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Buehrle boosts White Sox

Chicago pulls within half-game of wild card

Mark Buehrle won for the second time in two months, A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Crede hit consecutive home runs, and the White Sox beat Minnesota, 6-1, yesterday in Chicago to cut the Twins' lead in the American League wild-card race to a half-game.

Pierzynski and Crede connected in the fifth as Chicago turned a one-run edge into a 5-1 lead, and the White Sox went on to avoid a three-game sweep.

Buehrle (11-11) left to a standing ovation after allowing back-to-back singles by Luis Castillo and Nick Punto with one out in the eighth. Mike MacDougal relieved and Mike Redmond grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Buehrle -- 2-7 in his last 11 starts -- allowed one run and nine hits, struck out six, and did not walk a batter.

Carlos Silva (8-12) continued to be bothered by the long ball, allowing three homers after giving up five in a loss to Baltimore. He lasted six innings, giving up six runs and 11 hits.

Tigers 7, Indians 1 -- Kenny Rogers put on a pitching performance that Detroit desperately needed and the Tigers backed him with four home runs in beating host Cleveland to end a four-game losing streak.

Curtis Granderson led off the game with a homer and Marcus Thames, Carlos Guillen, and Ivan Rodriguez later connected as the Tigers averted a sweep. They won for only the sixth time in 19 games since Aug. 7 -- when they held a 10-game lead in the AL Central.

Rogers (14-6) won his third straight start, allowing one run and four hits in seven innings. Cleveland had won four in a row overall and eight straight at home.

Rangers 3, Athletics 0 -- Vicente Padilla allowed four hits over eight innings and Matt Stairs homered as host Texas halted Oakland's three-game winning streak.

Dan Haren had won six straight decisions for the AL West-leading A's, but Padilla outpitched him. Padilla (13-8) improved to 3-1 in his six starts against Oakland this season, striking out eight to match his season high and walking four.

Haren (12-10), who had not lost since July 21, struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings.

Blue Jays 10, Royals 6 -- Ted Lilly won in his first start since tussling with manager John Gibbons, and Bengie Molina hit a grand slam that led Toronto past visiting Kansas City.

Lilly (11-11) allowed six runs -- five earned -- in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three. Molina connected against Odalis Perez (1-2) in the third inning for his first slam of the season and the third of his career.

Orioles 5, Devil Rays 4 -- Miguel Tejada singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth as Baltimore extended Tampa Bay's road losing streak to 10 games.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 3 -- Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer and Rafael Furcal tripled home two more runs to help Los Angeles dump host Arizona.

The win, coupled with San Diego's loss, moved the Dodgers two games ahead of the Padres in the National League West. The Diamondbacks, losers of six of seven, fell five games back and stayed 3 1/2 behind Cincinnati in the wild-card race.

Giants 8, Reds 0 -- Rookie Matt Cain pitched seven sharp innings and resurgent San Francisco beat slumping Cincinnati at AT&T Park.

Omar Vizquel, Ray Durham, and Shea Hillenbrand each drove in two runs as the Giants won for the 11th time in 14 games. The Reds have lost four of five since climbing into a virtual tie with NL Central leader St. Louis.

Cardinals 10, Cubs 6 -- Gary Bennett hit a walkoff grand slam off Bobby Howry in the ninth to propel St. Louis past Chicago.

Rockies 6, Padres 3 -- Cory Sullivan drove in a career-high three runs with three hits and Aaron Cook improved to 7-3 lifetime against San Diego as host Colorado rolled.

Astros 13, Pirates 1 -- Willy Taveras ran his hitting streak to 30 games, Lance Berkman drove in four runs, and Houston won its third in a row as host Pittsburgh assured itself of a 14th consecutive non-winning season with its 81st loss.

Marlins 4, Brewers 3 -- At Miami, pinch hitter Mike Jacobs doubled home Jeremy Hermida with two outs in the ninth and Florida beat Milwaukee for its seventh straight victory.

Braves 13, Nationals 6 -- Jeff Francoeur, Chipper Jones, and Andruw Jones hit home runs and Adam LaRoche capped a six-run third inning with a three-run double, lifting host Atlanta over Washington.

The Mets game against the Philadelphia Phillies was rained out in New York and the teams will return to Shea Stadium today for a 12:10 p.m. start.

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