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Cone, Yankees Overpower Mariners, 8-5

<i> From Associated Press</i>

David Cone struck out a season-high 11 batters in six innings and the New York Yankees hit three home runs to beat the Seattle Mariners, 8-5, Wednesday night at New York.

Chad Curtis hit a three-run homer and Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada added solo homers for the Yankees, who began the game with just 15 home runs, tied for fewest in the American League.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his ninth home run for Seattle, which leads the majors with a team total 42. His solo homer over the center-field wall cut the Mariner deficit to 6-5 in the seventh.

The Yankees won for 15th time in 17 games. At 16-6, they’re off to their best 22-game start since 1951.

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Cone (3-1) gave up six hits and walked none in winning his third consecutive start. He overcame a three-run first inning--keyed by some shaky fielding--and did not allow another runner past first base.

Mariano Rivera, the third Yankee reliever, pitched the ninth for his third save.

Jeff Fassero (2-1), who was 3-0 against the Yankees last season, also was hurt by poor fielding. He gave up six runs, although only two were earned, in five innings.

Jeter homered with one out in the first inning. He doubled in the third, Bernie Williams reached on third baseman Russ Davis’ throwing error and Curtis homered for a 5-3 lead.

Posada’s homer made it 6-3 in the fifth.

Texas 4, Detroit 1--The Rangers set a team record with their 18th victory in April and a major league record for runs in the month as John Burkett rebounded from two poor starts to lead Texas at Detroit.

Texas (18-7) won its fifth consecutive and topped the old team victory mark of 17, set in 1989. The Rangers scored 178 runs in April, two more than Montreal had two years ago.

Detroit lost for the 13th time in 15 games.

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Burkett (2-3), who gave up 17 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings in his previous two starts, gave up four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked none. John Wetteland pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Minnesota 2, Tampa Bay 0--Bob Tewksbury and Rick Aguilera combined on a five-hitter to lead the Twins at Minneapolis.

The Devil Rays, 10-6 before the slide, was shut out for the fourth time this season. It is Tampa Bay’s eighth loss in nine games.

Tewksbury (3-3), backed by David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly in the seventh and Paul Molitor’s run-scoring single in the eighth, gave up five hits in eight innings. He struck out nine--one short of his career high--and walked none.

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Aguilera finished with a perfect ninth for his fifth save in eight chances.

Wilson Alvarez (3-3) lost his second consecutive start following three consecutive wins, giving up two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and three walks.

Oakland 11, Cleveland 4--Rookie Ben Grieve went five for five with three RBIs and Kenny Rogers won his third consecutive decision as the Athletics won their fourth straight at Cleveland.

Grieve had four singles, a double and was hit by a pitch, raising his average to .317 and tying a club record for hits in a game.

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Rogers (4-1) improved to 2-0 against Cleveland this season, giving up four hits in seven innings. The left-hander had the same line when he beat the Indians on April 8.

Matt Stairs hit a two-run homer in Oakland’s three-run third against Jaret Wright (1-2).

Shawon Dunston drove in two runs for Cleveland, which has lost nine of 13.

Kansas City 7, Toronto 2--Hal Morris hit his first AL home run and Dean Palmer followed with his league-leading ninth at Toronto as the Royals ended a three-game losing streak.

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Morris’ two-run homer in the fifth was his second extra-base hit of the game. He doubled to lead off the fourth against Pat Hentgen (3-2) and scored on Jeff King’s two-run homer.

Morris, who signed with the Royals in the off-season after eight years in Cincinnati, is 12 for 18 against the Blue Jays this season.

Palmer’s homer broke Bo Jackson’s 1989 team record for homer runs in April. He added a run-scoring double in the ninth and scored on King’s single.

Hipolito Pichardo (1-2) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings.

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