- Associated Press - Thursday, September 20, 2012

DETROIT (AP) - Seth Smith homered, doubled and drove in four runs, and the Oakland Athletics avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Detroit Tigers 12-4 Thursday in a matchup of AL playoff contenders.

Oakland is tied with Baltimore for the wild-card lead. The Tigers are two games behind Central-leading Chicago.

Josh Donaldson hit a go-ahead single in a four-run sixth inning that made it 6-3, then had an RBI double to cap a six-run ninth that included Smith’s three-run double.

Pat Neshek (2-1) retired the only batter he faced and got the win.

Anibal Sanchez (3-6), who held Cleveland hitless for 6 2-3 innings in his last start, gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings.

ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Alex Rios was thrown out at the plate, Alexei Ramirez was picked off third base and the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox again failed to come up with a clutch hit in a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

Eric Hosmer singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning. The White Sox stayed two games ahead of Detroit, which lost in the afternoon to Oakland, with 13 games remaining.

The Royals beat the Chicago for the ninth time in their last 11 meetings.

Jesse Crain (2-3) took the loss. Greg Holland (7-4) worked a scoreless ninth for the victory.

YANKEES 10, BLUE JAYS 7

NEW YORK (AP) _ Streaking Ichiro Suzuki hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning capped by Nick Swisher’s grand slam, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto to open a one-game AL East lead over idle Baltimore.

After struggling for much of the summer, the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays and have won five in a row, their longest winning string since June 23-27.

Backed by an 8-2 lead, Phil Hughes (16-12) lasted just five innings. David Robertson got three outs for his second save this season and first since May 8.

Suzuki homered in the third, then doubled in the fourth. His ninth hit in 10 at-bats chased Aaron Laffey (3-6).

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