Bad things happen when Manny Ramirez is given a second chance to swing the bat and when the New York Yankees have to turn to their bullpen earlier than expected. Ramirez homered in the ninth inning, one pitch after third baseman Joe Crede dropped his foul pop and lifted the visiting Boston Red Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
``You just knew once Crede dropped that ball that Manny was going to do something special,'' Boston's Johnny Damon said.
On the next pitch from Luis Vizcaino (4-4), Ramirez hit his 26th homer to left-center and gave the Red Sox the lead after Curt Schilling blew a save in the eighth by giving up a two-out double to Crede.
``It's a humbling feeling. You've got to keep your head up,'' Crede said.
With Yankees ace Randy Johnson out after six innings because he ``tweaked'' his back, the Los Angeles Angels rallied behind Vladimir Guerrero's grand slam off reliever Tom Gordon and went on to beat New York 6-5.
``Once I hit it, I thought it was going to go out,'' said Guerrero, who hesitated as he watched the flight of the ball. ``Then I saw Bernie Williams go back and camp out, and I thought I'd better start really running.''
Yankees manager Joe Torre pulled Johnson after the sixth because the pitcher seemed to be favoring his back and Torre didn't want to take any chances with his ace.
``Hopefully, he should be ready for his next start,'' Torre said.
Johnson sounded as if he will.
``I kind of dragged my foot and I think my momentum just kind of put a lot more of my body weight on my right side and I felt my back tweak a little bit,'' he said. ``But I've done it before, so I'll be fine. I can touch my toes now and I'll touch my toes tomorrow.''
Reliever Scott Proctor walked the one batter he faced and Buddy Groom gave up two hits to load the bases for Guerrero.
Gordon (3-4), who usually pitches the eighth as Mariano Rivera's setup man, said he threw his cut fastball essentially where he wanted it.
``The ball was down, but he was able to get the ball in the air and drive it. There aren't too many guys who can hit that pitch out of the ballpark,'' Gordon said.
In other AL games, it was: Cleveland 10, Kansas City 1; Toronto 6, Seattle 3; Minnesota 10, Detroit 5; and Oakland 6, Texas 4.
In Chicago, the White Sox tied it in the eighth when Aaron Rowand doubled with one out, went to third on an infield out and scored on Crede's two-out double off Curt Schilling (2-3).
``I'm incredibly disappointed. I forgot the feeling of letting down your starter and your team,'' Schilling said. ``That's probably why I'm so upset about it. It's an adjustment.''
Schilling pitched the final two innings in his fifth relief appearance and got his first win since April 18, a game he started. It was his first victory as a reliever since 1992.
In Los Angeles, Jason Giambi homered twice off Bartolo Colon, the second game in a row the Yankees' first baseman hit a pair. Giambi has hit 15 home runs this season, 10 this month.
Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer, his AL-leading 27th, and Hideki Matsui also hit a solo shot, his 16th for the Yankees. All the home runs came off Colon (12-6).
Colon was one of the most excited Angels in the dugout when Guerrero homered.
``I actually jumped up in the dugout when he hit it,'' Colon said through a translator. ``I said, `Thank you, Vlade. Now I'll give it to the bullpen.'''
Indians 10, Royals 1
At Cleveland, Jhonny Peralta and Victor Martinez hit three-run homers to lead Jake Westbrook (7-12) and the fading Indians to a victory.
The Indians, who were 10 games over .500 on July 4, improved to just 3-11 since by salvaging a split of the four-game series against one of the AL's worst teams.
J.P. Howell (1-4) was the loser.
Blue Jays 6, Mariners 3
At Toronto, Josh Towers won for just the second time in his last 12 starts, and Shea Hillenbrand hit a three-run homer as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep.
Towers (7-8) allowed three runs and five hits in seven-plus innings. Miguel Batista earned his 17th save.
Joel Pineiro (3-6) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings.
Twins 10, Tigers 5
At Detroit, Bret Boone and Michael Cuddyer drove in two runs apiece, Joe Mauer scored three and Minnesota took advantage of Detroit's four errors and three wild pitches.
Johan Santana (9-5) gave up three runs and nine hits in five innings. Jason Johnson (6-8) lost at home for just the second time in 11 starts.
Athletics 6, Rangers 4
At Arlington, Texas, Oakland's Nick Swisher had three RBIs, and Jay Payton hit a slow chopper off Kameron Loe (4-3) through the left side of the infield for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
Oakland overcame an early 3-0 deficit against Kenny Rogers to win for the 19th time in 24 games. Rogers will go before commissioner Bud Selig on Friday to appeal his 20-game suspension for shoving two cameramen.
Jay Witasick (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning for his first win since 2003.