Minnesota all but put the White Sox out of the play-off picture with an 8-6 win on Wednesday. It was also a win that kept the Twins within reach of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. Nick Punto had three RBIs and scored two runs as Minnesota completed a three-game sweep, and the pitcher Brian Duensing improved to 5-0 as a starter.
"This was a huge series for us. It's as close to a must-win situation as you can be in," said Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer. "Our goal now is to go to Kansas City and win a series there and go to Detroit and see what happens," said the manager Ron Gardenhire of the side's seven road games. Detroit clinched the three-game set in Cleveland as they beat the Indians 11-3. A two-homer, four-RBI night from Carlos Guillen sealed it for Detroit, who had a four-run first inning off Justin Masterson. Miguel Cabrera added a two-run home run in the fourth.
The New York Yankees celebrated their play-off spot by rounding out a series win with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. The Boston Red Sox moved to within five wins off the play-offs as they beat the Kansas City Royals 9-2. A homer from Travis Snider showed up a good night at the plate for the Toronto Blues Jays who finished off a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 7-3 win.
BJ Upton had a game-winning two-run single in the eighth as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 5-4. Five runs in the fourth inning for the Oakland Athletics were not enough as the Texas Rangers won 9-8. In the National League, Atlanta won for the 11th time in 13 games with a 5-2 win over the New York Mets. * With agencies