The Yankees picked up a half-game on the Orioles last night, and while that's not much with nine games remaining in the regular season, it keeps the AL East leaders away from having to rely on somebody else.

"We have to keep winning ballgames,'' Eric Chavez said following a 6-3 victory over the hapless Twins in front of 33,720 at Target Field. "Regardless of what happens, we have to win games.''

Coupled with the second-place Orioles splitting a doubleheader with the Blue Jays, the Yankees' eighth win in nine games hiked their advantage over the O's to 1 1/2 games.