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ChiSox retake lead in A.L. showdown

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CHICAGO — The White Sox wasted little time warming up for their first-place showdown with the Minnesota Twins.

Jose Valentin and Miguel Olivo had two RBIs each in a five-run first inning Monday night as Bartolo Colon and the White Sox beat the Twins 5-2 in the opener of a key four-game series.

With the victory, Chicago took a one-game lead in the AL Central at the start of what promises to be a frenetic final three weeks of the season. The teams also play three times next week at the Metrodome.

Minnesota had its five-game winning streak snapped and also lost manager Ron Gardenhire, who was ejected in the fourth inning after an argument with plate umpire Gerry Davis.

Colon (13-12) allowed 10 hits and made one of the game's best defensive plays, snaring Denny Hocking's line drive up the middle with runners at second and third and no outs in the seventh.

He then fanned Doug Mientkiewicz and got Matthew LeCroy to fly out to end the threat. Colon walked one and struck out four in his seventh complete game of the season.

ORIOLES 13, RED SOX 10: At Baltimore, Deivi Cruz drove in four runs and Jerry Hairston scored the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning as Baltimore rallied to beat Boston. The Orioles trailed 8-5 before scoring four runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth. Baltimore took advantage of four Boston errors to improve to 8-5 against the Red Sox this season. Johnny Damon hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs, and Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra also homered for Boston.

ANGELS 3, ATHLETICS 1: At Oakland, Garret Anderson drove home Adam Kennedy with an eighth-inning single, lifting Anaheim to a 3-1 victory over Oakland. Wilson Delgado later drew a bases-loaded walk from Tim Hudson (14-6), who pitched 7 2/3 innings but faltered under a heavy pitch count.

YANKEES 9, BLUE JAYS 3: At New York, Mike Mussina and Joe Torre enjoyed a quiet day at the ballpark — especially because their team won. With only 8,848 fans at Yankee Stadium for a makeup date, New York made plenty of noise with its bats Monday and beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-3. Hideki Matsui drove in three runs and Mussina pitched seven effective innings for the AL East leaders.

The Yankees lead the majors with an average home attendance of nearly 44,000, and the stadium was filled with three straight sellout crowds over the weekend to see Boston. But on a work day and school day, few fans showed up to see a game that was scheduled for July 22 but rained out.

This was the smallest crowd at Yankee Stadium since 8,112 saw the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 1, 2001 — a makeup for a game originally set for Sept. 11.


PIRATES 9, REDS 1: At Cincinnati, Josh Fogg threw his first major league complete game, and Craig Wilson homered twice and tied his career high with four RBIs as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati. Fogg (9-8) gave up 10 hits and no walks while striking out nine to improve to 3-0 in his career — all this season.

MARLINS 5, METS 0: At New York, Alex Gonzalez homered and four Florida pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout as the Marlins beat the Mets 5-0 Monday. Josh Beckett (8-7) allowed just four hits through six innings, striking out six and walking two. Relievers Nate Bump, Ugueth Urbina and Braden Looper followed with three scoreless innings. Florida scored four runs in the ninth off reliever Orber Moreno when pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth had an RBI single, Juan Pierre tripled in two runs, and Luis Castillo doubled in Pierre.

BRAVES 6, PHILLIES 4: At Atlanta, Russ Ortiz bounced back from another shaky start for his career-high 19th win and Atlanta rallied for a 6-4 victory over Philadelphia, which dropped into a tie with Florida for the NL wild card Monday. Ortiz (19-6) gave up four runs in the top of the first, then pitched five scoreless innings while the Braves mounted a comeback against one of their former pitchers, Kevin Millwood. Mark DeRosa hit a two-run homer in the bottom half of the first and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth, scoring from third when Andruw Jones hit into a double play with the bases loaded.

ASTROS 8, BREWERS 4: At Milwaukee, Roy Oswalt returned from the disabled list and Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman each had three RBIs as Houston beat Milwaukee. The victory, Houston's fourth in five games, put the Astros in a first-place tie in the NL Central with the idle Chicago Cubs.

DODGERS 10, DIAMONDBACKS 3: At Phoenix, Cesar Izturis went a career-best 5-for-5 and just missed hitting for the cycle. The Dodgers, winners of four in a row and nine of 11, moved within two games of wild-card leaders Florida and Philadelphia.

Jeromy Burnitz put Los Angeles ahead 6-3 with a three-run homer off Oscar Villareal (7-7) in the eighth, then Shawn Green sealed it with his sixth career grand slam in the ninth.

Izturis tried to stretch a single into a double to complete the cycle in the seventh, but was barely thrown out by center fielder Steve Finley.