Rays down Red Sox to stay ahead in wild card race
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning to lift the Rays to a much-needed 4-3 win over Boston on Thursday which kept the Florida team in temporary possession of an American League wild card.
The Rays kept their nose in front of the New York Yankees in the fight for the second wild card, as the pinstripes staged a ninth-inning turnaround to edge Baltimore.
Cleveland also kept up in the wild card race by routing the Chicago White Sox, while Oakland widened its lead in the AL West division by defeating Minnesota.
In the National League, Pittsburgh drew level with St. Louis atop the Central division by downing the Chicago Cubs while the Cardinals were beaten by Milwaukee.
The Los Angeles Dodgers moved the brink of sealing the NL West title by edging San Francisco in 10 innings.
Tampa Bay’s Myers came up with the key hit to drive in Evan Longoria, who had also doubled off Rubby De La Rosa (0-1).
The result trimmed Boston’s lead in the AL East to a still comfortable 8-1/2 games.
The Red Sox got two men on base in the ninth with one out, but a line out and a pop out ended it.
New York stayed on Tampa’s tail by beating Baltimore 6-5, with Brendan Ryan scoring the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning on a wild pitch by Jim Johnson.
New York led 5-1 but had given that up by the eighth inning before Ryan’s rescuing run.
The Yankees next travel to Boston for a series that will go a long way to deciding the AL playoff picture.
Oakland moved 3-1/2 games clear of idle Texas atop the AL West by beating Minnesota 8-2.
Athletics pitcher A.J. Griffin (14-9) struck out eight and walked just one batter in seven innings to win his fourth straight start.
The A’s travel to Texas for a potentially decisive series this weekend.
One team with few anxieties about its playoff hopes is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who stretched their lead in the NL West to 12-1/2 games by beating San Francisco 3-2.
The combined number of their wins and/or Arizona losses required to confirm the division title is now down to five.
Carl Crawford opened the 10th with a single off Jeremy Affeldt (1-5) and was advanced to second on a sacrifice before Adrian Gonzalez singled him home for the winning run.
There is nothing to separate Pittsburgh and St. Louis atop the NL Central after the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1.
Jeff Locke (10-5) struck out five and gave up only three hits and one walk in seven innings to steer the Pirates to a fourth-straight win. It was his first victory in nearly two months.
Meanwhile the Cardinals suffered a 5-3 defeat at the hands of Milwaukee, ending a run of five consecutive wins.
Brewers pitcher Tyler Thornburg (2-1), making his eighth career start, gave up three hits in six innings.
Sean Halton, who had three RBIs, hit a two-run homer in the fourth to put Milwaukee up 4-0.
Atlanta retained its big lead in the NL East by beating Miami 6-1, with Freddy Garcia earning his first victory since joining the Braves last month.
Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos all homered off Aaron Harang in his Mets debut as the Nationals beat New York 7-2.
Los Angeles’ Garrett Richards pitched 6 2-3 innings for his third straight win, steering the Angels to a 4-3 win over Toronto.
Cleveland’s Ryan Raburn went 3 for 3 with a homer and five RBIs to power the Indians to a 14-3 win over the Chicago White Sox, keeping the Tribe within 1 1-2 games of the second AL wild-card spot.
Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz had three hits and three RBIs while rookie Cesar Hernandez reached base four times, scored twice and drove in two runs as the Phillies rode a six-run first inning to a 10-5 win over San Diego.