New York This was not exactly the way the New York Yankees wanted to head into their first-place showdown with the Boston Red Sox.
Faced with five games in four days at Fenway Park, the Yankees played one of their sloppiest games of the season Thursday, a 12-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles that featured Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter botching a popup.
"We stunk today," manager Joe Torre said. "Hopefully, we got the stinker out of our system."
New York's AL East lead over second-place Boston was cut to 11â2 games after the Yankees lost two of three to the Orioles. The Yankees have lost seven of 12.
Yankee pitchers walked five Baltimore batters, and all of them scored. Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis and Fernando Tatis homered for the Orioles - the trio has combined for just 14 this season.
The play that epitomized the blowout came in the five-run sixth inning, when a pair of All-Stars turned a simple pop fly into an embarrassing error.
The third baseman and shortstop were settling under the popup when they came together. The ball glanced off Rodriguez's glove and fell behind Jeter. Both players looked so disgusted that neither seemed eager to retrieve the ball.
"I thought he had it," Jeter said. "I didn't touch the ball."
Angels 5, Mariners 2
Anaheim, Calif. - Kelvim Escobar pitched seven strong innings, Vladimir Guerrero hit a three-run double, and Los Angeles handed Seattle its eighth straight loss.
Tigers 4, Rangers 2
Detroit - Kenny Rogers pitched five-plus innings to pick up his first win since July 5, and Carlos Guillen homered.
Blue Jays 6, Devil Rays 2
St. Petersburg, Fla. - Bengie Molina hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer during a four-run eighth inning.
Indians 3, Twins 2
Minneapolis - Paul Byrd pitched his first complete game in more than a year, scattering seven hits to lead Cleveland over Minnesota.