Dodgers take command



The Series: Los Angeles Dodgers (89-66) at San Francisco Giants (87-69).

The Situation: The Dodgers increased their lead over the Giants in the NL West to 2½ games by winning 7-4 on Sunday. San Francisco didn't lose ground in the wild-card race though as the Cubs dropped their second straight game to the Mets, 3-2. The Cubs lead the Giants by a half-game.

The Hero: Alex Cora. The Dodgers' second baseman hit a home run for the second consecutive game and went 2-for-4 with two RBI to pace the L.A. attack.



The Series: Oakland A's (88-67) at Anaheim Angels (87-68).

The Situation: The Angels beat the A's, 6-2, for the second straight time Sunday, and as a result now trail Oakland by just one game in the AL West.

The Hero: Troy Glaus. The Angels' designated hitter broke open the game with a two-run homer in the third inning, a blast that gave Anaheim a 4-1 lead.


Red SoxYankees

The Series: New York Yankees (97-59) at Boston Red Sox (93-62).

The Situation: The Red Sox pounced on Kevin Brown, who was making his first start in over three weeks after returning from a broken left hand, for four runs in 2/3 of an inning. The Yankees never recovered thereafter and lost to Boston, 11-4. The Red Sox trail the Yankees by 3½ games in the AL East.

The Heroes: Mark Bellhorn and Curt Schilling. Bellhorn had three hits and scored two runs, including the first run of the game in the first inning. Schilling pitched seven innings, allowing two runs, to earn his major-league leading 21st victory of the season.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is a New York Times best seller and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.