The Associated Press
CLEVELAND - Ben Broussard homered for the second straight night and the Cleveland Indians pulled within two games of the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins with an 8-2 win Friday night.
The Indians have won five straight games and nine of 10, gaining six games on the Twins in nine days. Minnesota has lost seven of its last nine games.
Scott Elarton had his finest start of the season, and Cleveland roughed up Minnesota early in the first of 13 games remaining between the two clubs.
The Indians scored five times in the first inning on Victor Martinez's two-run double and Broussard's 455-foot, three-run homer. Broussard, who hit a pinch-hit grand slam Thursday, made his second curtain call in as many nights.
Elarton (2-2) went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He was backed up by fine defensive plays from Casey Blake and Jody Gerut.
Matt Miller and Rick White each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Indians.
Minnesota starter Carlos Silva (10-8) lasted just two innings, his shortest outing of the season. He pitched three innings May 16 in Chicago. Silva allowed six runs on six hits and a walk.
White Sox 8, Red Sox 7
BOSTON - Aaron Rowand hit two home runs, the second a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning, to lead Chicago.
It was Rowand's first career two-homer game, and his four RBI tied a career high. His big night helped Jose Contreras (10-5), making his third start for the White Sox since being acquired from the Yankees, earn his first career victory against the Red Sox.
Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar homered for Boston, which had its winning streak end at three games.
Rangers 5, Devil Rays 3
ARLINGTON, Texas - Laynce Nix and Alfonso Soriano each homered, and Kenny Rogers earned his 14th victory for Texas. Rogers (14-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings for the Rangers, who had lost six of their previous seven games.
Orioles 4, Blue Jays 0
TORONTO - Sidney Ponson and three relievers combined on a five-hitter for Baltimore, which won for the 10th time in 11 games.
Ponson (8-12) is 5-0 in his last six starts after losing nine straight. He allowed five hits, while striking out six and walking one in six-plus innings.
Signed to a $22.5 million, three-year contract in the offseason, Ponson was 3-12 with a 6.29 ERA on July 4 after losing his ninth straight start. His ERA is down to 5.47.
Royals 10, Athletics 3
OAKLAND, Calif. - Abraham Nunez hit a grand slam for his first home run of the season, spoiling Mark Mulder's bid to become the majors' first 16-game winner.
Nunez connected on full-count with two outs in the sixth to break a scoreless tie. It was only his second career homer and his first grand slam. The four RBIs also were a career best.
Jonathan Buck, another rookie, also hit a grand slam for the Royals, the first of his career and the first time in club history the team had two in a game - which ties a major league record. It marked the second time the A's have allowed two grand slams in a game and the first since 1986 against California.
Buck snapped an 0-for-21 streak with his shot to center and the Royals ended a 10-game losing streak to the A's, which included the first six meetings this season.
Kansas City starter Mike Wood (2-4) - yet another rookie to make a big contribution - pitched six strong innings to win for the first time since June 29, a span of eight starts.
Mulder (15-4) lost at home for just the second time in 13 starts this year. He was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in seven-plus innings, struck out five and walked two.
Yankees 11, Mariners 3
SEATTLE - Ruben Sierra hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, and Jon Lieber pitched eight strong innings. Bernie Williams added a three-run homer and Jorge Posada hit a solo shot for the Yankees, who lead the majors with 178 homers.
Despite playing without All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who missed his first game of the season with the flu, the Yankees routed the last-place Mariners and improved to a season-high 33 games over .500 at 74-41.
Lieber (9-7) won his second straight start. He gave up three runs and seven hits, struck out four and walked none.
Ron Villone (4-3), making his seventh start of the season, gave up eight runs on 10 hits.
Tigers 5, Angels 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Craig Monroe drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the ninth, leading Detroit over the Angels.
Brandon Inge broke out of a long slump by going 4-for-4 with three RBIs in the Tigers' first win at Anaheim in 12 games.
Esteban Yan (2-3) allowed two runs and four hits in two innings, but picked up the victory.
Rondell White led off the ninth with a double against Troy Percival (2-3) and Monroe's one-out single to right-center scored pinch-runner Jason Smith. Inge followed with a bloop single to right that sent Monroe to third and Nook Logan followed with a sacrifice fly.
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Patriots 24, Eagles 6
Giants 34, Chiefs 24
Saints 23, Jets 13
REDS / BASEBALL
Fright night for Wilson
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Cubs closer Hawkins gets 3-game suspension
NL: Snow's 3 homers key Giants' romp
AL: Tribe pull within two games of Twins
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Theismann among 22 to join Hall
Bucks' defense: Business as usual
Northeastern coach might join UC
Singh shares PGA lead with Leonard
Woods survives cut with late charge
Baird in position for first tour win
Indy win changed reality for Rice
Johnson on Watkins Glen pole after qualifying is washed out
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