There's only one team that can hang with the Yankees lately. And it's the same one that ended New York's season last October.
The Cleveland Indians denied the Yankees a chance to make some more history and snapped their 10-game winning streak Monday night with a 4-1 victory at Jacobs Field.Jim Thome hit his 24th homer and Jaret Wright, sporting a new dyed-blond hairdo, became the first pitcher to beat the Yankees twice this season.
Wright (9-5) became a postseason hero last fall when he defeated New York twice in the AL division series. And with the teams seemingly on a collision course for this fall, the right-hander sounds as if he wouldn't mind another crack at the Bronx Bombers.
"Anybody can beat anybody three out of five or four out of seven," Wright said. "If they're there and we're there, it's going to be fun."
Wright allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out four. He sensed from the first pitch that Indians fans weren't seeing the Minnesota Twins.
A victory by the Yankees would have given them the record for the most wins after 86 games. Instead, at 65-21, they tied 1912 New York Giants and 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates.
RED SOX 2, DEVIL RAYS 0: At St. Petersburg, Fla., Steve Avery (6-2) pitched Boston to its first win since the All-Star break and handed Tampa Bay its 11th straight loss.
Avery and three relievers combined on a seven-hitter. The Red Sox, coming off a four-game sweep at Baltimore, bounced back to hand Tampa Bay its third shutout in five games.
WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 2: At Chicago, Albert Belle hit two home runs, giving him six in his last five games for Chicago.
Belle, named AL Player of the Week earlier in the day, connected for his 23rd homer leading off the fourth inning. He hit his 24th, another solo shot, in the sixth.
John Snyder (2-0) won in his second major league start since being called up June 29.
Dan Serafini (3-2) took the loss.
ORIOLES 5, BLUE JAYS 0: At Baltimore, rookie Nerio Rodriguez (1-2) didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and Lenny Webster hom-ered and drove in four runs as Baltimore stretched its winning streak to five.
Rodriguez retired the first 15 batters before Tony Fernandez lined an opposite-field single to left for his 2,000th career hit.
Juan Guzman (4-11) was the loser.
ROYALS 6, TIGERS 4 : At Detroit, Jeff Conine hit a two-run double with two outs in the 10th for Kansas City.
Conine's double off Todd Jones (1-4) followed an intentional walk to Jeff King that put runners at first and second. Shane Mack followed with an RBI double to make it 6-3.
Jeff Montgomery balked in a run in the 10th but got three outs for his 21st save.
MARINERS 10, RANGERS 3: At Seattle, Edgar Martinez homered twice and Ken Griffey Jr. made a spectacular catch with his back to home plate for Seattle.
Martinez hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run first off Todd Van Poppel (1-2), and added a solo homer, his 17th, in the sixth.
Griffey made a basket catch of Will Clark's towering fly ball while running toward the fence in the fifth.
ATHLETICS 5, ANGELS 2: At Oakland, Calif., Mike Oquist (6-5) pitched seven strong innings and Kevin Mitchell hit a three-run homer for Oakland.
Oquist, who won at Anaheim in his last start, allowed seven hits in seven-plus innings. Bill Taylor pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
The Angels have lost nine of their last 11 games.