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September 8, 2009

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Home » Sports » Baseball

Bosox go deep twice to bury Chisox

THE Boston Red Sox gained breathing room in the American League wildcard race when they beat the Chicago White Sox 6-1 behind a pair of home runs and Jon Lester's strong pitching on Sunday.

The win, coupled with the Texas Rangers' 7-0 loss to Baltimore, pushed the Red Sox three games in front of Texas in the wildcard chase. It also ended a two-game skid by the Red Sox and a four-game winning streak by the White Sox.

Mike Lowell and Victor Martinez each hit home runs to power the victory as Lester (12-7) won his first start in Chicago.

Lester shut out the White Sox for seven innings while allowing four hits and two walks.

"He was outstanding," Lowell said. "Even when he fell behind, he was able to come back and throw strikes and locate 3-1, 3-2 pitches."

Lowell connected on a two-run homer in the fourth and Martinez broke open the game with a three-run shot in the ninth.

In other American League games, it was: Tigers 5, Rays 3; Athletics 5, Mariners 2; Angels 7, Royals 2; Blue Jays 14, Yankees 8; Indians 3, Twins 1; and Orioles 7, Rangers 0.

In National League games, it was: Rockies 13, Diamondbacks 5; Nationals 5, Marlins 4; Brewers 2, Giants 1; Reds 4, Braves 2; Pirates 6, Cardinals 5; Mets 4, Cubs 2; Astros 4, Phillies 3; Padres 4, Dodgers 3.

In Oakland, California, Ichiro Suzuki's 2,000th major league hit was overshadowed by the go-ahead grand slam Scott Hairston hit in the seventh inning to help Oakland beat Seattle.

Suzuki, 36, reached the milestone on a double in the first inning against Gio Gonzalez (5-5).

The Mariners All-Star outfielder, who accumulated 1,278 hits in Japan, became the second-fastest player to 2,000 hits, recording it in his 1,402 major league game. Al Simmons did it in 1,390 games.

"He's really done a lot for the game," A's second baseman Mark Ellis said of Suzuki. "He has a big following not just from Japanese fans, but from American fans too. They love Ichiro and love his style. He's definitely fun to watch."

In St Petersburg, Florida, Brandon Inge hit a grand slam in the ninth inning as the Detroit Tigers picked apart Tampa Bay's bullpen to beat the Rays 5-3 for a three-game sweep.

Detroit won its sixth in a row and opened a seven-game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central.

In Baltimore, Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven innings of six-hit ball as Baltimore beat Texas to earn its second series win since the All-Star break.

Brian Roberts, Jeff Fiorentino and Chad Moeller each had two hits and two RBIs for the Orioles.


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