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Yankees reach a 10-year nadir

The last-place Tampa Bay Devil Rays dropped the New York Yankees to their lowest point in a decade.

With owner George Steinbrenner watching from his suite at Tropicana Field, the reeling Yankees and their tattered pitching staff lost their second straight game to the Devil Rays, 11-8, last night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The loss was the sixth in eight games for New York, which made significant lineup changes the previous night to try to break out of a rut. The Yankees are six games under .500 for the first time since after games of July 19, 1995, when they were 34-40.

Rookie Damon Hollins led the way, going 3 for 3 with a solo homer and four RBIs.

The Devil Rays also took advantage of a throwing error by new Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, which led to a four-run third against Sean Henn (0-1), making his major league debut as a fill-in for Randy Johnson.

Cano was brought up from Triple A Columbus as part of the shakeup manager Joe Torre instituted in hopes of turning around the Yankees. Cano had his first two major league hits, but New York never fully recovered from his error, which cost two runs.

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 1 -- Baltimore was on the verge of wasting another fine pitching performance when Sammy Sosa delivered his biggest hit since joining the club.

Sosa ended the Orioles' drought of 22 scoreless innings with a two-run double in the eighth inning, and Javy Lopez added a three-run homer to lead host Baltimore past Toronto.

Erik Bedard (3-1) struck out a career-high 12 and allowed one run and four hits in eight innings for the Orioles, who averted a three-game sweep. Baltimore lost the series opener, 6-2, in 12 innings and was blanked, 1-0, before bouncing back against Toronto ace Roy Halladay.White Sox 4, Royals 2 -- A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer and Chicago beat visiting Kansas City for its fourth straight win.

While Chicago improved the best record in the major leagues to 20-7, the last-place Royals lost for the 14th time in 17 games and dropped to 7-20 despite outhitting the White Sox, 9-6.

Jermaine Dye's RBI single broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth, and Pierzynski followed with his second homer of the season. Aaron Rowand started the rally with a two-out bloop single and scored on Dye's hit.Angels 5, Mariners 2 -- Paul Byrd improved to 5-0 against host Seattle and Vladimir Guerrero smacked a two-run homer, leading Los Angeles to its fourth straight win.

Byrd (2-3) allowed two runs and nine hits in 6{dbcomma} innings, struck out just three, and walked none. Angels starters have worked at least six innings in seven of their last eight games, going 6-2.

Guerrero's first-inning homer snapped an 0-for-9 slump, and he reached base four times.Rangers 16, Athletics 7 -- Alfonso Soriano homered and drove in three runs and Texas routed host Oakland to complete a three-game sweep.

Mark Teixeira and Richard Hidalgo also homered for the Rangers.Indians 5, Twins 4 -- In Minneapolis, Josh Bard's ninth-inning home run lifted Cleveland past Minnesota.

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