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Orioles Gain Ground in the East

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From Associated Press

The Baltimore Orioles are keeping the pressure on the New York Yankees in the East--and the Yankees continue to wilt.

Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla hit successive home runs in the eighth inning Sunday and Chris Hoiles added a two-run shot as the Orioles defeated the Detroit Tigers, 6-2, at Baltimore.

Meanwhile, in New York, Toronto’s Ed Sprague hit two homers against 20-game winner Andy Pettitte as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees, 4-2.

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The Orioles’ victory moved the team to within three games of the first-place Yankees, the smallest margin since June 24.

The victory also kept the Orioles a game behind Chicago in the wild-card race.

The Yankees lost for the 11th time in 18 games.

“I like our lineup of pitchers and if we keep pitching like this, I have every reason to believe we’ll be OK,” Yankee Manager Joe Torre said.

“We’re just not hitting. We have to loosen up and swing the bat.”

The Blue Jays became the first team to beat Pettitte in a daytime start. The left-hander had been 11-0 in afternoon games and 13-2 following a Yankee loss.

Oakland 8, Kansas City 7--Tony Batista homered with one out in the 10th inning at Oakland as the Athletics swept a three-game series.

Mike Bordick had a three-run double in the seventh for the A’s.

Jim Corsi (6-0) walked three in the top of the 10th but held on to get the victory.

Jon Nunnally and Mike Macfarlane hit two-run homers for the Royals.

Texas 7, Milwaukee 1--Bobby Witt pitched a five-hitter and Darryl Hamilton, Mickey Tettleton and Juan Gonzalez homered for the Rangers at Milwaukee.

Witt (15-9) struck out five and walked two to win for the eighth time in his last nine decisions. He didn’t allow a runner to reach second base after the third inning and retired 18 of the final 21 in his second complete game.

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Gonzalez’s 44th home run, a two-run shot with one out in the fifth, put Texas ahead, 6-1.

Chicago 7, Boston 4--Robin Ventura homered, singled and drove in two runs at Chicago as the White Sox maintained their one-game lead in the wild-card race.

The White Sox have won eight of their last 10.

The Red Sox, 16 games behind Chicago less than three months ago, had charged to within 2 1/2 by beating the White Sox on Friday. But with two consecutive losses, the Red Sox have fallen 4 1/2 games back in the wild-card race with only 19 games left.

Cleveland 2-5, Seattle 1-6--Jim Thome got his 100th RBI on a go-ahead double in the eighth and Charles Nagy struck out a season-high 10 in a six-hitter as the Indians won the first game of a doubleheader at Cleveland.

In the second game, Thome’s error allowed Joey Cora to score in the ninth inning and Norm Charlton pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief as the Mariners gained a split.

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