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Red Sox gain ground on Yanks

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BOSTON — The Boston Bombers had all the answers for their struggling rivals from The Bronx.

Bill Mueller, David Ortiz and Nomar Garciaparra homered as the Red Sox rallied from two deficits to beat New York 10-5 Friday night and cut the Yankees' AL East lead to 3 1/2 games.

Boston, the best hitting team in baseball, roughed up Jose Contreras and responded immediately to New York's two big innings.

The Red Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the first after the Yankees got two in the top half. In the fourth, Boston scored four to go ahead 7-5 after New York scored three.

Boston had at least 10 hits for the ninth straight game, and did it without Manny Ramirez, its leading home run hitter who was sidelined with a high fever. He has played in 131 of Boston's 134 games.

TIGERS 8, WHITE SOX 4: At Detroit, Bobby Higginson hit a three-run homer and Nate Robinson won his first major league game as the Detroit Tigers avoided their 100th loss of the season with an 8-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Detroit is 34-99 and must sweep the three-game series with Chicago to avoid joining the 1962 New York Mets as the only teams in the modern era to lose 100 before September. Robertson (1-0) won in his fourth big league start. He allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings.

BLUE JAYS 7, INDIANS 3: At Cleveland, Kelvim Escobar pitched eight strong innings, and Mike Bordick and Josh Phelps each hit a two-run homer as Toronto defeated Cleveland. Carlos Delgado had a season-high four hits for the Blue Jays, who won for the second time in six games. Escobar (10-8) retired 14 in a row from the second to seventh innings. Josh Bard's three-run homer in the second inning accounted for the Indians' runs.

ANGELS 10, ROYALS 3: At Kansas City, Bengie Molina had three hits and a career-high five RBIs and Jarrod Washburn took a two-hitter into the seventh, powering Anaheim to a 10-3 victory Kansas City. Molina hit a three-run home run in the second off rookie Jimmy Gobble (2-3), added a sacrifice fly in the third and an RBI single in the seventh. Eric Owens had three RBIs and Scott Spiezio had two for the Angels, who snapped Kansas City's three-game winning streak. The Royals remained a game ahead of Chicago in the AL Central. The White Sox lost 8-4 to the Detroit Tigers.


CUBS 4, BREWERS 2: At Chicago, Matt Clement scattered seven hits and the Chicago Cubs ended Milwaukee's 10-game winning streak, beating the Brewers 4-2 Friday afternoon. Wes Helms hit a solo homer, but it wasn't enough for the Brewers. The 10-game streak was their longest since moving to the National League in 1998. Damian Miller homered and Sammy Sosa, Eric Karros and Ramon Martinez also drove in runs for the Cubs, who are trying to make up ground on NL Central leaders Houston and St. Louis.

PHILLIES 7, METS 0: At New York, Kevin Millwood pitched eight impressive innings and the Philadelphia Phillies ended their season-high six-game losing streak, defeating the New York Mets 7-0. Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer for Philadelphia, which had started out 1-9 on its 13-game road trip. The Phillies began the game in a five-way tie for the NL wild-card lead. Millwood (13-9) blanked the Mets on three hits. He struck out five and walked one.

REDS 8, CARDINALS 5: At Cincinnati, Tim Hummel had a pinch two-run single in the sixth inning Friday night as Cincinnati rallied for five runs and an 8-5 victory over St. Louis. The scaled-down Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth against Dan Haren (3-5) and reliever Jason Simontacchi for another big rally against a team that's been prone to giving them up. In each of their last seven losses, the Cardinals have been undone by one big inning.

MARLINS 3, EXPOS 2: At Miami, pinch-hitter Brian Banks hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning as Florida rallied to beat Montreal. The Marlins had runners on first and second when Banks hit a 2-2 pitch off reliever Rocky Biddle over the head of right fielder Vladimir Guerrero to score Derrek Lee. Trailing 2-1, the Marlins had runners on second and third with one out. They scored the tying run when Expos third baseman Jamey Carroll, who had just entered the game, bobbled a hard-hit grounder by Alex Gonzalez. Carroll threw home but Juan Encarnacion slid under the tag.

PADRES 7, ASTROS 1: At Houston, Mark Loretta and Phil Nevin homered, leading Adam Eaton and San Diego over Houston. The Astros remained tied for the NL Central lead with St. Louis, who lost to Cincinnati 8-5. Eaton (8-9) gave up a solo homer to Jeff Bagwell, his 31st, in the first inning and then shut down the Astros. Eaton allowed six hits in seven innings. He walked two, struck out four and didn't allow a runner to reach third after Bagwell's homer.