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Yankees' Brown returns to form

Kevin Brown gave the Yankees a big boost by pitching into the seventh inning in his first start in more than seven weeks, and Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in two runs in New York's 2-1 victory over the visiting Baltimore Orioles last night.

On the night before baseball's trade deadline -- with speculation swirling about whether the Yankees will be able to strike a deal with Arizona for Randy Johnson -- Brown gave New York an impressive outing.

Brown (8-1), activated from the disabled list before the game after being sidelined since June 10 with a lower back spasm and an intestinal parasite, allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two, throwing 88 pitches.

Tom Gordon struck out the side in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his major league-leading 36th save.

The Yankees gave the Orioles four outs in the seventh when Brown struck out B.J. Surhoff for what appeared to be the second out, but Surhoff reached when the ball bounced away from catcher Jorge Posada for a wild pitch.

Brown left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 51,551 at Yankee Stadium. Paul Quantrill came in and gave up a single to Jerry Hairston before getting the last two outs of the inning.

Tigers 5, White Sox 4 -- Bobby Higginson drew a tiebreaking, bases-loaded walk with two out in the eighth inning to help host Detroit beat Chicago for the White Sox' sixth straight loss. The game was delayed an hour and a minute after three innings because of rain.

Damaso Marte (4-4) loaded the bases in the eighth. Alex Sanchez led off with an infield single, Carlos Guillen singled with one out, and Rondell White walked with two out to load the bases. Marte then walked Higginson on a 3-and-2 pitch.

Blue Jays 3, Devil Rays 0 -- Josh Towers won his fourth straight start with seven innings of two-hit ball, and Josh Phelps homered twice to help visiting Toronto beat Tampa Bay. Towers (6-3) walked just one and struck out four before Vinnie Chulk worked a hitless eighth and Jason Frasor pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 14 opportunities, holding the Devil Rays to two hits for the second time this season.

Angels 6, Mariners 5 -- Bengie Molina hit a two-run, go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth and host Anaheim got homers from Robb Quinlan and Jose Guillen to beat Seattle. Molina lined an 0-and-1 pitch to left-center against J.J. Putz (0-3) to score Garret Anderson and Darin Erstad.

Rangers 7, Athletics 5 -- Laynce Nix and Michael Young hit consecutive two-run singles with two out in the bottom of the eighth, helping Texas rally from an early four-run deficit to beat visiting Oakland and reclaim first place in the AL West. Oakland starter Rich Harden held Texas hitless until the fourth inning and he left after six with a 4-2 lead.

Indians 7, Royals 6 -- Omar Vizquel led off the 11th inning with a triple and scored on Matt Lawton's sacrifice fly to give visiting Cleveland a victory. Vizquel, hitless in his first five at-bats, blooped a 1-and-1 pitch from Scott Sullivan (3-4) just inside the line in short right field, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He slid home on Lawton's sacrifice fly.

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