After sweeping Kansas City in three games, the Cleveland Indians promised to maintain a calm demeanor when they start a key series today in Chicago.
“Why change anything now?” outfielder Coco Crisp said after getting three hits in the Indians’ 11-0 victory over the Royals on Sunday at Cleveland. “We want to win every game, not just three in Chicago. But we’re not going to get all worried about it.”
Jhonny Peralta, Travis Hafner and Ben Broussard each hit home runs, and C.C. Sabathia gave up five singles in eight innings.
The Indians have a 1 1/2 -game lead over New York in the American League wild-card race and are 3 1/2 games behind Chicago in the AL Central.
Aaron Boone, who had two hits and made two stellar plays at third base, said the Indians are determined despite a laid-back vibe.
“We realize there is more at stake, but I promise you we’ll go there with the same attitude,” said Boone. “That’s just the way this team is.”
Cleveland has won five games in a row and 12 of 13, and the Indians are a major league-best 33-11 since July 31. Chicago had a 15-game lead Aug. 1.
“This is fun,” Indian Manager Eric Wedge said. “I love to watch these guys play, how they go out and compete day after day. They’ve earned the right to be where they are.”
Sabathia (14-10) improved to 8-1 with a 1.99 earned-run average since Aug. 5.
Chicago 2, Minnesota 1 -- Jose Contreras (13-7) won his sixth consecutive start, giving up one run and five hits in eight innings at Minneapolis.
Juan Rincon (6-6) gave up consecutive two-out singles to Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth, and Jermaine Dye hit a bouncer to second that Nick Punto tried to backhand unsuccessfully, allowing pinch-runner Ross Gload to score from second on the error.
Toronto 6, New York 5 -- Alex Rodriguez hit his AL-leading 44th homer and Derek Jeter also connected for the Yankees at Toronto, but Jeter struck out looking against Miguel Batista with a runner on second base to end the game. New York blew a chance to gain ground on Boston, which lost to Oakland but kept its 1 1/2 game AL East lead.
Texas 8, Seattle 6 -- Mark Teixeira homered twice, and Rod Barajas, David Dellucci and Alfonso Soriano also connected for the Rangers, who set a major league record with 152 homers at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Texas, surpassing the 149 by Colorado at Coors Field in Denver in 1996.
Tampa Bay 6, Baltimore 5 -- Alex Gonzalez, who reached on a single against Todd Williams (5-5), scored on a throwing error by catcher Sal Fasano to end a 4-4 tie in the top of the eighth inning.