Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rockies keep closing; Beckett gets 20th win

American League Boston 8 Tampa Bay 1 - Josh Beckett (right) became the first 20-game winner in the majors, helping Boston regain some breathing room over the hard-charging Yankees. Beckett (20-6) won his 4th straight decision, and 7th in his last 8, allowing one earned run on 4 hits over six innings. His effort put Boston 2 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees, who lost to Toronto. Boston had lost 4 straight before Beckett's win. Toronto 5 NY Yankees 4, 14 innings - The Yankees couldn't get to Roy Halladay until the 9th inning, but tied the game with a 4-run (3 unearned) rally before finally losing in the 14th on Greg Zaun's home run. The loss dealt a blow to the Yankees' hopes of winning the AL East, as they now trail Boston by 2 1/2 games with just 9 games left. New York is looking very good for the post-season, however, as they need just 5 more wins or Detroit losses to clinch the wild card spot. Manager Joe Torre may have to make a decision on whether to rest his starters the early part of next. If the Yankees have the wild card sewn up, but don't see much chance of catching Boston, Torre could opt to keep Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and Roger Clemens on the bench as these are older pitchers who may not get much rest in the playoffs. Oakland 3 Cleveland 4 - The Indians got one step closer to capturing the Central division crown, reducing their magic number to 2 with their 4th straight win. Cleveland also has the best record in baseball, at 91-62, 1/2-game better than both Boston and Los Angeles. If the Indians end the season with the league's best record, they will play the wild card team in the first playoff round. Right now, that team looks to be the Yankees. Other AL Scores Kansas City 4 Detroit 5 Baltimore 2 Texas 3 Chi White Sox 6 Minnesota 4 Seattle 6 LA Angels 0 National League NY Mets 9 Florida 6 - Pedro Martinez improved to 3-0 as the Mets scored 8 runs in the 3rd through 5th innings to retain their perilous 1 1/2-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East. Philadelphia 6 Washington 3 - Ryan Howard led the Phillies to another come-from-behind win with his 42nd homer and a run-scoring double. The Phils are 1 1/2 behind the Mets in the division and trail San Diego in the wild card race by the same margin. Pittsburgh 8 Chi Cubs 13 - Aramis Ramirez (right) belted a pair of 3-run homers to lead the Cubs over Pittsburgh and keep their 1 1/2 game lead over Milwaukee in the tense NL Central. Both the Cubs and Brewers face a win-or-go-home situation as neither are close in the wild card standings. LA Dodgers 3 Arizona 12 - Arizona broke out the bats as Mark Reynolds, Tony Clark and Chris Young all connected for 2-run homers off Dodger pitching, sending LA to their 6th straight loss and virtually eliminating them from post-season contention. The Diamondbacks padded their lead in the division to 1 1/2 games over San Diego. Colorado 2 San Diego 1, 14 innings - Brad Hawpe homered in the top of the 14th inning, sending the Rockies to their 6th straight win and keeping Colorado's slender post-season hopes alive. The Rockies are 3 1/2 behind the Padres in the wild card race and 5 back of Arizona in the division. The Rockies have two more games at San Diego, then travel to Los Angeles for a 3-game series before ending the season at home against division-leader Arizona. Other NL Scores Milwaukee 4 Atlanta 1 Houston 6 St. Louis 3 Cincinnati 9 San Francisco 8, 11 innings

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