The Boston Red Sox found power from a unexpected source, and it boosted them into first place in the American League East.
"I never try to hit the ball like that," Carlos Quintana said after his three-run homer led the Red Sox to a 7-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins Tuesday night.The home run, a two-out, three-run shot in the eighth inning, was the first since last July 30 and only the eighth in 654 career at-bats for Quintana.
Quintana's rare homer was timely for the Red Sox, who took over first place in the AL East from Toronto by a half-game following the Blue Jays' 8-5 loss to Texas.
With two on and two out in the eighth inning in the Metrodome and Boston losing by a run, Red Sox manager Joe Morgan almost used Steve Lyons to pinch-hit for Quintana. But Morgan decided by intuition to go with Quintana.
Quintana said he couldn't even remember his last home run, let alone his last game-winning homer.
"I'm a line-drive hitter," he said.
The blast off Steve Bedrosian (2-1) ended Minnesota's five-game winning streak.
"It was a disheartening loss because we've been on a roll. I'll think about this all night," said Bedrosian, who was acquired from San Francisco in an off-season trade. "The pitch was a slider. It didn't bite and he jumped on it. It was supposed to be on the outside corner and it ended up over the center-field fence."
Boston is 9-2 since April 19. Minnesota lost for only the second time in nine games. The Twins (9-11) last had a .500 April in their World Series year, 1987.
Ex-Twin Jeff Reardon pitched the final 11/3 innings for his eighth save.
Rangers 8, Blue Jays 5
Ruben Sierra hit two homers, including a three-run seventh-inning shot to break a 4-4 tie, leading Texas over Toronto.
Athletics 7, Yankees 3
Jose Canseco hit a two-run homer and Mark McGuire a two-run double as Oakland beat visiting New York for the 15th consecutive time.
Mariners 6, Orioles 3
Dave Valle hit his second homer in two days and the Mariners scored three unearned runs to beat Baltimore, their seventh consecutive victory against the Orioles.
Brewers 8, White Sox 2
Dante Bichette and Franklin Stubbs homered and Jim Gantner had four hits as Milwaukee beat visiting Chicago. Billy Spiers added three hits to the 13-hit Milwaukee attack in support of Chris Bosio (3-2).
Tigers 13, Royals 7
Rob Deer hit a grand slam in the fourth and Lou Whitaker a tie-breaking solo shot in the eighth, powering Detroit past the Royals in Kansas City.
Angels 6, Indians 5, 11 innings
Junior Felix keyed a two-run 11th inning with his first home run of the season and Jack Howell capped the rally with a run-scoring single as California snapped a three-game losing streak at Anaheim Stadium.