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TWINS FOIL ORIOLES’ BID TO TAKE OVER 1ST PLACE

SHARE TWINS FOIL ORIOLES’ BID TO TAKE OVER 1ST PLACE

Baltimore missed a chance to move into first place when Kevin Tapani pitched seven strong innings and Kent Hrbek homered for Minnesota as the Twins topped the Orioles 4-2 Saturday night.

Brady Anderson and Mike Devereaux homered for the Orioles, who needed a win to claim the top spot in the AL East. The loss left Baltimore a half-game behind co-leaders Toronto and New York.Tapani (4-11) allowed two runs, eight hits and two walks in his seven innings. Before Saturday, he was 0-5 with a 6.83 ERA since June 10.

It was a rare pitching gem for the Twins, who held an opponent under three runs for the first time since June 27. Minnesota lost seven of its previous eight games and 21 of 28.

A pair of two-out hits did all the damage against Rick Sutcliffe (8-5), who retired the final 15 batters in his second complete game, but lost his third straight decision. Hrbek hit a two-run homer in the first and Pat Meares' two-run triple made it 4-0 in the fourth.

Royals 5, Blue Jays 4

At Toronto, Brian McRae's two-run, inside-the-park homer broke a tie with two outs in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat Toronto, the Blue Jays' 12th loss in 14 games.

Mark Gubicza (3-6) pitched one inning for the win. Jeff Montgomery got three outs for his 27th save. Danny Cox (5-5) took the loss.

Yankees 9, Athletics 5

At New York, Jim Abbott won for just the second time in seven starts, and Bobby Witt had another terrible outing in Yankee Stadium as New York beat Oakland.

Abbott (6-8) allowed five runs and five hits in six-plus innings, including Rickey Henderson's 62nd leadoff homer and a three-run drive by Ruben Sierra.

Red Sox 4, Mariners 3

At Boston, Bob Zupcic singled in two runs in the seventh inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied past Seattle for their 17th victory in 22 games.

Ken Griffey Jr. tripled home two runs in the sixth inning to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead, but Zupcic's soft liner over the glove of shortstop Omar Vizquel gave Danny Darwin (9-7) his sixth straight win at Fenway Park.

Indians 3, Angels 0

At Cleveland, rookie Jeff Mutis pitched a shutout in his first career complete game and Wayne Kirby homered as the Cleveland Indians beat California for its eighth win in the last nine home games.

The left-handed Mutis (2-2) scattered four hits, two of them by Damion Easley, walked two and struck out two in his second career win.

White Sox 9, Brewers 4

At Milwaukee, Jack McDowell became the major leagues' first 14-game winner as the Chicago White Sox scored six first-inning runs and beat the Milwaukee Brewers for their fourth straight win.

McDowell (14-6) allowed six hits, walked two and struck out a season-high nine in eight innings. He has won seven of nine starts.

Tigers 6, Rangers 4

At Arlington, Texas, Cecil Fielder's three-run homer after a controversial call in the third inning lifted the Detroit Tigers to a defeat of Texas, the Rangers' first lost in seven games.

The Tigers were ahead 1-0 with Tony Phillips and Travis Fryman on base when Fielder hit a pitch from Roger Pavlik 417 feet into the left field seats for his 24th homer. He leads the majors with 80 RBIs.