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Rays beat Yankees again to cut gap to 1 game

May 15, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Rene Rivera homered and drove in four runs as the Rays beat the New York Yankees for the third straight day, with Thursday’s 6-1 victory cutting the gap to the American League East division leader to just one game.

It was the same margin in the AL Central, where Detroit routed Minnesota to match stride with leader Kansas City.

Among other games, Houston surged in the seventh inning to beat Toronto, and the Chicago Cubs completed a rare four-game sweep of the New York Mets.

Tampa Bay starter Erasmo Ramirez (1-1) gave up a single on the first at-bat of the game but no more in his five innings.

Yankees starter Chase Whitley left with two on and two outs in the second inning due to a right elbow injury and his replacement Esmil Rogers gave up a three-run homer on his first pitch to the normally light-hitting Rivera that put Tampa Bay up 4-0.

Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera homered twice and drove in five runs as the Tigers crushed Minnesota 13-1.

The Tigers already led 5-1 when Cabrera hit a two-run homer to left in the sixth. He added another two-run shot an inning later. It was his third multi-homer game of the season and 33rd of his career.

Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (3-4) pitched eight sharp innings with one run, one walk and nine strikeouts; displaying his best form after a mediocre start to the season.

Detroit’s 13 runs and 20 hits were both season highs.

Houston’s Jonathan Villar hit a two-run double in a four-run seventh inning that sent the Astros to a 6-4 win against Toronto.

Trailing 4-3, Villar hit a groundball double down the right field line to give Houston the lead.

The Blue Jays intentionally walked Jose Altuve with one out before he stole second and Josh Thole’s error on the play allowed Villar to add an insurance run.

Chicago came from four runs down to beat the Mets 6-5, with Dexter Fowler scoring the tiebreaking run on a passed ball in the seventh inning.

Fowler also homered while Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Matt Szczur each had RBI hits to help the Cubs record their first four-game sweep of New York since August 1992.

New York’s back-up catcher Anthony Recker dropped a pitch in the seventh, with the ball rolling toward the first-base dugout, allowing Fowler to score easily from third.

San Diego’s Cory Spangenberg had his first two-homer game and Derek Norris homered, tripled and drove in five runs to lead the Padres to an 8-3 victory over Washington in a game delayed for nearly two hours by rain.

Spangenberg homered with two outs in the second and again leading off the fourth for his first two long shots of the season.

Norris hit a three-run homer with two outs in the first and barely missed another shot in the second, settling for a two-run triple off the wall, also with two outs. Norris’ chance at the first cycle in Padres history ended when he grounded out to shortstop in the fifth.

Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar had three hits and accounted for five runs as the Royals beat Texas 6-3 to split the four-game series.

Escobar led off the game with a single and scored on a fielder’s choice on a shattered-bat grounder. Escobar added a two-run single in the fourth, then had an RBI single before scoring on Eric Hosmer’s homer in the sixth.

St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer off reliever Marc Rzepczynski in the eighth inning after Cleveland replaced starter Trevor Bauer, rallying the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Indians.

Cincinnati’s Marlon Byrd hit a bases-loaded single and a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning, leading the Reds to a 4-3 victory over San Francisco.

Colorado ended an 11-game losing skid in dramatic style, with Carlos Gonzalez hitting a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Rockies a 5-4 win after a rare rain delay at Dodger Stadium.

Boston’s Brock Holt doubled and scored the go ahead run on an error in the ninth inning to give the Red Sox a 2-1 victory over Seattle.

Philadelphia’s Aaron Harang pitched eight scoreless innings to guide the Phillies to a 4-2 win against Pittsburgh.

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