New York A new center fielder and the Jason Giambi of old helped the New York Yankees extend their winning streak to five.
Giambi homered for the third straight game, and 20-year-old Melky Cabrera singled in his major-league debut Thursday night as Mike Mussina and the Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-2.
Despite a 44-39 record, New York pulled within 31â2 games of Boston, the closest the Yankees have been to the AL East lead since the morning of April 23.
"We're clicking pretty good offensively, we're playing great defense, our pitching is really coming around," Giambi said. "Hopefully, we're all starting to come together."
Alex Rodriguez homered for the second straight game, tying Boston's Manny Ramirez and Texas' Mark Teixeira for the AL lead with 22, and Derek Jeter hit a seventh-inning homer.
Giambi also had an RBI single and raised his batting average to .274, the highest it has been since he went 1-for-2 in the season opener. He boosted his home run total to nine.
"I've worked hard to get to this point," he said. "I'm finally feeling good physically."
Giambi has four home runs, two doubles and a single in his last 10 at-bats and has homered in three consecutive games for the first time since July 11-13, 2003.
"He's feeling pretty good about himself right now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Cabrera became the first player to make his major-league debut as the Yankees' starting center fielder since Bernie Williams on July 7, 1991, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Yankees manager Joe Torre was impressed with the way Cabrera called off second baseman Robinson Cano.
"He may have been pressing a little bit at the plate," Torre said, "but again, the most important thing for us is the defense he can give us in center field."
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with an opposite-field single to left in the fifth inning - he plans to give the ball to his mother, Teresa.
"I feel really happy that I got my first hit here at Yankee Stadium," he said through a translator.
Mariners 10, Angels 2
Anaheim, Calif. - Joel Pineiro threw a six-hitter to win for the first time in 12 starts, and Adrian Beltre and Jeremy Reed hit three-run doubles as Seattle defeated Los Angeles. Pineiro (3-4) went the distance for the second time this season and eighth time in 108 career starts. The right-hander was 0-3 with eight no-decisions since beating Oakland and Texas in consecutive starts in April.
Orioles 3, Red Sox 1, 6 innings
Baltimore - Eli Marrero and Melvin Mora hit solo home runs, and Sammy Sosa added his first RBI since June 19, leading Baltimore past David Wells and Boston in a game called after six innings because of rain. Daniel Cabrera (7-7) pitched five rocky innings for the Orioles, whose third victory in 12 games pulled them within three games of first-place Boston in the AL East.
Tigers 6, Devil Rays 4
St. Petersburg, Fla. - Magglio Ordonez homered for the third time since coming off the disabled list, helping Detroit beat Tampa Bay to extend the Devil Rays' losing streak to a season-high nine games.
Chris Shelton added a two-run homer to back Sean Douglass (2-0), who allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. Troy Percival worked the ninth inning for his eighth save in 10 opportunities.
Blue Jays 4, Athletics 2
Toronto - Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to help Toronto beat Oakland. The Blue Jays took two of three from the A's and have won six of eight overall.