Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett was suspended six games yesterday for throwing high-and-tight to Texas' Nelson Cruz earlier this week.

Burnett appealed the penalty, which had been set to take effect immediately. He can continue to pitch until a hearing is held.

"You kind of expect something to happen when the ball comes that close," Burnett said before the Yankees' 8-6 win over the visiting Rangers yesterday.

Burnett (4-2, 4.69 ERA), whose next start is Sunday against visiting Tampa Bay, said it was the first time he'd been suspended. He seemed a bit surprised by the severity, and said his first reaction when told was: "Really?"

Burnett sailed a fastball near Cruz' head during a 12-3 win Tuesday night. Earlier in the game, Texas' Vicente Padilla twice hit Mark Teixeira with pitches.

Both Burnett and Padilla were fined undisclosed sums by Major League Baseball.

Padilla is rumored the have been placed on waivers, although the team has not announced the move.

In yesterday's game, Melky Cabrera hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Yankees overcame yet another poor start by Chien-Ming Wang to win the series finale.

The Yankees rallied from a 5-1 deficit and took two of three from the AL West leaders.

In other games:

* At Chicago, Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer and Brett Anderson (3-5) pitched seven impressive innings, sending the Oakland Athletics to a 7-0 victory over the White Sox.

With top prospect Gordon Beckham making his major league debut at third base, the White Sox were shut out for the major league-worst eighth time this season. Beckham went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

* At Toronto, Howie Kendrick raced home with some bold base-running, scoring the go-ahead run on a ninth-inning doubleplay to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Blue Jays, 6-5.

Justin Speier (2-1) got the win despite giving up a tying sacrifice fly in the eighth. Brian Fuentes closed it out for his 14th save in 17 chances.

Angels righthander Kelvim Escobar threw a bullpen session before the game and remains on track to start tomorrow at Detroit, his first appearance since 2007. Escobar, 33, is returning from right shoulder surgery that cost him all of last season.

* At Minneapolis, Jason Kubel hit a pair of three-run homers to back Scott Baker (3-6), who pitched seven effective innings for the Minnesota Twins in an 11-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

In other news, Travis Hafner rejoined the Indians and said he is ready to return from the disabled list.

The designated hitter has been sidelined since April 29 with right shoulder soreness.

* At Detroit, Jason Bay's bases-loaded double keyed a six-run third inning and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers with a 6-3 victory.

Boston's David Ortiz, who didn't play, said he would get his eyes checked as a precautionary measure. The designated hitter is hitting .187 with one home run this season.

* At St. Petersburg, Fla., B.J. Upton hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth and James Shields (5-4) allowed two runs over eight innings as Tampa Bay completed a three-game sweep by beating the Kansas City Royals, 3-2.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria did not play due to tightness in his left hamstring but expects to start tomorrow against the Yankees in New York.

Before the game, the Royals activated outfielder Coco Crisp from the bereavement list. Crisp missed two games following the death of his great grandmother. *