If the playoffs started Thursday, none of the AL teams who made it last year would be playing to get to the World Series.
But Texas, Boston, Cleveland and the New York Yankees can't be written off just yet. Each of the recent AL powerhouses continued offensive surges Wednesday night.
The Rangers completed a three-game sweep of Oakland with a 9-4 win; the Red Sox won their third straight in a four-game series at Minnesota, 11-8; the Indians dominated AL East-leading Toronto for the second straight night, 15-7; and the Yankees doubled Baltimore 12-6.
Indians 15, Blue Jays 7
Russell Branyan's three-run homer highlighted a six-run fifth inning for Cleveland, the five-time AL Central winners.
Branyan's third homer in two games put the Indians up 8-7 and sent them to their first three-game winning streak since June 5-7.
Cleveland has won two straight following manager Charlie Manuel's decision to redecorate the clubhouse. The Indians have scored 24 runs on 25 hits in two games.
Jamie Brewington (2-0) pitched 2 2-3 hitless innings.
Cleveland scored four runs in the fourth, six in the fifth -- four off Paul Quantrill (0-4) -- and five more in the seventh for its highest run total since May 11.
''Everybody says Cleveland is struggling,'' Toronto starter Roy Halladay said. ''Sometimes it takes getting a lot of hits like those to get you going. It did tonight.''
Yankees 12, Orioles 6
Andy Pettitte (9-4) took a shutout into the seventh inning for his second straight strong start as the two-time World Series champions avoided their longest home losing streak in 11 years.
Despite being nine games under .500 since May 9, the Yankees are only a half-game behind Toronto in the AL East.
''It's strange,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. ''The way we've been playing with the wins and losses over the last month and a half, we have no right to be that close to first place. What we have to do it take advantage of it.''
Scott Brosius hit a three-run homer in the second and an RBI single in a six-run sixth as New York took a 10-0 lead.
Devil Rays 4, Tigers 1
Ozzie Guillen snapped a sixth-inning tie with a two-run homer as Tampa Bay won at home and stopped Detroit's season-high, five-game winning streak.
Bryan Rekar (3-4) allowed seven hits in 6 1-3 innings for his first win in six starts since June 1. Roberto Hernandez got his 12th save.
Guillen's homer, off Jeff Weaver (5-7), snapped a 1-1 tie and ruined the Tigers' bid to sweep consecutive three-game series for the first time since April 1990.
White Sox 6, Royals 3
In Kansas City, Herbert Perry hit a two-run homer in the 13th inning and Mark Johnson followed with a solo shot for Chicago off Doug Bochtler (0-1).
Kelly Wunsch (3-2) pitched two shutout innings for the win.
Rey Sanchez went 4-for-7 for Kansas City.
Kansas City led 3-2 before Paul Konerko homered in the eighth off Dan Reichert, who allowed eight hits in a career-high eight innings.
Dave McCarty had RBI doubles in the fourth and sixth innings for the Royals.
Mariners 6, Angels 4
Alex Rodriguez hit two homers and David Bell added a three-run shot for the Mariners, who extended their AL West lead to 3 1/2 games over Oakland and seven over the host Angels.
John Halama (8-4) allowed four runs -- two earned -- and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings, striking out six with one walk.
Kazuhiro Sasaki got three outs for his 18th save in 20 chances.
Brian Cooper (3-3) was chased during a four-run fifth that included Rodriguez's 24th homer and Bell's sixth.
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