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Athletics sweep Twins to advance, Tigers blank Yankees

Athletics sweep Twins to advance, Tigers blank Yankees

The Oakland Athletics swept away years of first-round futility when they beat the Minnesota Twins 8-3 to reach the American League championship series for the first time in 14 years on Friday.
Milton Bradley homered and threw out Torii Hunter in a disputed play at the plate as the A's ended a run of nine straight losses in potential playoff clinchers.
The A's never trailed in finishing off the Twins in three games and will face either the Detroit Tigers or New York Yankees starting on Tuesday. Their best-of-five division series was tied 1-1 going into Friday's late game.
Marco Scutaro doubled twice and tied an Oakland postseason record with four RBIs, and Eric Chavez homered as the Athletics won a playoff series for the first time since 1990.
Hunter and Justin Morneau homered for the Twins, who surprisingly won the AL Central on the regular season's final day but couldn't stage the kind of first-round comeback they pulled off against the A's four years ago.
Hunter made a key mistake in the sixth inning. Down 4-1, the Twins were rallying when Rondell White hit a RBI single. Hunter also tried to score on the play and Bradley made a strong throw home. Hunter attempted to avoid catcher Jason Kendall's tag and reach the plate with his left hand, but plate umpire Mike Everitt called him out.
Dan Haren allowed nine hits and two runs in six innings for the win, which the A's enjoyed with a postgame party in their clubhouse _ which had been alcohol-free since June after pitcher Esteban Loaiza's drunken driving arrest.
Brad Radke, pitching with a torn labrum and stress fracture in his throwing shoulder, was done after four innings for the Twins. He allowed five hits and four runs. He plans to call it quits after a 12-year big league career.
Tigers 6, Yankees 0
At Detroit, Kenny Rogers pitched 7 2-3 shutout innings and outplayed New York to push Detroit within one win of shocking the Yankees into an early winter.
In a ballpark normally locked up by October, the 41-year-old Rogers, one of the few Detroit staffers who doesn't fire 100 mph (161 kph) fastballs, used every pitch in his personal stash to blank a revamped Yankees' lineup for his first career postseason win.
Rogers' first win over the Yankees since 1993 came at the perfect time for the Tigers, who were playing their first postseason game in Comerica Park, the first playoff game in The Motor City since 1987 at Tiger Stadium.
Detroit, which left New York on Thursday with a split after rallying to win Game 2, scored three runs in the second inning off Randy Johnson and two more in the sixth. And, Rogers, whose career highlights include a perfect game in 1994 for Texas and an embarrassing run-in with a TV cameraman, made them stand up.
Rogers, who played for New York in 1996-97, confounded the Yankees with fastballs, sinkers, changeups and curves. The left-hander struck out eight _ his most since June 13 _ and walked two.
After striking out Bobby Abreu for the second out in the eighth, Rogers was lifted by manager Jim Leyland and received a long, loud ovation on his walk to the Tigers dugout. Joel Zumaya got one out and Todd Jones finished the combined five-hitter.
Sean Casey had two RBIs and Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer as the Tigers, who won just 43 games in 2003, moved within one win of taking a best-of-5 series few thought they had a chance in.
Jeremy Bonderman will start Game 4 on Saturday against New York's Jaret Wright.


Updated : 2021-06-13 04:40 GMT+08:00