Wednesday's American League Capsules
Thursday, September 29, 2011
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL wild card with a stunning rally Wednesday night, overcoming a late seven-run deficit and then beating the New York Yankees 8-7 on Evan Longoria’s home run in the 12th inning.
The Rays’ win came four minutes after Boston blew a one-run lead in the ninth at Baltimore and lost 4-3. The Red Sox, who held a nine-game lead over the Rays in early September, and Tampa Bay began the final day of the regular season tied for the wild card.
Longoria hit a three-run homer in the eighth that capped a six-run burst. Pinch-hitter Dan Johnson’s two-out, two-strike solo homer in the ninth tied it for Tampa Bay.
Longoria won it with a one-out shot barely inside the left-field foul pole.
Tampa Bay will open the playoffs Friday at Texas.
Jake McGee (5-2) got the win, and Scott Proctor (0-3) was charged with the loss.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 3
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Red Sox completed their September collapse in horrific and historic fashion, falling out of the playoff chase by allowing two ninth-inning runs.
The Red Sox held a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race after Sept. 3, but a 7-19 swoon left them tied with Tampa Bay entering the final day of the regular season. The Rays rallied for an 8-7 win over the New York Yankees in 12 innings.
The Orioles won the game in the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon (4-1), who struck out the first two batters before giving up a double to Chris Davis. Nolan Reimold followed with a double to score pinch-runner Kyle Hudson, and Robert Andino completed the comeback with a single to left that Carl Crawford couldn’t glove.
Boston became the first team to miss the postseason after leading by as many as nine games for a playoff spot entering September, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Jim Johnson (6-5) got the win.
Rangers 3, Angels 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Napoli broke a tie in the ninth inning with his fourth homer in two games, and Texas finally clinched home-field advantage in the AL division series.
Napoli, the longtime Angels catcher, also homered in the second inning as the Rangers set a franchise record with their 96th victory — including six straight heading into the postseason.
With 14 wins in their final 16 games, Texas (96-66) held off Detroit (95-67) for the right host the wild-card winner at Rangers Ballpark on Friday.
Gil Velasquez drove in the only run for the Angels, who were in playoff contention until Monday. Los Angeles (86-76) lost six of its last seven.
Mike Adams (5-4) pitched a scoreless inning to get the win and Neftali Feliz got three outs for his 32nd save.
Jordan Walden (5-5) got the loss.
Tigers 5, Indians 4
DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera singled and doubled, wrapping up the American League batting title, and Jhonny Peralta hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth for Detroit.
Cabrera entered the day hitting .343, five points ahead of Michael Young of Texas and Adrian Gonzalez of Boston. He raised his average another point against the Indians, and the other two were unable to catch him.
Peralta hit his 21st homer of the season off Vinnie Pestano (1-2) after Ryan Perry (2-0) allowed Cleveland to tie it at 4 in the top of the eighth.
Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 49th save in 49 chances.
The AL Central-champion Tigers will start the playoffs on the road against the Yankees on Friday night.
Twins 1, Royals 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning helped Minnesota stave off a 100-loss season.
Carl Pavano (9-13) went the distance for the win, the first time he pitched nine scoreless innings since July 22, 2010. He gave up five hits and struck out three.
Bruce Chen pitched eight shutout innings against the Twins for the second time this month, and the Royals turned to Blake Wood (5-3) for the ninth. Pinch-hitter Denard Span hit a one-out double, took third on a groundout and trotted home on Plouffe’s sharp single to left.
The Twins (63-99) still finished with the second-worst record in their 51 years in Minnesota.
The Royals finished 71-91, a slight improvement from last season, but their cadre of rising stars gives them plenty of eagerness for 2012.
Blue Jays 3, White Sox 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Sale issued a pair of bases-loaded walks in the ninth inning, sending the White Sox to the loss.
It seemed to be a fitting finish for the White Sox, whose year spun out of control. Earlier in the day, Ozzie Guillen was announced as the new manager of the Florida Marlins — the White Sox released him from his contract Monday. Hitting coach Greg Walker also announced before the game he was stepping down.
Expected to be a contender in the AL Central, the White Sox wound up 79-83 with pitching coach Don Cooper serving as interim manager the last two games.
The Blue Jays’ victory gave them an 81-81 mark under rookie manager John Farrell. Shawn Camp (6-3) got the win and Frank Francisco worked the ninth for his 17th save.
Sale (2-2) recorded just one out.
Athletics 2, Mariners 0
SEATTLE (AP) — Gio Gonzalez pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, leading Oakland to the victory.
Gonzalez (16-12) gave up just one hit through six innings, a liner into right field by Chris Gimenez leading off the third. He struck out the side in the sixth and matched a career high with 11 strikeouts.
Jai Miller hit his first career homer in the second inning against Seattle starter Anthony Vasquez (1-6), who lasted just two innings.
The Mariners and A’s will see each other again on March 28 and 29 in Tokyo as they will become the latest teams to open a season playing in Japan. The announcement of the two-game series was made on Wednesday.
Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 26 chances.