NEW YORK — Hideki Matsui homered in both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins as the New York Yankees swept the twinbill, 5-3 and 5-4, to move to the verge of clinching their seventh straight AL East title.
Matsui, who batted sixth in the lineup in the first game, ignited a four-run seventh inning with a solo shot off J.C. Romero and hit a first-inning three-run homer in the nightcap from the cleanup spot off Kyle Lohse for his 30th homer of the season.
With five games remaining, Matsui kept alive his hopes of doubling the number of homers which was limited to just 16 in his rookie year in the majors last year. He hit 50 homers with the Yomiuri Giants in 2002.
Matsui boosted his average to .299 after going 3-for-7 with four RBIs and a walk in the doubleheader.
Mariano Rivera saved both games, raising his total to a career-high 53.
New York, closing in on three straight 100-win seasons for the first time in team history, will clinch the division with one more win or one Red Sox loss. Both teams are both assured of no worse than the AL wild-card berth.
Devil Rays 9, Red Sox 4
In St. Petersburg, Fla., Tampa Bay damaged Boston’s slim chances of winning the AL East, beating Pedro Martinez (16-9) and the Red Sox.
Tino Martinez hit a three-run homer for the Rays.
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 6 (1st)Orioles 4, Blue Jays 0, (2nd)
In Baltimore, Rick Bauer pitched six innings of three-hit ball to help the Orioles complete a doubleheader sweep of Toronto.
In the opener, Rafael Palmeiro hit two homers and watched Miguel Tejada break his single-season club record for RBIs in the win.
White Sox 11, Tigers 2
In Detroit, Carlos Lee hit a grand slam and a two-run homer and Freddy Garcia pitched seven scoreless innings to lead Chicago over the Tigers.
Indians 5, Royals 2
In Kansas City, Ben Broussard homered and Cliff Bartosh earned his first major league victory as the Royals lost a club-record 101st game of the season, falling to the Cleveland.
Angels 8, Rangers 7 (11)
In Arlington, Texas, Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning as Anaheim eliminated the Rangers from the playoff chase.
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