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JAYS SHOWING THEIR FRUSTRATION

The Toronto Blue Jays are falling out of contention, and the frustration is beginning to show.

Minnesota's Jacque Jones had a career-high four RBIs, and his three-run homer was followed by a brawl as the Twins beat Toronto, 14-3.

After allowing seven runs in the fourth inning and hearing fans mock him, Blue Jays reliever Paul Spoljaric's next pitch sailed over Cristian Guzman's head.

Guzman immediately charged the mound and tackled Spoljaric as both benches and bullpens emptied. Guzman and Spoljaric, who received a black eye in the fracas, were ejected.

"I don't like anybody throwing the ball over a guy's head," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said. "Frustration? Sure it is."

With their 10th loss in 11 home games, the Blue Jays fell five games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race.

Spoljaric said he didn't mean to throw at his head.

"I just felt that they were diving into my pitches, and I was going to put a stop to it," Spoljaric said. "I had poor command all night, and the ball got away from me."

After the game, Guzman answered a few questions and then walked away upset.

"I couldn't understand why he threw the ball over my head, so I went after him," Guzman said through an interpreter.

Minnesota manager Tom Kelly couldn't understand either.

"He threw it over my man's head, not his chest, or butt, or his leg," Kelly said. "But that's where all his pitches were anyway. They were all up high. He had a rough night."

Isringhausen, A's win this battle

NEW YORK -- For the second straight night, Jason Isringhausen faced Jorge Posada with the bases loaded and the game on the line.

This time, Isringhausen and the Oakland Athletics came out ahead, using Rich Becker's pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the 11th inning to beat the New York Yankees, 3-2.

After Becker's hit put Oakland ahead, Isringhausen nearly handed back the lead. One night after walking Posada on four pitches with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and allowing three inherited runners to score in a 7-4 loss, Isringhausen was called on again.

He loaded the bases with one out before Posada came to the plate. This time, Isringhausen quickly got ahead 0-2 before freezing Posada on a knee-buckling curveball.

"I keep that one in my back pocket when I need it," Isringhausen said.

Luis Sojo then lined a ball to right field that hit the wall about two feet foul before grounding out to end the game.

"There's nothing better," Isringhausen said. "That's what baseball is all about. You can come into a game with a three-run lead and get three outs, and that's a save too. But this is a lot more fun for everybody."

Oakland, which avoided its first three-game losing streak in two months, remained two games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox beat Kansas City, 6-3.

Around the horn

Jose Offerman scored on pinch hitter Mike Stanley's sacrifice fly to break a seventh-inning tie as the Red Sox beat the Royals, 6-3. Red Sox starter Mark Portugal pitched five innings of no-hit ball before leaving after six with the game tied at 3-3. Rich Garces (3-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief and Derek Lowe pitched the ninth for his 10th save. . . . Tony Clark broke a tie with a two-run double to spark an eight-run seventh inning as the Tigers outslugged the Rangers, 14-6. Ivan Rodriguez, Rusty Greer and Juan Gonzalez homered for the Rangers, who lost for just the fifth time in 16 games. Bobby Higginson hit a two-run homer for Detroit. . . . Alex Rodriguez hit two solo homers and rookie John Halama won his 11th game as the Mariners crushed the White Sox, 11-4. Raul Ibanez's three-run homer keyed a five-run fourth inning for Seattle, which won its third straight. Halama (11-5) pitched seven innings for the win. . . . Rookie Ryan Rupe allowed two infield hits over seven innings as the Devil Rays blanked the Orioles, 3-0. Former Oriole Aaron Ledesma had two hits and drove in a run for the Devil Rays. With the victory, Tampa Bay passed Baltimore and moved out of the cellar in the AL East.

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