moeller drove in four runs to lead Milwaukee to a rout of Arizona. Jeff Cirillo went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer against reliever Jason Bulger in the sixth to make it 14-0.
Braves 6, Phillies 4: At Philadelphia, Chipper Jones hit two homers and tied his career high with five RBIs, helping Atlanta avert a four-game sweep with a victory over Philadelphia. The Braves lead Philadelphia and Florida by six games in the East.
Astros 4, Marlins 1: At Houston, Andy Pettitte (16-9) allowed one run over eight innings to win his sixth straight start, a victory over Florida that put Houston back in the wild-card lead. The Astros took a half-game lead over Florida and Philadelphia.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 1: At Chicago, Jeff Suppan allowed six hits over eight-plus innings, and St. Louis defeated Chicago to clinch its fourth Central title in the last six years. The Cardinals are the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season.
Dodgers 7, Giants 1: At San Francisco, rookie Willy Aybar drove in a career-high three runs and Derek Lowe won his third straight decision to lead Los Angeles past San Francisco. The Dodgers moved within 5 1/2 games of West-leading San Diego.
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