The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"Listen, the Red Sox had our number, but we changed cell-phone providers."
-- Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher after New York wrapped up a four-game sweep of the Red Sox
Boston was finally able to score a couple of runs but couldn't come away with a victory as the Yankees pulled off their first four-game home sweep of their division rival in 24 years. The sweep gave New York a 6½-game lead over Boston in the American League East. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back homers as part of a four-run eighth inning that put the Yankees ahead for good. Boston had ended a 31-inning scoreless streak against New York earlier in the inning as Victor Martinez delivered a two-run blast that gave the Red Sox their short-lived lead. Boston has now lost six straight and fallen into a tie with Texas for the wild card lead and will next play host to the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers.
After winning his major league debut, the Blue Jays were more than happy to give Orioles starter Brian Matusz his first "welcome to the big leagues" moment. Matusz lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, seven hits and three home runs to take the loss. Marco Scutaro went 4 for 5 with a two-run homer to back a typically solid outing by Toronto's Roy Halladay. The Blue Jays ace picked up only his second win since the all-star break by allowing three runs over eight innings.
Rangers rookie Derek Holland carried a no-hitter into the sixth as he tossed a complete game shutout to pick up his fifth win. Holland registered eight strikeouts to help Texas get a three-game series win over the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels. Marlon Byrd led the Rangers' offense, going 3 for 4 with three RBI to help Texas pull itself within 3½ games of Los Angeles. John Lackey made the start for the Angels and while he also managed to strike out eight, he gave up four runs over his 6 2/3 innings of work to pick up his first loss since July 7.
Russell Branyan hit his first grand slam in six years to cap Seattle's scoring binge as the Mariners pounded Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir. Charged with seven runs over 4 1/3 innings, Kazmir failed in his attempt to win three straight starts for the first time this season. Once one of the few major-league ready talents on the Rays, Kazmir is now in the midst of his worst season at 6-7 while sporting a 6.10 ERA.
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