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American League Game Capsules (Wednesday, September 21st)
Final Score: New York 4, Tampa Bay 2 (Game One)
Final Score: New York 4, Tampa Bay 2 (Game Two)
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Jorge Posada came up with a pinch-hit, two-run single in the eighth inning to give the New York Yankees their 17th AL East division title with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, to cap a doubleheader sweep. Rafael Soriano worked a scoreless ninth inning, and New York clinched the division thanks in part to Boston's loss to Baltimore on Wednesday. The Yankees secured a playoff berth earlier in the day when Robinson Cano hit a two-run, go-ahead double in a three-run eighth inning to open the twin-bill. The Rays are now tied with the Angels in the wild card standings, 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.
Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 7, Toronto 2
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - With time running out in the chase for a possible playoff berth, Dan Haren put the Angels on his back Wednesday night against the Blue Jays. That was until he was hit on his left wrist with a line drive to end the eighth inning. Haren secured his first road win since late July and Vernon Wells belted a two-run homer and added a two-RBI single, as Los Angeles beat Toronto, 7-2, at Rogers Centre. Haren (16-9), who allowed just four hits, was removed after being hit by a line drive on his left wrist off the bat of Eric Thames. The ball deflected to second baseman Maicer Izturis, who threw to first for the out. Haren tumbled to the ground in pain and was replaced by Hisanori Takahashi in the ninth inning. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Haren has a bruised wrist. Peter Bourjos homered, tripled and singled for Los Angeles, which has just seven games remaining, including three at home with the AL West-leading Rangers to conclude the season.
Final Score: Baltimore 6, Boston 4
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run single in the eighth inning Wednesday night to lift Baltimore over Boston, 6-4, and deliver yet another crushing loss to a Red Sox team fighting for its season. The Red Sox dropped three of four games to the Orioles, falling to 5-16 in September. They limped to the end of their home schedule, finishing 45-36 at Fenway Park this year and giving little for the fan base to be optimistic about as the season hurtles to a close. Worse yet, the Red Sox all but handed the rival Yankees their 17th AL East title. New York's doubleheader sweep of Tampa Bay, coupled with Boston's loss, saw to that. The Red Sox have a 2 1/2-game lead over the Rays and Angels in the AL wild card race. They have Thursday off before heading to the Bronx for three games against the Yankees and finishing the season with three in Baltimore beginning Monday.
Final Score: Detroit 6, Kansas City 3
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Victor Martinez drove in three runs as the Detroit Tigers took a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals to cap a two-game set. Don Kelly hit a two-run home run and finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Austin Jackson also scored twice for the AL Central champions, who finished the road portion of their 2011 schedule with a mark of 45-36. Max Scherzer lasted five innings in the start and gave up two runs on five hits. Doug Fister (10-13), working out of the bullpen, got the win as he yielded just one unearned run on two hits in three innings.
Final Score: Seattle 5, Minnesota 4
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Trayvon Robinson ripped a two-run single and Ichiro Suzuki slapped an RBI double during a three-run seventh inning to send the Seattle Mariners to a 5-4 win over Minnesota, sending the Twins to their 11th straight defeat. Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager had RBI doubles for the Mariners, winners of three straight. Cesar Jimenez (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings in relief to earn the win and Brandon League made it through a shaky ninth to earn his 36th save of the season. Minnesota's 11-game skid is the third longest in franchise history, and the longest since its record 14- game slide in 1982.
Final Score: Chicago 8, Cleveland 4
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Brent Morel went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI as the Chicago White Sox pulled away from the Cleveland Indians 8-4 in the third test of a four-game set. Mark Buehrle (12-9) pitched six solid innings of two-run ball to snap a personal three-game skid, as the White Sox won for the third time in four contests after dropping seven in a row. He scattered four hits while fanning two. Ubaldo Jimenez (4-3) started strong with four scoreless innings, but allowed four runs over the next three frames to absorb the loss. He surrendered six hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Final Score: Texas 3, Oakland 2
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton hit solo homers in the eighth inning off Grant Balfour, and Texas moved closer to its second straight AL West crown with a 3-2 triumph over the Oakland Athletics. The Rangers' fourth straight victory and eighth in their last nine games reduced their magic number to three for clinching the division. The Rangers remained five games ahead of the Angels, who won at Toronto Wednesday night. Texas concludes this three-game series Thursday afternoon and then can cement its second playoff berth in 12 years in Arlington over the weekend against last- place Seattle. They conclude the season with a three-game set in Anaheim. On a day the Athletics stripped the interim tag from manager Bob Melvin and rewarded him with a three-year contract through the 2014 season, the host team failed to hold onto a late lead and lost for the third straight time.