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Yanks lose, clinch title

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The New York Yankees were at their best before and after their first home game since the terrorist attacks.

The Yankees' 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay hardly mattered Tuesday night as the storied franchise honored the victims and rescue workers and wrapped up its fourth straight AL East title.

By the time Boston's 12-7 home loss to Baltimore gave New York the division championship, few cared that Tanyon Sturtze spoiled Roger Clemens' bid for his 21st victory of the season.

"We came out flat," manager Joe Torre said. "We were sloppy in the first inning. We were distracted, but you can't help but get distracted with all the heroes on the field."

In the pregame ceremony at Yankee Stadium, players from both teams lined the baselines side-by-side with city rescue workers during patriotic songs. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the city's most public Yankees fan, got a loud ovation before joining the players on the pitcher's mound.

"This wasn't a vigil," reliever Mike Stanton said. "This wasn't a mourning. This was a celebration of the courage of all the rescuers and everyone in the United States."

Clemens (20-2) lost for the first time since May 20 at Seattle, ending a 16-game winning streak. He did strike out nine batters to move into third place on the career strikeout list.

He gave up a one-out single to Brent Abernathy in the first inning, then threw wildly into the stands on a pickoff attempt. Ben Grieve and Toby Hall hit RBI singles in the inning to give Sturtze a 2-0 lead he wouldn't relinquish.

"I knew it would be emotional," said Clemens, who wore a jacket from fire station 22 — his number — on his way in from the bullpen. "I was pretty pumped up and let a few balls go."

Sturtze (9-12) allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings, and Victor Zambrano finished Tampa Bay's second straight shutout.

"Everyone was just playing for New York," Sturtze said. "We were playing for New York, they were playing for New York."

ORIOLES 12, RED SOX 7: Tony Batista, Chris Richard and Luis Matos homered for Baltimore, with Batista hitting a grand slam in the ninth.

JoseMercedes (8-17) allowed seven hits and two runs in five innings to earn his first victory in five starts. FrankCastillo (8-9) took the loss.

MARINERS 13, RANGERS 2: Bret Boone was 3-for-4 with four RBIs as Seattle won at Texas to set an AL record with its 56th road victory.

INDIANS 11, BLUE JAYS 7: Kenny Lofton's three-run single capped a five-run eighth as host Cleveland beat Toronto, just hours after Indians manager CharlieManuel was hospitalized.

ATHLETICS 9, ANGELS 3: Jeremy Giambi hit a three-run, pinch-hit double in an eight-run seventh inning as Oakland beat Anaheim.

TWINS 4, WHITE SOX 2: Doug Mientkiewicz hit a go-ahead single to cap a three-run eighth as Minnesota won in Chicago.

TIGERS 6, ROYALS 4: Bobby Higginson hit a three-run homer for visiting Detroit, and Jose Lima beat Kansas City for the third time since joining the Tigers in a June trade with Houston.