The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"I was hoping I remembered how to jog around the bases. ... There was a sense of relief."
-- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton who homered (twice, in fact) for the first time since August 7
The Rangers pulled off a doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays via identical 5-2 scores. The wins allowed Texas to gain a half-game on the Boston Red Sox in the wild-card race and 1½ games against the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels. Chris Davis had five hits between the two games for the Rangers with Ian Kinsler chipping in a total of four hits and a solo homer. Josh Hamilton went a combined 2 for 7 on Tuesday, but his two hits, both of which came in the second game, were home runs. Hamilton had been without a home run since August 7 and hadn't had a multi-home run game this season.
New York blasted five home runs to bury the Orioles on Tuesday. Baltimore starter David Hernandez only allowed four hits, but three of them happened to leave the building. The Orioles rookie lasted a total of five innings, mixing in seven strikeouts with six walks. Since picking up consecutive wins in July, Hernandez has gone 1-4 in his past seven starts. Hernandez actually collected a no-decision as he left with the game tied but watched as New York's Nick Swisher and Eric Hinske hit back-to-back homers in the seventh against Orioles reliever Chris Ray. Baltimore's one bright spot came in the fifth when Luke Scott came about 25 feet short of becoming the first player to hit the Warehouse out in right field in a game, launching a three-run blast off of Yankees starter A.J. Burnett.
J.D. Drew, Jason Bay and Kevin Youkilis each hit home runs as the Red Sox wiped away the Rays. Tampa Bay was probably pretty pleased that rosters expanded this week since Joe Maddon's club used eight pitchers in the game with starter Andy Sonnanstine lasting just four innings. Boston has now won four straight and seven of its last eight to maintain control of the AL wild-card. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the one team with a longer active winning streak is the team they're chasing in the AL East - the Yankees, who have won five straight.
Jose Morales, Minnesota's third catcher, came on to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth and delivered his first hit since July 11 to give the Twins a win over the staggering White Sox. Chicago has now lost five in a row and 10 of its last 12 as the team continues to plummet out of the AL Central race. The Twins, on the other hand, are surging after winning their third straight and nine of their past 11, but still remain 3½ games behind the Detroit Tigers in the division. Michael Cuddyer hit two home runs to aid Minnesota's cause on Tuesday night.
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