ANAHEIM, Calif. While the scrappy Los Angeles Angels are showing they've got what it takes to beat the Boston Red Sox, they say doing so in July means no more than beating anyone else.
Pinch hitter Erick Aybar hit a bases-clearing triple to highlight a four-run seventh, and the Angels rallied for a 4-2 victory over the defending World Series champions Saturday. Los Angeles pinch hitters were just 6-for-38 with five RBIs this season before Aybar's clutch hit.
The Angels, going for their fourth AL West title in five years, won their fourth straight game, including an 11-3 triumph over the Red Sox on Friday night, to move a season-high 21 games over .500 and extend their division lead over Oakland to eight games.
The Angels have won a big league-leading 59 games, including four of five against the Red Sox, who swept them in the first round of the playoffs on their way to World Series championships in 2004 and again last year. Boston has won nine of the last nine postseason games between the teams."It's a series in July," said Angels reliever Scot Shields, who struck out Jed Lowrie on three pitches with the bases loaded to end the eighth. "I do think we're a better team now than we were in the past. I'm not saying we're a better team than they are. (But) we've always come to the park thinking we can win."
YANKEES 4, ATHLETICS 3 (12 INNINGS): At New York, Jose Molina was hit by Lenny DiNardo's pitch with the bases loaded in the 12th inning, and the Yankees outlasted the Athletics. Robinson Cano had four hits and David Robertson earned his first major league win as New York pulled out a tight game that lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes in 93-degree heat.
MARINERS 9, INDIANS 6: At Seattle, one-time Seattle prospect Shin-Soo Choo homered and doubled in his first two at-bats, Jeremy Sowers picked up his first win of the season and the Indians beat the Mariners to snap a 10-game road losing streak.
RAYS 6, BLUE JAYS 4: At St. Petersburg, Fla., rookie All-Star Evan Longoria hit his first career grand slam during a five-run sixth and Matt Garza threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings to help the AL East-leading Rays beat Toronto. Garza (8-5) allowed two hits and struck out six.
TWINS 14, RANGERS 2: At Minneapolis, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau each homered and drove in eight runs between them as Minnesota beat Texas. Brian Buscher added a two-run homer to help give Minnesota a 23-7 record since mid-June. Lost in the shuffle of a 16-hit barrage by the home team was another win for Livan Hernandez (10-6), who was dominant for seven innings and matched his season low of five hits allowed.
ROYALS 9, WHITE SOX 1: At Chicago, Gil Meche and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, and John Buck and Billy Butler homered for Kansas City. Meche (7-9) shut down the AL Central leaders, allowing the two hits and a run in 6 1/3 strong innings.ORIOLES 11, TIGERS 10 (10 INNINGS): At Baltimore, Luke Scott homered in the bottom of the 10th, and the Orioles rallied from a six-run deficit to beat Detroit. Miguel Cabrera homered and had four RBIs for the Tigers, who led 6-0 after their first at-bat.
MARLINS 9, PHILLIES 5: At Miami, rookie catcher John Baker drove in four runs and hit one of three homers for Florida, which tightened the NL East race by beating Philadelphia. Dan Uggla added a two-run homer, his 24th, and Jeremy Hermida hit his 11th. Pat Burrell hit two solo homers for Philadelphia.
BREWERS 8, GIANTS 5: At San Francisco, Rickie Weeks hit a two-run double to cap a four-run sixth inning, Prince Fielder homered and the Brewers remained unbeaten against the Giants. Ryan Braun missed hitting for the cycle by a home run for Milwaukee.
NATIONALS 8, BRAVES 2: At Atlanta, Willie Harris, a part-time starter for Atlanta last season, had three hits, two RBIs, a stolen base and scored three runs in the Nationals' win over the Braves. Christian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.
CARDINALS 6, PADRES 5: At St. Louis, Albert Pujols had three hits and four RBIs, helping the Cardinals rally from five runs down to beat San Diego for their fourth straight win.
ASTROS 4, CUBS 1: At Houston, Wandy Rodriguez struck out seven, and the Astros again stifled the Cubs' offense. Rodriguez (5-3) allowed nine hits, including a solo homer by Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, but Chicago stranded seven runners and dropped its third straight game.
REDS 7, METS 2: At Cincinnati, right-hander Josh Fogg extended his midseason resurgence by getting New York to hit into three double plays, and Joey Votto drove in three runs for the Reds.
ROCKIES 7, PIRATES 1: At Denver, Scott Podsednik had three doubles among his four hits and two runs scored, and Jorge De La Rosa pitched six gritty innings to give Colorado a win.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, DODGERS 2: At Phoenix, Dan Haren threw seven scoreless innings and Conor Jackson homered as Arizona beat Los Angeles to move one game ahead of L.A. in the NL West.