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Pettitte Gains 12th Victory as Yankees Defeat Orioles

From Associated Press

Andy Pettitte insists his sore left elbow is fine. He won’t get an argument from the Baltimore Orioles.

Pettitte became the American League’s first 12-game winner Saturday, giving up only three hits in seven innings as the New York Yankees defeated the Orioles, 4-3, at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte, who walked one and struck out four, lasted only 5 1/3 innings Monday in a loss to Minnesota after winning five consecutive decisions.

Pettitte said his elbow tightened slightly during the Yankees’ three-run fourth inning, which lasted 19 minutes.

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“I’m not going to worry about it,” Pettitte said. “It was really bothering me in Minnesota, and I went out and pitched with it.”

Pettitte was held back three days between starts before his loss to the Twins, but now expects to pitch in the regular five-day rotation.

“He comes right at you,” said Baltimore’s Rafael Palmeiro. “You’ve got to try to jump on him early [in the count]. For a guy whose arm is hurting, he pitched great.”

Tino Martinez hit a two-run double, Gerald Williams hit a run-scoring double and Ruben Sierra had an RBI single for the Yankees, who expanded their lead over the Orioles in the East Division to 5 1/2 games in front of 45,295, the third-largest crowd at Yankee Stadium this season.

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Cleveland 3, Chicago 2--Jim Thome’s two-run single with two out in the 10th inning kept the Indians alone atop the Central Division with a victory at Chicago.

The Indians, who had lost seven of eight games, trailed by a run and were two outs from being tied in the standings by the White Sox. But they rallied against Chicago closer Roberto Hernandez to tie the score in the ninth.

“We needed to win this game,” Thome said. “I felt a little [tension] in the locker room before the game. Hopefully, this loosened us up. Hopefully, we can play our game now and have some fun so we can go back to the way we played last year.”

Paul Shuey allowed Frank Thomas’ 22nd homer of the season in the 10th, but still got the victory with two innings in relief.

Texas 9, Seattle 5--Kevin Elster homered and drove in four runs, and Juan Gonzalez homered twice as the Rangers hit four home runs to beat the Mariners at Seattle.

“I don’t even try to explain Kevin Elster any more,” Texas Manager Johnny Oates said about Elster, who sat out most of the last three seasons because of major shoulder surgery. “There’s no explanation for what he’s done. The story hasn’t changed all year.”

Elster set a career single-season high with 56 runs batted in, and his three hits improved his batting average to .275.

Darren Oliver (7-2) gave up four hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings as Texas ended a six-game losing streak in the Kingdome, including an 11-run loss Friday.

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Milwaukee 7, Toronto 4--Kevin Seitzer hit a two-run home run in a five-run sixth inning and Scott Karl won for the fifth time in six decisions for the Brewers at Toronto.

Jose Valentin’s 11th home run in the fifth extended the Milwaukee team record for homers in consecutive games to 18 as the Brewers won their third game in a row.

Karl (8-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings to win his third decision in a row.

Toronto rookie Marty Janzen gave up eight hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Boston 13, Detroit 6--John Valentin homered twice and Reggie Jefferson singled, doubled and tripled to lead the Red Sox over the Tigers at Boston.

Valentin hit solo home runs in his first two at-bats and Jefferson had a hit in all three at-bats for the Red Sox, who had nine hits for extra bases and 16 overall.

Detroit led, 6-2, when the Red Sox sent 11 men to the plate in the third inning, taking a 7-6 lead on Jeff Frye’s single. Boston added five more in the sixth to make to take a 12-7 lead.

Minnesota 12, Kansas City 7--Marty Cordova had four hits to extend his hitting streak to 23 games and Matt Lawton homered during a six-run third inning in the Twin victory at Kansas City.

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Cordova’s hitting streak is the longest in the majors this season, eclipsing the 22-game streak of Baltimore’s Roberto Alomar. It was the fourth four-hit game of Cordova’s career.

Lawton matched his career high with four of the Twins’ 16 hits.


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