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Yanks clinch 6th East title

Yankees' Jason Giambi, second from right, is congratulated after hitting a grand slam in the ninth.
Yankees' Jason Giambi, second from right, is congratulated after hitting a grand slam in the ninth.
Brian Kersey, Associated Press

The New York Yankees' playoff party was rocking even before they left the field.

Jason Giambi hit a grand slam in the ninth inning, and Jose Contreras struck out a career-high nine Tuesday night as the Yankees clinched their sixth straight AL East title with a 7-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

"No, it doesn't get old," Derek Jeter said as he watched his teammates spray each other with champagne in the clubhouse. "We've been playing from the middle of February to be in this position right here, to win the division. It's worth celebrating."

Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera hit solo homers, and Hideki Matsui drove in his 106th RBI for the Yankees, who are five games ahead of second-place Boston with five games left.

Even though the Yankees (98-59) and Red Sox (93-64) could finish with the same record, New York would win the division because it beat Boston 10-9 in the season series. The Red Sox would then be the wild card.

TWINS 4, INDIANS 1: At Minneapolis, the Twins clinched their second straight AL Central title by defeating the Cleveland Indians, winning their 10th consecutive game as Kenny Rogers came within one out of a shutout.

Shannon Stewart drove in two runs and Cristian Guzman went 2-for-2 with a homer and two runs.

After the game, Minnesota had to wait 30 minutes to celebrate. The Twins' title wasn't ensured until New York defeated Chicago 7-0 and Detroit routed Kansas City 15-6, dropping the White Sox and Royals six games back with five to play.

Rogers (13-8), probably the odd man out of the postseason rotation, rolled through a lineup stocked with eight rookies. His last shutout was a five-hitter against Seattle on April 19 last year.

He gave up one-out singles to Jody Gerut and Alex Escobar in the ninth before Josh Bard hit a two-out single to make it 4-1. Eddie Guardado got the final out for his 40th save in 43 tries.

Rogers gave up eight hits and struck out two.

Most fans had eyes on the out-of-town scoreboard in the upper deck above left-center field, where updates on the other games scrolled by. Each time Detroit or New York added a run, the crowd of 33,650 cheered.

TIGERS 15, ROYALS 6: At Kansas City, Mo., Detroit (39-118) stopped a 10-game losing streak but still must win four of its last five to avoid tying the post-1900 loss record of 120 held by the 1962 New York Mets.

Warren Morris, Craig Monroe and A.J. Hinch all homered for the Tigers, who scored their most runs since getting 19 against Texas on Aug. 8, 2001. Tigers manager Alan Trammell missed the game to attend his mother's funeral.

Mike Maroth (8-21) gave up six runs on 10 hits in five innings. Jose Lima (8-2) gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

RED SOX 6, ORIOLES 5: At Boston, Todd Walker tied the game with a three-run homer off Jorge Julio with two outs in the ninth and David Ortiz won it with a solo shot against Kurt Ainsworth (0-1) in the 10th.

Byung-Hyun Kim (8-5) earned the win with a scoreless 10th. Boston began the night 2 1/2 games ahead of Seattle in the AL wild-card race.

BLUE JAYS 8, DEVIL RAYS 5: At Toronto, Carlos Delgado hit his 299th homer, breaking a 4-all tie in the fifth against Victor Zambrano (11-10), and Reed Johnson added a two-run shot.

Josh Towers became the second straight Toronto pitcher to be ejected, getting tossed for throwing behind Aubrey Huff in the fifth. Roy Halladay was ejected for hitting Rocco Baldelli with a pitch Monday.

Delgado gave Toronto a 5-4 lead in the bottom half of the fifth with a solo shot off Victor Zambrano (11-10).

Jason Kershner (3-3) allowed one run and three hits in 3 1/3 innings.

ATHLETICS 4, RANGERS 3 (10): At Oakland, Calif., Adam Melhuse hit a winning single past shortstop Alex Rodriguez in the 10th inning as the Athletics moved a step closer to clinching the AL West with a 4-3 win over the Rangers.

The A's charged onto the field to surround the late-inning defensive replacement, and then stuck around to watch Seattle play Anaheim, a game that went into extra innings. A Mariners loss would clinch Oakland's second straight division title.

ANGELS 2, MARINERS 1 (11): At Anaheim, Tim Salmon homered with one out in the 11th inning as the Angels defeated Seattle, eliminating the Mariners from the AL West race.

Seattle dropped 3 1/2 games behind Boston in the wild-card standings with four to play. Oakland's 4-3 victory over Texas in 10 innings clinched the division title for the A's.