- Associated Press - Sunday, September 25, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The Boston Red Sox lost yet again, with A.J. Burnett making his most impressive start in nearly three months and Jorge Posada hitting a two-run homer that led the New York Yankees to a 6-2 victory in the opener of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader.

Boston’s AL wild-card lead was cut to a half-game over Tampa Bay. What was a runaway nine-game advantage heading into play on Sept 4 would be completely gone by the end of the night if the Yankees swept.

The Red Sox have lost four straight and at 5-18 (.217) are on track for their worst September since going 4-18 (.182) in 1926, according to STATS LLC. Tim Wakefield (7-8) dropped to 1-5 in his last 10 starts.

Derek Jeter had three hits to lift his average to .300 at the end of the game for the first time since April 2. Burnett (11-11) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist homered in the first inning to back Wade Davis, (11-10).

Evan Longoria and Kelly Shoppach also homered for the Rays, who have closed the gap with Boston despite going 14-10 in September. Joel Peralta finished for his sixth save in eight chances.

Tampa Bay closes at home against the Yankees, while the Red Sox play at Baltimore.

Athletics 6, Angels 5

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Rookie closer Jordan Walden (5-3) wasted a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning, throwing away a potential game-ending grounder. The defeat left the Angels 2 1-2 games behind Boston and two games back of Tampa Bay.

But Josh Willingham homered leading off the ninth and, after a pair of singles, Walden threw Adam Rosales’ comebacker past shortstop Erick Aybar and into center. Kurt Suzuki followed with a tying double, and Coco Crisp’s second sacrifice fly put the A’s ahead.

Fautino De Los Santos (3-2) allowed Peter Bourjos’ two-run single in the eighth, and Andrew Bailey pitched a hitless ninth for his 23rd save.

Rangers 12, Mariners 5

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Yorvit Torrealba homered in consecutive innings, including a grand slam, after Derek Holland (16-5) pitched his scheduled five innings in a postseason tuneup.

Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler also homered for the Rangers, who matched a franchise record with their 52nd win at home.

Texas stayed a game ahead of Detroit for the second-best record in the AL and homefield advantage in the first round. Charlie Furbush (4-10) was the loser.

Tigers 10, Orioles 6

DETROIT (AP) _ Miguel Cabrera homered and singled to raise his average to .341 in his push for the AL batting title, then left because of lightheadedness.

Brad Penny (11-11) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for the win.

Brian Matusz (1-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings. Assuming he doesn’t pitch again this year, Matusz will finish with a 10.69 ERA, a record high for a pitcher with at least 40 innings in a season, according to STATS.

Twins 6, Indians 4

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Rene Tosoni led off the 10th inning with a home run off Tony Sipp (6-3) to give Kyle Waldrop (1-0) his first career win. Chris Parmelee added an RBI single later in the inning.

Cleveland had a four-game winning streak snapped. The crowd got a surprise in the ninth when 41-year-old Jim Thome made what could be his last appearance at Progressive Field _ as a third baseman, a position he had not played since 1996.

Royals 2, White Sox 1

CHICAGO (AP) _ Luis Mendoza (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings, Jarrod Dyson hit a two-run double and Kansas City sent Chicago to its 11th loss in 15 games, ensuring the third losing record for the White Sox in eight seasons under manager Ozzie Guillen.

Gavin Floyd (12-13) matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and held Kansas City to two runs and three hits in eight innings. Greg Holland struck four in his fourth save.

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