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Boston starts slowly but ends up No. 1

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Red Sox 9, Royals 7

On a night that started with Pedro Martinez at his worst, the Boston Red Sox ended up on top of the AL wild-card standings.

Martinez allowed six runs in the first two innings before settling down to his usual dominant self, and Rico Brogna had the game-winning hit in the 10th inning of Boston's 9-7 win at Kansas City on Thursday night.

Boston moved a half-game ahead of Cleveland in the AL wild-card race as the Indians lost 11-7 to Oakland. The Red Sox stayed 3 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.

Martinez allowed five runs and six hits in the first inning, something he hadn't done since 1995. But after Mike Sweeney's homer in the second, the reigning Cy Young winner retired 18 of the next 19 batters.

Martinez gave up a season-high eight hits and six runs in eight innings, with six strikeouts. The six earned runs were the most he allowed since giving up seven to Florida on July 19, 1999. His major league-leading ERA jumped from 1.53 to 1.77.

ATHLETICS 11, INDIANS 7: Terrence Long's first grand slam and career-high six RBIs helped Oakland avoid a sweep and salvage the final game of a rough road trip. Long went 3-for-6 and rookie Barry Zito (2-2) pitched 6 2-3 innings for his first win in six starts as the A's went 2-5 on a swing through Detroit and Cleveland.

TIGERS 10, MARINERS 3: Juan Encarnacion and Dean Palmer homered, and Deivi Cruz drove in three runs as Detroit finally reached .500 after starting the season 9-23. There was no recurrence of the insect swarms that plagued Comerica Park the night before. Though a few of the flying ants were visible, there were no interruptions, and the 36,885 fans could concentrate on watching the Tigers win for the 11th time in 14 games.

ORIOLES 8, WHITE SOX 5: Ken Hill lasted only 2 1/3 innings in his Chicago debut, and Baltimore's Brook Fordyce drove in three runs against his former team.

Hill (5-8), released earlier this month by Anaheim, was shaky from the outset and gave up six runs on five hits and four walks.

YANKEES 8, RANGERS 7: Glenallen Hill homered for the 12th time in 68 at-bats since joining New York, and Andy Pettitte (16-6) won his seventh straight start.

The Yankees beat the Rangers for the 10th time in 12 meetings this year.