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Yankees Rally to Beat Royals

From Associated Press

The Yankees bounded out of their dugout, celebrating as if they had just won a postseason game. A ninth-inning error by the Kansas City Royals turned what should have been a distressing Yankee loss into a memorable comeback at New York.

Reliever Jeremy Affeldt threw away a potential game-ending double-play ball, giving the Yankees the opportunity they needed. New York then rallied for five runs on five clutch hits that followed the error, beating the Royals, 8-7, Saturday.

“The bottom line is it’s never over until the last out,” said Derek Jeter, whose two-run single pulled New York within a run. “If you’ve done something before, you always think you can do it again.”

New York, which remained tied with Oakland for the AL wild-card lead, moved a season-high 16 games over .500. The Yankees, 61-37 after an 11-19 start, have come from behind in 32 of their wins.

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The Royals were ahead, 7-3, when Affeldt came in to start the ninth. He walked Jason Giambi, then struck out Bernie Williams. Jorge Posada hit a bouncer back to the mound, and Affeldt turned to throw to second. But the throw was low and wide, and shortstop Angel Berroa dropped the ball.

Matt Lawton, acquired from the Chicago Cubs earlier Saturday, then loaded the bases with a single and Tino Martinez, pinch-hitting for Robinson Cano, singled to cut the deficit to 7-4.

Jeter followed with a two-run single past a diving Berroa, Hideki Matsui flied out, and Gary Sheffield tied the score with a two-out double. Alex Rodriguez followed with the winning single for the Yankees, who had just four hits going into the ninth.

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Oakland 12, Baltimore 3 -- Bobby Crosby and Eric Chavez hit successive homers in a seven-run third inning, and the Athletics used a 15-hit attack to cruise past the struggling Orioles at Baltimore.

Mark Ellis homered and drove in three runs, Jay Payton tied a career high with four hits, and Crosby had three hits and scored twice to help Oakland win its fourth straight.

Joe Kennedy (3-0) pitched five innings of four-hit ball in his first start with the A’s since joining the team in a July 13 trade with Colorado. The left-hander started for Rich Harden, who has a strained muscle in his right side.

Melvin Mora homered for the Orioles, who have lost seven of eight.

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Detroit 12, Boston 8 -- Dmitri Young hit a grand slam and Brandon Inge added three hits as the Tigers rallied from a six-run deficit to send Boston to its first home loss in 15 games at Fenway Park.

Roman Colon (1-0) gave up three hits in 3 1/3 innings, striking out five and throwing consecutive wild pitches to let in his only run. Jonathan Papelbon lost his first major league decision, giving up two runs and four hits in one inning while walking two and striking out two.

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Toronto 2, Cleveland 1 -- Scott Downs combined with three Blue Jay relievers on a five-hitter at Toronto.

Cleveland, which had won eight of its previous nine, managed only an unearned run and dropped one game back in the wild-card race.

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Minnesota 7, Texas 2 -- Jacque Jones scored the tying run after a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning and hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 11th at Arlington, Texas, as the Twins ended a three-game losing streak.

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After Justin Morneau drew a leadoff walk in the 11th and advanced on Lew Ford’s sacrifice bunt, Jones hit his 19th homer off Brian Shouse (2-2). Nick Punto added an RBI single and pinch-hitter Michael Ryan hit a two-run single off Steve Karsay.

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Chicago 4, Seattle 3 -- Jose Contreras pitched into the eighth inning and Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer for the White Sox at Seattle.

The AL Central-leading White Sox won their fourth in a row and beat the last-place Mariners for the sixth time in eight games. The Mariners fell to a season-worst 20 games under .500.

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Contreras (9-7) won his second straight start and has won four of his last five decisions. He took a one-hit shutout into the seventh, when the Mariners scored twice.

Seattle scored again and nearly tied it in the eighth, but Ichiro Suzuki was thrown out at the plate on Richie Sexson’s double. Right fielder Dye threw to second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, who threw to catcher A.J. Pierzynski to just get Suzuki, who had walked.


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