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Yankees finish sweep of Orioles

The Yankees are beginning to realize just how good they are.

Gary Sheffield snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-out double, and Javier Vazquez pitched New York to a 5-2 home victory yesterday for another sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.

Alex Rodriguez drove in a run and scored another for the surging Yankees, who have won nine of 10 to open a season-high 2 1/2-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East.

The Yankees own the Orioles, winning eight straight meetings dating to last season and 45 of their last 62 games.

Javy Lopez homered for the Orioles, but rookie manager Lee Mazzilli remained winless in six games against former boss Joe Torre. The Yankees have outscored Baltimore, 59-31, this season, including a three-game sweep last week at Camden Yards.

Miguel Cairo singled leading off the seventh against John Parrish (3-2). Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch one out later, and Sheffield's two-run double into the right-field corner off B.J. Ryan gave New York a 4-2 lead.

Hideki Matsui added an RBI single, a one-hop smash off Rafael Palmeiro's arm at first base.

Vazquez (6-4) won his third straight start, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings. Tom Gordon pitched a hitless eighth before Mariano Rivera got three straight outs for his 21st save in 22 chances and third of the series.

Angels 5, Indians 2 -- Raul Mondesi homered and threw out a runner at the plate to help host Anaheim down Cleveland and hand league ERA leader Cliff Lee his first loss of the season.

Kelvim Escobar (4-2) allowed eight hits over eight innings with six strikeouts. Cleveland's only run against him came in the seventh, on Alex Escobar's double-play grounder with the bases loaded.

Lee (5-1) allowed three runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings, increasing his ERA from 2.87 to 3.27.

A's 2, Blue Jays 1 -- Jermaine Dye's sacrifice fly in the 11th scored Eric Byrnes, giving host Oakland its third extra-inning win in as many games. Dye hit a high fly to center off Terry Adams (4-4) to score Byrnes, who doubled and reached third on Scott Hatteberg's ground out.

Royals 9, Tigers 6 -- At Detroit, Carlos Beltran drove in four runs and Dennys Reyes remained unbeaten in six starts this season for Kansas City.

Reyes (2-0) allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. Reliever Nate Field got four outs and Jeremy Affeldt finished for his fifth save in six tries.

Devil Rays 5, Twins 2 -- Aubrey Huff hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth as Tampa Bay won its first road series of the season.

The Devil Rays, held hitless for five innings by Minnesota starter Johan Santana, arrived at the Metrodome with the worst road record in the majors -- now 6-18 -- and took three of four.

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