Tuesday's American League Capsules
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist homered Tuesday night, helping the surging Tampa Bay Rays continue their improbable chase for the AL wild card with a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
The Rays, seeking their third playoff berth in four seasons, began the night tied with Boston after making up nine games in the standings since Sept. 4. The two teams remained tied after Boston edged Baltimore 8-7.
Joyce’s three-run homer off former teammate Rafael Soriano (2-3) was the All-Star’s first in more than three weeks and wiped out a 3-2 deficit in the seventh. Zobrist hit a two-run drive off Bartolo Colon in the second, and the Rays kept the score close by turning the third triple play in franchise history after falling behind in the sixth.
Red Sox 8, Orioles 7
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Red Sox maintained a share of the AL wild-card lead Tuesday night, using four home runs to beat the Orioles and set up a dramatic conclusion to the regular season.
The skidding Red Sox were 6-19 in September before rebounding to edge the last-place Orioles. The win, combined with Tampa Bay’s 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees, kept Boston and the Rays tied with one game left.
After blowing a nine-game lead in the span of 23 days, the Red Sox will send Jon Lester (15-9) to the mound against Baltimore on Wednesday night in an effort to get into the postseason for the fourth time in five years. Lester, Boston’s winningest pitcher, will be throwing on three days’ rest.
Rangers 10, Angels 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz hit consecutive homers in the fifth inning, and the surging Rangers stayed on track for homefield advantage in the AL division series with a victory over the Angels.
The Rangers (95-66) have won five straight and nine of 10 while holding off Detroit (94-67), which beat Cleveland 9-6, for the AL’s second-best record.
If Texas wins Wednesday’s season finale or if the Tigers lose to the Indians, the Rangers will host the AL’s wild card winner on Friday. Detroit holds the tiebreaker if the clubs finish even.
A day after the AL West champion Rangers eliminated the Angels from the wild card race, Napoli hit two of the Rangers’ five homers among their 15 hits.
Tigers 9, Indians 6
DETROIT (AP) — Wilson Betemit hit a 423-foot home run in his first game back from left knee soreness, and the Tigers beat the Indians.
Detroit remained one game behind Texas for the No. 2 seed in the AL after the Rangers beat the Angels 10-3.
Betemit hadn’t played since Sept. 16, and manager Jim Leyland said Monday he was concerned about the third baseman. But Betemit was in the lineup Tuesday, and he gave AL Central champion Detroit a 4-0 lead in the second inning with the towering homer to right field.
Detroit’s Max Scherzer (15-9) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings, striking out seven in his final tuneup for the postseason. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth, earning his 48th save in as many chances.
Jeanmar Gomez (5-3) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. He had won his previous five starts.
White Sox 2, Blue Jays 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Mark Buehrle pitched seven shutout innings in possibly his final start for the White Sox and Tyler Flowers homered to lead Chicago to a victory over the Blue Jays.
The White Sox played their first game since Ozzie Guillen was released from his contract after Monday night’s victory over the Blue Jays. Pitching coach Don Cooper served as interim manager.
Buehrle (13-9) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked none. He left to an ovation before throwing a pitch in the top of the eighth.
Buehrle will be a free agent after the season. General manager Ken Williams said before Tuesday night’s game he didn’t know yet whether Buehrle fit into the team’s future plans. Buehrle, a 38th-round draft pick in 1998, is 161-119 in his career.
Henderson Alvarez (1-3) took the loss.
Twins 7, Royals 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rene Tosoni hit a grand slam and Chris Parmelee also went deep to lift the Twins to a victory over the Royals.
Anthony Swarzak (4-7) gave up two runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings for the Twins (62-99), who are hoping to avoid becoming just the second team in franchise history to lose 100 games in a season.
Sean O’Sullivan (2-6) gave up six runs on nine hits with one strikeout in five innings for the Royals. Johnny Giavotella had two doubles and a triple and Salvador Perez added two hits and an RBI for Kansas City.
Athletics 7, Mariners 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Trevor Cahill and two relievers held Seattle to just four hits while Josh Willingham and Scott Sizemore hit home runs in the Athletics rout of the Mariners.
After allowing a pair of singles in the first inning, Cahill (12-14) retired the next 13 batters in a row. No base-runner advanced past second base. He struck out seven and walked one.
Cahill’s 40 career wins in his first three seasons are second most in Oakland history — behind Vida Blue’s 42 — for a pitcher before his 24th birthday.
Mariners starter Blake Beavan (5-6) gave up seven runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked the second batter of the game, Coco Crisp, to end his streak without issuing a walk at 24 1-3 innings.