NEW YORK - At this rate, the Boston Red Sox will blow the New York Yankees out of the AL East race before summer.
Daisuke Matsuzaka overcame control problems to defeat the Yankees for the second time in six days, and Kevin Youkilis and Julio Lugo homered in a come-from-behind 11-4 victory Friday night that improved Boston to 4-0 against its longtime rival this season.
New York (8-13), whose April began to unravel with three straight losses at Fenway Park last weekend, has lost seven consecutive games for the first time since the final seven of the 2000 season. The last-place Yankees have fallen 6Â½ games back of the division-leading Red Sox.
Trying to end New York's run of nine straight AL East titles, Boston (15-7) is building confidence against the Yankees but also is wary. It's come to this for New York: Mariano Rivera, who doesn't have a save this season, was sent in to get some work in the ninth and allowed four of five batters to reach. He gave up four runs and got just one out, raising his ERA to 12.15.
Given a 4-2 lead after the Yankees scored four in the fourth, Andy Pettitte (1-1) immediately gave it back, forcing in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk and allowing the go-ahead run to score on a wild pitch. Pettitte allowed five runs, six hits and five walks in 4 2-3 innings, making it 11 times in 21 games that New York's starters failed to pitch five innings.
Matsuzaka (3-2), making his first appearance at Yankee Stadium, wasn't particularly sharp but he got the job done. He gave up four runs and five hits in six innings, striking out seven.
Derek Jeter, who returned to the Yankees' lineup after sitting out Thursday with a thigh injury, had three of New York's seven hits. Coco Crisp was in Boston's lineup after missing five starts with abdominal tightness and went 2-for-5 with an RBI single in the ninth.
DETROIT - Pinch-hitter Joe Mauer's two-run single capped a four-run eighth inning, helping Minnesota rally past Detroit.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Mauer lined a Joel Zumaya (0-1) pitch into shallow center to give the Twins their first lead of the game.
The Tigers got two singles off Juan Rincon with one out in the eighth, but rookie Mike Rabelo grounded out and Brandon Inge struck out. Rabelo is now 0-for-12 for Detroit, and Inge is hitting .129.
Jesse Crain (1-1), the second of four Twins pitchers, picked up the win after allowing one run in an inning. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
Nate Robertson allowed three runs and five hits in seven-plus innings for the Tigers, who led 2-0 after six innings.
TORONTO - Sammy Sosa hit his 595th career home run, and Mark Teixeira and Brad Wilkerson both had two-run shots for Texas.
Sosa followed Teixeira's two-run drive in the third with a shot to center against Blue Jays starter Josh Towers (1-3). It was the seventh home run of the season for Sosa and his first hit in 11 career at-bats against Towers.
Teixeira and Sosa combined for the Rangers' first back-to-back home runs of the season.
Akinori Otsuka struck out the side in the ninth for his third save in as many chances.
Robinson Tejada (3-1) gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for Texas.
Lyle Overbay and Adam Lind homered for the Blue Jays.
CLEVELAND - Grady Sizemore hit an inside-the-park home run, Jake Westbrook got his first victory in five starts and the Indians won their sixth straight game.
Westbrook (1-2) won for the first time since signing a three-year, $33 million contract extension April 13. He allowed three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked one.
Joe Borowski struck out the side in the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Steve Trachsel (1-2) went 5 2-3 innings for Baltimore, allowing two runs and five hits.
The Orioles have lost five straight.
CHICAGO - Jermaine Dye homered twice for the White Sox, and Darin Erstad hit a go-ahead double against his former team.
Jose Contreras allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings. He gave up seven hits but got help from his defense with three double plays. Contreras (2-2) struck out one and walked three in his 50th major league win.
Chicago has won seven of nine.
Casey Kotchman hit a two-run homer for the Angels, who dropped to 1-8 on the road. Ervin Santana (2-3) pitched 5 2-3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits.
OAKLAND, Calif. - James Shields struck out nine in eight innings for the Devil Rays.
Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton each hit an RBI double in Tampa Bay's ninth win in 35 games at the Coliseum - still the team's worst record in any opposing stadium.
Shields (2-0) allowed four hits and one run and didn't walk a batter. He retired 18 of his final 19 batters. Al Reyes finished for his eighth save in eight chances.
Shields pushed his season strikeout total to 37 in five starts.
Chad Gaudin (1-1) lasted only four innings. The right-hander, selected in the 34th round of the 2001 draft by Tampa Bay, gave up four runs and four hits.
SEATTLE - Horacio Ramirez pitched into the seventh inning, Jose Lopez homered for the second straight day, and Mariners picked up their season-high fourth straight victory.
Ramirez (2-1) allowed one run and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked two. J.J. Putz got five outs for the second straight day, picking up his third save in three chances.
Pinch-hitter Ross Gload hit a three-run homer off Seattle reliever Chris Reitsma in the eighth.
Kenji Johjima also homered for the Mariners.
Kansas City starter Jorge De La Rosa (2-2) gave up eight hits and a season-high five runs.
Mark Grudzielanek's run-scoring groundout in the seventh snapped the Royals' scoreless innings streak at 21.