NEW YORK — Struggling ace CC Sabathia pitched effectively into the eighth inning before Mariano Rivera earned his first four-out save in more than two years, helping the New York Yankees hold off the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.
Robinson Cano homered for the Yankees, trying to chase down a playoff berth with a late-season charge. Brett Gardner hit a two-run triple and Lyle Overbay an RBI double in a four-run fourth against Erik Johnson (0-1), who was making his major league debut.
New York, which entered 2½ games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card, has won 15 of 18 home games and 17 of 24 overall. Swept in three games at Chicago from Aug. 5-7, the Yankees returned the favor a month later.
Next up for New York, an 11-game gauntlet against division rivals Boston and Baltimore — beginning tonight with a four-game set against the first-place Red Sox.
Red Sox 20, Tigers 4
BOSTON — David Ortiz hit two of Boston’s eight homers and also doubled for his 2,000th career hit to lead the Red Sox to a romp over the Detroit Tigers.
Will Middlebrooks hit a grand slam, Ortiz had an RBI double to reach the milestone and Daniel Nava added a two-run homer in an eight-run sixth inning.
Ortiz homered again in the five-run seventh — the 427th of his career, moving past Billy Williams and into 47th on baseball’s all-time home run list.
AL East-leading Boston took two of three from the AL Central-leading Tigers and kept the best record in the American League. But after scores of 3-0 and 2-1 in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox burst out with a franchise record-tying eight homers and a season-high 20 runs.
Athletics 11, Rangers 4
OAKLAND, Calif. — Jarrod Parker got plenty of home-run help and pitched his way into Oakland’s record book, and the surging Athletics pulled into a tie atop the AL West with Texas by overpowering the Rangers.
Parker (11-6) allowed two runs in six innings to extend his unbeaten streak to 18 straight starts, eclipsing Catfish Hunter’s Oakland mark set from June 2-Sept. 3, 1973. Parker also has won his last nine decisions, the most by an A’s pitcher since Dan Haren won 10 in a row in 2007.
Brandon Moss, Daric Barton and Coco Crisp each hit two-run homers and Josh Donaldson added a three-run drive for Oakland. The A’s handed Yu Darvish (12-7) a loss in consecutive starts for the first time all season.
Darvish gave up five runs — matching a season-high — and walked six — tying a career-high — in five-plus innings. He is 1-5 with 4.82 ERA against Oakland.
Astros 6, Twins 5
HOUSTON — Trevor Crowe hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted the Houston Astros over the Minnesota Twins.
Jonathan Villar singled to start the ninth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Altuve. Crowe’s line drive to left field off Brian Duensing (6-2) allowed the speedy Villar to score easily, giving Houston its first win in six tries against Minnesota.
Ryan Doumit’s leadoff home run in the ninth against Astros reliever Erik Bedard (4-10) tied it 5-5.
Minnesota was down 3-0 after a three-run first inning by the Astros before tying it on a three-run shot by Alex Presley in the third. It was Presley’s first homer since being acquired from Pittsburgh in the trade for Justin Morneau.