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INDIANS TAKE IT TO YANKEES IN DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP

Though the Cleveland Indians practically locked up their division title long ago, they're still having a say in who makes the postseason.

On Thursday, they told the New York Yankees to forget about the AL East division title and concentrate on the wild-card berth.The Indians overcame three home runs from Mike Stanley and a four-run deficit in the ninth inning to win 10-9 in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. They cruised to a 5-2 victory in the nightcap to expand their lead in the AL Central to 18 games over Milwaukee.

And, combined with Boston's 11-1 win over Baltimore, the Yankees fell eight games behind the Red Sox in the AL East.

Rafael Palmeiro of the Orioles, who are another three games behind New York, said the East race is over.

"We're not trying to catch Boston. We're trying to catch the Yankees," he said.

Stanley became the first Yankee to hit three homers in a game since Reggie Jackson in the 1977 World Series, and had seven RBIs. But in light of the Yankees' day of failure, it didn't seem to mean much.

"It really doesn't make much of a difference from a personal standpoint if you lose the game," Stanley said. "Maybe with my kids one day. Definitely not for a while."

In the second game, Darryl Strawberry's first homer for the Yankees couldn't prevent the sweep.

Jim Poole (2-3) and Chad Ogea (6-3) earned the victories for Cleveland, while John Wetteland (1-2) and Sterling Hitchcock (5-7) took the losses.

The Texas Rangers lead the race for the AL wild-card spot with a 50-47 record, a half-game ahead of the Yankees and Seattle Mariners.

Red Sox 11, Orioles 1

John Valentin had two of Boston's four home runs to lead the host Red Sox to their eighth consecutive victory.

Boston had 17 hits, including Jose Canseco's three that ended a 1-for-17 slump. His homer, over the screen above the Green Monster and onto the roof of a parking garage across the street, was his 12th of the year.

Rheal Cormier (5-2) allowed four hits in eight innings for his second victory since returning to the rotation. Cal Ripken hit his 12th home run and played in his 2,105th straight game - 26 shy of breaking Lou Gehrig's record.

Scott Erickson (7-9) allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.

Blue Jays 8, Brewers 4

Paul Molitor had a pair of RBI doubles and Shawn Green had three RBIs as Toronto snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory at Milwaukee.

Pat Hentgen (9-9) scattered nine hits in eight innings and gave up at least one hit in every inning except the eighth.

Steve Sparks (7-6) gave up 11 hits, including four in the third, when Toronto scored three times to take a 3-1 lead.

Royals 5, Angels 0

Jason Jacome won for the first time in over a year, and snapped Mark Langston's eight-game winning streak in the process in Kansas City.

Jacome (1-2), gave up four hits in seven innings. The left-hander, who came over from the New York Mets in a trade, had lost eight straight decisions since beating St. Louis on July 27, 1994.

Langston (11-2) gave up five runs in six innings. His only previous loss was to New York on May 4.

Rangers 7, Tigers 2

Danny Darwin, making his second start since Texas claimed him off waivers, allowed just two hits in six innings as the Rangers completed a three-game sweep at Arlington.

Darwin (2-9) pitched 218 games for Texas and was 53-51 from 1978-84.

Benji Gil broke an 0-for-18 slump with a grand slam in the eighth off Joe Boever. It was Gil's first career grand slam and his first homer in 31 games.

Felipe Lira (7-8) took the loss.