ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — Wil Myers homered and had three RBIs, and Alex Cobb pitched eight solid innings as the Tampa Bay Rays took the lead for the first AL wild-card spot by beating the skidding Texas Rangers 6-2 on Monday night.
Tampa Bay and Texas started play a half-game ahead of Cleveland in the race for two wild-card berths.
Myers had a second-inning solo shot and hit a two-run double during a four-run fifth. Cobb (9-3) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out 10.
Matt Garza (9-6, 3-5 with Texas) gave up six runs and eight hits over 4 1-3 innings against his former team. He lost his third straight start for the Rangers, who have dropped seven in a row and are 2-12 in September.
The announced crowd was just 10,724. The Rays entered with the lowest home attendance in the majors, an average of 18,747.
TIGERS 4, MARINERS 2
DETROIT (AP) — Rick Porcello struck out 10 in six innings as Detroit beat Seattle to move a step closer to its third straight AL Central title.
Victor Martinez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth with a run-scoring single, and Omar Infante followed with his own RBI single.
Porcello (13-8) allowed a run and five hits with two walks, falling one strikeout short of his career high. Drew Smyly got five outs in relief and Jose Veras finished the eighth.
Joaquin Benoit pitched a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 21 chances.
Joe Saunders (11-15) pitched well until the sixth, when he got two outs before a walk and three hits chased him from the game. Abraham Almonte homered for Seattle, which has lost seven of eight.
ROYALS 7, INDIANS 1
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — James Shields kept Cleveland off balance for six innings and Salvador Perez led a scrappy Kansas City offense as the Royals won the opener of a three-game set with significant playoff implications.
Shields struck out a season-high 10 for the Royals (79-71), who moved within 2½ games of the second AL wild-card berth. The Indians (81-69) remained a half-game back of Texas.
Shields (12-9) allowed only Lonnie Chisenhall’s homer before turning the game over to his stingy bullpen. Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar and Tim Collins did the rest in a steady drizzle.
Scott Kazmir (8-9) gave up four runs in five-plus innings. He didn’t get a whole lot of help from his offense, which racked up a season-high 17 strikeouts.
ANGELS 12, ATHLETICS 1
OAKLAND, California (AP) — C.J. Wilson pitched seven innings of four-hit ball for his career-best 17th win as Los Angeles became the first team in nearly four months to beat Oakland starter Jarrod Parker.
Kole Calhoun had two of his three RBIs during a five-run fifth inning that chased Parker (11-7), who was 9-0 in 19 starts since a loss at Texas on May 22. It was the longest unbeaten streak by an A’s starting pitcher since Hall of Famer Lefty Grove went 21 in a row in 1931.
Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each hit a two-run homer in the eighth.
Wilson (17-6) extended his career-best winning streak to nine and is unbeaten in his last 13 starts.
Oakland remained 6½ games ahead of second-place Texas in the AL West.
WHITE SOX 12, TWINS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Erik Johnson pitched six scoreless innings to earn his first major league victory as Chicago scored seven runs in the first against Minnesota.
The White Sox, who had lost six straight and 15 of 17, broke out of their offensive funk against Liam Hendriks (1-3), who got only two outs. Chicago set a season high for runs and posted its biggest margin of victory this year.
Alexei Ramirez went 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs. He was a triple short of the cycle. Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks also homered.
During their skid, the White Sox totaled seven runs. They matched that in their highest-scoring first inning since scoring eight against Detroit on April 21, 2002.
Johnson (1-2), called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Sept. 3, gave up four hits and struck out eight.
REDS 6, ASTROS 1
HOUSTON (AP) — Johnny Cueto threw five shutout innings in his return from the disabled list and Zack Cozart homered and drove in four runs to lead Cincinnati over Houston.
Pitching for the first time since straining the muscle below his right shoulder on June 28, Cueto (5-2) allowed five hits and struck out five with one walk.
Cincinnati moved five games ahead of Washington for the second NL wild card.
Cozart hit a two-run homer in the second and a two-run single in the fourth.
Erik Bedard (4-11) allowed four hits and four runs in four innings in his return from a stint in the bullpen.