Boston Jim Leyland wouldn't let the Detroit Tigers start worrying, even after a five-game losing streak left them in their longest slump of the season.
"I think he realizes we don't need the added pressure," pitcher Nate Robertson said Monday night after snapping the Tigers' losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
"We came in here loose. Everybody's going to look to their leader, their manager. He's loose, and that helps us," Robertson said.
Leyland whistled his way around the dugout Sunday during a loss to the White Sox that completed Chicago's three-game sweep and cut Detroit's lead in the AL Central to 51â2 games. Monday, facing the Red Sox and 13 game-winner Josh Beckett, there wasn't much time for tension.
Curtis Granderson tripled on the first pitch of the game, and the Tigers played like the team with the best record in baseball again, scoring three in the first off Beckett en route to a 5-0 lead.
"We might have gotten to Josh a little bit before he got settled in," Leyland said. "Sometimes with a great pitcher - and he's a great pitcher - if you get them before they get settled you have a chance. But if you let them get on a roll, you're probably done for the night."
Yankees 7, Angels 2
New York - Randy Johnson pitched seven strong innings and reached another milestone, and Alex Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly that sent the Yankees over the Angels.
Derek Jeter hit an early two-run homer, and Jorge Posada added a solo shot, helping the AL East-leading Yankees gain a four-game split against a longtime nemesis.
The Big Unit outpitched John Lackey (10-9) for his 276th win and surpassed 4,500 strikeouts, becoming only the third pitcher to hit the plateau. He joins Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Roger Clemens (4,552).
Athletics 5, Mariners 4
Oakland, Calif. - Nick Swisher hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Oakland beat Seattle for the 13th straight time.
Mark Ellis and Frank Thomas also homered for the first-place A's, who lost the first meeting of the year but have won the last 13 in the season series.