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September 7, 2009

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Home » Sports » Baseball

Angels gain on the Rangers

AN 11th inning single from Erick Aybar powered the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-1 road win over the cellar-dwelling Kansas City Royals on Saturday in Kansas City.

Aybar drove in Torii Hunter from second base with his third hit of the game to end a classic pitchers' duel and push the American League West-leading Angels (80-54) 4 1/2 games clear of the Texas Rangers.

Kansas City, mired at the bottom of the AL Central division with a 51-84 record, dropped 23 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

Kevin Jepsen (5-3), who pitched the 10th inning, collected the win in relief of Angels starter John Lackey, who had held the Royals to a first-inning run and six hits in nine innings. He retired 17 consecutive batters at one point.

"They were pretty aggressive against me," Lackey said.

"I was getting ahead with my fastball, locating my fastball really well, and I kind of rode it for three or four innings."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia praised both his pitcher and Royals starter Zack Greinke.

"We're not going to beat a guy like Greinke unless you're pitching with them," Scioscia said. "We were able to do that and then chipped away for a run, and the bullpen did a good job."

Brian Fuentes earned the save, his 39th, by pitching the 11th inning for Los Angeles.

In other American League games, it was: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 4; Tigers 8, Rays 6; White Sox 5, Red Sox 1; Athletics 9, Mariners 5; Orioles 5, Rangers 4; and Twins 4, Indians 1.

In the National League, it was: Dodgers 7, Padres 4; Giants 3, Brewers 2; Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 1; Cardinals 2, Pirates 1; Reds 3, Braves 1; Cubs 5, Mets 3; Marlins 9, Nationals 5; and Astros 5, Phillies 4.

In Toronto, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano homered to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, further extending their lead in the American League East division standings.

Yankees veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte extended his unbeaten streak to eight starts.

In St Petersburg, Florida, pinch-hitter Marcus Thames came through with a tiebreaking single during a two-run eighth inning and Alex Avila hit a two-run homer as Detroit overcame Tampa Bay.

Detroit, which had been three runs down, went ahead 8-6 when Thames hit a bases-loaded single and Adam Everett drove in one with a bunt.

The Tigers have won five in a row and retained a five-game lead in the AL Central.

Tampa Bay remained six games behind Boston for the wild card.

In Chicago, Gavin Floyd retired his first 17 batters, dominating from the mound to set up Chicago's win over Boston.

Floyd gave up only three hits in eight innings and struck out a career-high 11 while walking none.


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