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Alex Rios Lends a Hand to Red Sox

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Alex Rios lent the Boston Red Sox a hand, and he wasn't very happy about it.

Trying to catch Alex Cora's seventh-inning fly about 10 feet from the right-field fence, Rios juggled the ball and accidentally knocked it over the wall for a tiebreaking, two-run homer that boosted the reeling Red Sox over Toronto 6-4.

``It was a reaction play,'' Rios said. ``I was in a weird position to catch the ball so it was a little tougher play.''

Dustin Pedroia was on first when Cora came to the plate with two outs and the score 4-4. Cora, who had not homered in 245 at-bats since Aug. 15, 2005, lofted a fly to right against Roy Halladay (16-5).

Rios drifted back toward the 3-foot fence and was in position to make the catch. The ball hit his glove and bounced toward his bare right hand. He tried to catch it barehanded, but instead swatted it into the stands. An angry Halladay gestured in exasperation back in the infield.

``If wishing and blowing on it helps, I was helping,'' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. ``Sometimes you need a break.''

In other AL games, it was: New York 6, Detroit 4; Tampa Bay 5, Chicago 3 in 10 innings; Minnesota 3, Kansas City 1; and Texas 7, Baltimore 5.

At Fenway Park, Manny Delcarmen (2-0) pitched the sixth and seventh for the win, Mike Timlin got the first two outs in the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 35th save in 41 chances.

Boston's injury-depleted lineup resembled a spring training split-squad road game, missing designated hitter David Ortiz (heart palpitations), outfielders Manny Ramirez (knee), Trot Nixon (biceps) and Wily Mo Pena (sore wrist), catcher Jason Varitek (knee) and shortstop Alex Gonzalez (oblique muscle). Ortiz was released from a hospital Thursday and hopes to play Saturday.

``I don't care what lineup they have out there,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ``This is a tough place to win.''

Boston trails the AL East-leading Yankees by eight games and is 6 1/2 games back of Chicago, which leads the wild-card race.

Yankees 6, Tigers 4

Alex Rodriguez broke out of a 1-for-24 slump with three hits, including his 27th homer.

Rodriguez connected leading off the seventh and was called out of the dugout for a curtain call by Yankee fans, who have booed him for much of the season.

Bobby Abreu hit a two-out, two-run single that broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth.

Randy Johnson (15-10) allowed four hits in 8 1-3 innings, but three of them were homers: solo shots by Magglio Ordonez and Omar Infante, and a two-run drive by Marcus Thames in the ninth.

Mariano Rivera finished for his 33rd save. A pregame MRI exam on his right arm showed only a mild muscle strain at the elbow but no structural damage.

Jeremy Bonderman (11-7) gave up four runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings as the Tigers lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Devil Rays 5, White Sox 3

Jorge Cantu hit a two-run single in the 10th to keep Chicago from pulling within 3 1/2 games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

Chicago led 3-2 before Dioner Navarro's eighth-inning homer off Matt Thornton.

Delmon Young led off the 10th against Brandon McCarthy (3-5) with his fourth hit of the game, took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Carl Crawford's groundout. Greg Norton was intentionally walked and Navarro walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Cantu, who singled to left.

Ruddy Lugo (2-2) pitched the ninth, and Seth McClung got three straight outs for his third save. Tampa Bay stopped a six-game losing streak overall and a 12-game skid on the road.

Twins 3, Royals 1

Johan Santana (16-5) struck out 11 and allowed five hits in seven innings at the Metrodome to help the Twins end a three-game losing streak.

Rondell White homered for the Twins, who moved within five games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central and one-half game behind Chicago in the wild-card race.

Esteban German's just-barely home run was the run against Santana (16-5), who leads the league with a 2.95 ERA and is 7-0 in the second half.

Jorge De La Rosa (1-2) gave up two runs, six hits and three walks in five-plus innings.

Rangers 7, Orioles 5

Gary Matthews Jr. led off with a disputed homer off the yellow line on top of the outfield wall, ending a 16-inning scoreless streak for Daniel Cabrera (7-9).

Mark Teixeira homered in his third straight game for Texas. Carlos Lee had a home run and an RBI double, but was also charged with an error when he knocked a ball out of Matthews' glove in the outfield that led to an unearned run.

Nick Markakis had three hits and three RBIs, including his 10th homer in August.

Adam Eaton (4-4) had a season-high seven strikeouts in five innings at Arlington, Texas, and Akinori Otsuka got the final out for his 29th save.
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