Ever since Aaron Sele began his major league career with six consecutive wins in 1993, he's teased the Boston Red Sox with his potential to be a dominant pitcher.
He may be doing it again.
Sele (13-12) broke a three-game losing streak with his second consecutive strong start, and the Red Sox beat the slumping New York Yankees, 5-2, Wednesday night at Boston.
"When he's confident on the mound, he's as good as there is," said the Yankees' Mike Stanley, Sele's teammate until he was traded Aug. 13.
Sele, who gave up just one hit in a 1-0 loss to Montreal a week ago, allowed four hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Yankees, who lost for the eighth time in 11 games.
Yankee starter David Wells (14-10) is struggling as the season winds down. He has five consecutive losses and an ERA of 7.71 in that span. In September 1996 and 1997, he is 1-4 with a 6.94 ERA.
The Yankees still lead the Angels by seven games in the wild-card race but dropped 8 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East.
But Ken Griffey Jr. failed to homer for the third consecutive game. Griffey, who has been stuck on 50 homers since Sunday, went 0 for four with a walk. He was 0 for two against Tiger starter Justin Thompson (13-11) and is hitless in eight at-bats against him, striking out seven times.
Jamie Moyer (16-4) won his fifth straight decision to remain unbeaten in his last eight starts.
Alex Rodriguez hit his 23rd homer, a two-run shot, and Dan Wilson had an inside-the-park homer in the sixth.
Belle hit his 28th home run in the second inning and Ventura hit his fifth of the season in the fifth.
Jason Bere (4-1) gave up one run on three hits and six walks over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four in his fifth start since being activated following elbow surgery on Sept. 13, 1996.
Oakland 3, Toronto 2--Pinch-hitter Brian Lesher singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth in a game played before 4,764, the smallest Oakland crowd since 1986.
Part of the reason for the poor attendance was the BART strike.
Mariano Duncan's two-run single with one out in the top of the ninth tied the game at 2-2 and spoiled Mike Oquist's solid performance. Oquist allowed two hits in 8 1/3 innings and struck out a career-high 10.
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BESTS OF THE DAY
Player Team Performance Team's Result Mo Vaughn Boston 3 for 4, 1 run, now hitting .321 Win Albert Belle Chicago 2 for 3, homer, his 28th Win Wade Boggs New York 2 for 4, double, homer Loss
Player Team Performance Team's Result Mike Oquist Oakland 8 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 10 strikeouts, 1 walk Win Jason Bere Chicago 5 1/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 4 strikeouts Win Aaron Sele Boston 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk Win