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Yankees gain more ground

Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer, and Ruben Sierra drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to lift the Yankees over the Cleveland Indians, 9-4, yesterday in New York for their seventh win in eight games.

Randy Johnson (9-6) struggled through six innings, but the Yankees improved to a season-high six games over .500 for the third time -- and moved to within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East -- behind Giambi's 10th homer of the season -- his fifth in six games -- Gary Sheffield's three-run shot and Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook's wildness.

With New York trailing, 2-1, in the fourth, Giambi homered deep into the bleachers in right-center on Westbrook's first pitch after Hideki Matsui reached on shortstop Jhonny Peralta's error.

The Indians tied it in the fifth on Travis Hafner's one-out sacrifice fly after Johnson allowed singles to Aaron Boone and Grady Sizemore leading off.

In the bottom half, the Yankees scored three times. After retiring the first two batters, Westbrook (6-11) walked Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez.

Matsui followed with an RBI double, and Giambi was walked intentionally to load the bases. Sierra, a switch hitter batting lefthanded, lined a 2-2 pitch to the opposite field to drive in two runs.

Hafner's third RBI of the game, a one-out single in the seventh, made it 6-4. Sheffield hit his 17th homer in the eighth.

Mariners 7, Angels 4 -- Miguel Olivo and Richie Sexson hit two-run homers in a five-run fourth, and Seattle beat Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif., completing a four-game sweep of the West Division leaders.

The Angels' lead over second-place Texas was trimmed to five games, while the last-place Mariners are 12 1/2 games off the pace.

Gil Meche (9-6) earned the victory, allowing six hits and four runs in six innings. Eddie Guardado, the fifth Seattle pitcher, worked the ninth to convert his 20th straight save opportunity and 21st in 22 chances.

Rangers 9, Blue Jays 8 -- Mark Teixeira hit his league-leading 25th homer, and Mark DeRosa had a two-run shot in a four-run eighth as host Texas completed a three-game sweep of Toronto.

Hank Blalock added three RBIs for the Rangers. Kameron Loe (3-1) pitched a hitless eighth for the victory.

Athletics 9, White Sox 8 -- Nick Swisher hit an RBI double in the 11th inning and Oakland won in Chicago, completing a three-game sweep of the team with the majors' best record.

Swisher also homered, and Dan Johnson added a solo shot and a two-run double for the Athletics, who have won 13 of 16 and moved one game over .500 for the first time since May 1.

Twins 3, Royals 2 -- In Kansas City, Nick Punto scored on third baseman Mark Teahen's error with two outs in the 12th and Minnesota overcame Mike Sweeney's two homers, one of which came in the ninth and sent the game into extra innings.

Tigers 9, Devil Rays 4 -- Magglio Ordonez drove in three runs, and Dmitri Young hit a two-run homer to lead Detroit past Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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