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Usual powers still posting big numbers

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Rangers 9, Athletics 4

If the playoffs started Thursday, none of the AL teams who made it last year would be playing to get to the World Series.

But Texas, Boston, Cleveland and the New York Yankees can't be written off just yet. Each of the recent AL powerhouses continued offensive surges Wednesday night.

The Rangers completed a three-game sweep of Oakland with a 9-4 win; the Red Sox won their third straight in a four-game series at Minnesota, 11-8; the Indians dominated AL East-leading Toronto for the second straight night, 15-7; and the Yankees doubled Baltimore 12-6.

Texas converted a first-inning fielding error by Oakland starter Mark Mulder into seven unearned runs to back Kenny Rogers (9-5), who won his sixth straight game.

Each Texas starter had at least one hit. The Rangers finished with 17, three each by Rafael Palmeiro, David Segui and Mike Lamb, and scored 27 runs in the three-game sweep.

Despite five straight victories over Oakland since last week, the two-time defending AL West champion Rangers remain in last place.

RED SOX 11, TWINS 8: Jeff Frye hit his first home run in more than a year, and seldom-used Scott Hatteberg had a three-run homer for Boston, last year's wild card.

Boston's offense — ranked 10th or 11th in the American League in most major categories — awoke in a big way. In the first three games against the Twins, the Red Sox have scored 36 runs and hit 10 home runs.

"It was spread all the way up and down the lineup," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "I always felt we have good hitters on this team."

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Ed Sprague, Nomar Garciaparra and Frye had two each.

INDIANS 15, BLUE JAYS 7: Russell Branyan's three-run homer highlighted a six-run fifth inning for Cleveland, the five-time AL Central winners. Branyan's third homer in two games put the Indians up 8-7 and sent them to their first three-game winning streak since June 5-7.

Cleveland has won two straight following manager Charlie Manuel's decision to redecorate the clubhouse. The Indians have scored 24 runs on 25 hits in two games.

YANKEES 12, ORIOLES 6: Andy Pettitte (9-4) took a shutout into the seventh inning for his second straight strong start as the two-time World Series champions avoided their longest home losing streak in 11 years. Despite being nine games under .500 since May 9, the Yankees are only a half-game behind Toronto in the AL East.

DEVIL RAYS 4, TIGERS 1: Ozzie Guillen snapped a sixth-inning tie with a two-run homer as Tampa Bay won at home and stopped Detroit's season-high, five-game winning streak.

WHITE SOX 6, ROYALS 3: In Kansas City, Herbert Perry hit a two-run homer in the 13th inning and Mark Johnson followed with a solo shot for Chicago off Doug Bochtler (0-1).

MARINERS 6, ANGELS 4: Alex Rodriguez hit two homers and David Bell added a three-run shot for the Mariners, who extended their AL West lead to 3 1/2 games over Oakland and seven over the host Angels.