The New York Yankees missed a second chance to seal a play-off spot as they lost 5-2 to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. The Yankees wasted their first chance on Sunday with a 7-1 defeat by Seattle and passed up chance number two as Angels pitcher Joe Saunders starred at Angel Stadium. Saunders pitched into the ninth inning while Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter hit consecutive RBI doubles off Yankees starter Andy Pettitte.
"We'd like to get it locked up, but we haven't been winning," Pettitte said. "We've been playing so well the second half, but we're kind of in a little lull right now. So more than anything, we just want to get it going again and get back on the winning ways." The loss trimmed the Yankees' lead over the Angels for the American League's best record to four games. "I threw the ball well, especially against a great-hitting club like they are," said Saunders.
"I didn't have my best stuff, but I located it when I needed to and got some big double plays." The Yankees, who have lost six of their last 10 games, could also have secured their postseason spot with a Texas loss at Oakland, but the Rangers beat the Athletics 10-3. The Kansas City Royals roared back from a six-run deficit to beat the Boston Red Sox 12-9 in a thrilling clash. The Royals had trailed 6-0 in the third innings but scored six runs in the sixth inning to seize command at 11-9 and beat the AL wild card leading Red Sox (89-60).
"We're just playing better baseball," said Billy Butler, who had two doubles and two RBIs. "We can play with anybody. We showed that tonight." The Royals, bottom of the AL Central, have an 11-3 record since September 7. The Minnesota Twins closed the gap on the inactive Tigers at the top of American League Central with a 7-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. White Sox rookie pitcher Daniel Hudson was impressive but Minnesota's Nick Blackburn was in form as Chicago were unable to score.
The Toronto Blue Jays triumphed 9-2 over the Baltimore Orioles as Adam Lind hit a two-run single during a three-run third inning, supporting rookie starter David Purcey. Daniel Murphy's 11th home run of the season could not prevent the New York Mets losing 11-3 to the Atlanta Braves. Houston fired manager Cecil Cooper on Monday, but the move did not have the desired effect on the team as the Astros lost 7-3 to St Louis.
The Chicago Cubs thrashed Milwaukee 10-2 while the San Diego Padres scored five times in the 11th inning to get the better of Pittsburgh 11-6. Arizona lost 5-4 against San Francisco. * Reuters