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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Indian Bats Burn Angel's Ace Reliever

combined reports

CLEVELAND -- California Angel closer Troy Percival was so strong he threw a baseball through a backstop. This is no exaggeration -- a Percival pitch left a hole in the chicken-wire fence behind home plate in Jacob's Field.

But Percival couldn't get enough of those heaters past the Cleveland Indians, who burned one of baseball's best relievers for three ninth-inning hits, including Manny Ramirez's game-ending, two-out, three-run home run that gave the Indians a dramatic 7-5 victory in front of 42,181.

"I love to face their big hitters, but you have to be at your best to beat this team,'' Percival said Tuesday. "I couldn't throw my breaking ball for strikes, and I couldn't hit the corners with my fastball. I didn't have much command, and I think they fed on that.''

Percival sent a pitch over catcher Jorge Fabregas' head and -- yes -- right through the backstop.

"The first thing I thought was, 'Who did he kill?''' Hudler said. "Luckily no one was standing behind there.''

Yankees 9, Tigers 8. Yankee's Cecil Fielder, helped by a hard slide from Tim Raines, drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning in his return to Tiger Stadium, and the New York Yankees overcame Dwight Gooden's shortest start ever to defeat Detroit 9-8.

Defensive replacement Ruben Rivera made a diving catch in the ninth that preserved the victory, which kept the Yankees 2 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore in the AL East. The Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1.

Derek Jeter had two triples for New York, while Paul O'Neill added a two-run homer for the Yankees, who won for just the eighth time in 19 games.

Orioles 5, White Sox 1. Baltimore's David Wells pitched 7 1/3 solid innings and Rafael Palmeiro hit his 35th homer as Baltimore moved ahead of Chicago in the wild-card race.

The Orioles' fourth straight victory gave them a half-game lead in the wild-card derby, knocking Chicago out of the top spot for the first time since Aug. 29. Baltimore, 28-15 since July 28, moved a season-high 12 games over .500 (78-66).

Cardinals 1, Giants 0. Ray Lankford hit a run-scoring double in the sixth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals won for the 10th time in 11 games, beating San Francisco 1-0 to increase their NL Central lead to three games.

Mark Petkovsek and five relievers combined on a five-hitter, helping the Cardinals open their largest lead over Houston since July 21.

Astros 4, Phillies 3. In Houston, Craig Biggio's eighth-inning sacrifice fly completed a three-run rally that gave Houston the win over Philadelphia.

The Astros trailed 3-1 when Orlando Miller, Derrick May and Brian Hunter started the eighth with singles against Curt Schilling (7-8), scoring a run.

After John Cangelosi grounded out, pinch-runner James Mouton scored on Schilling's wild pitch to tie the game. Biggio followed with a fly ball that put Houston ahead. ()

(For other results, see Scorecard)