ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Failure to hit with runners in scoring position has been a major problem for the Tampa Bay Rays as they have dropped 12 of their last 16 games, including Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
But the problem was a little different Tuesday night. This time the Rays got only two men into scoring position against Clay Buchholz and three relievers.
Buchholz (10-0) allowed three hits over five innings in his first start since early June and the AL East-leading Red Sox stretched their lead to 8 1-2 games over the second-place Rays.
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price (8-8) lost his third straight start despite giving up just two runs and three hits in eight innings, striking out nine.
“This is a huge (loss) against a team that was 7 1-2 games in front of us. Right now it’s all about winning so I wanted our team to win,” Price said. “You can’t dwell on it. We’ve got 19 games left, so you go now or we won’t be hanging around in October.”
YANKEES 7, ORIOLES 5
BALTIMORE — Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs, including a tiebreaking shot in the eighth inning, and New York rallied past Baltimore to end a six-game losing streak at Camden Yards.
Mark Reynolds also homered for the Yankees, who won for the second time in six games to bolster their postseason hopes. New York still trails Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Cleveland in the hunt for the final AL wild-card slot.
Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 49th home run for the Orioles and raised his RBI total to 126. Baltimore led 4-1 in the fifth inning before faltering.
Alex Rodriguez led off the eighth with a double against rookie Kevin Gausman (2-5) and Robinson Cano delivered an RBI single. Soriano followed with a two-run shot to center, his 15th homer in 43 games since New York reacquired him in a July 26 trade with the Chicago Cubs.
ROYALS 6, INDIANS 3
CLEVELAND — Jeremy Guthrie got a major assist from his defense in pitching six innings, Alcides Escobar hit a rare home run and Kansas City snapped a six-game losing streak in Cleveland to close on the Indians and two others in the cramped wild-card scramble.
Guthrie (14-10) allowed just one run and nine hits, but was helped by three double plays.
Kansas City pulled within three games of a wild-card spot. The Royals also got a game closer to the Indians, who dropped to 6-3 in September.
ANGELS 12, BLUE JAYS 6
TORONTO — Mark Trumbo matched a team record with four extra-base hits, including back-to-back home runs with Josh Hamilton, and Chris Iannetta and Erick Aybar also went deep as Los Angeles beat Toronto.
Trumbo had a career-best five hits and became the first player in Angels history to collect five hits and score five runs in the same game. He went 5 for 5 with three doubles and two RBIs as the Angels won for the eighth time in 11 meetings with the Blue Jays.
TWINS 4, ATHLETICS 3
MINNEAPOLIS — Josh Willingham hit two home runs, including a two-run shot in the eighth inning that put Minnesota in front for good against Oakland.
Oswaldo Arcia also homered for the Twins, who snapped Oakland’s three-game winning streak and prevented the A’s from stretching their two-game lead over Texas in the AL West. Minnesota also spoiled a solid outing by Jarrod Parker, who tossed six strong innings and stretched his unbeaten streak to 19 starts.
Arcia singled off reliever Sean Doolittle to lead off the eighth. Doolittle struck out Ryan Doumit before being pulled for Ryan Cook (6-4), and Willingham launched a 2-0 pitch an estimated 439 feet into the middle deck for his second multihomer game this season.
TIGERS 9, WHITE SOX 1
CHICAGO — Rick Porcello pitched his first career complete game, Prince Fielder homered among his four hits and Detroit snapped a three-game skid by beating Chicago.
Alex Avila added four hits and two RBIs as the Tigers increased their AL Central lead over Cleveland to 5½ games.
Porcello (12-8) scattered seven hits, struck out five and walked one. The 24-year-old right-hander retired 14 straight after Chicago scored its only run in the fourth.
ASTROS 13, MARINERS 2
SEATTLE — Jonathan Villar homered on the first pitch of the game and Houston coasted to a lopsided victory over Seattle.
Villar connected off Joe Saunders (11-14) for his first career homer. The Astros scored six times in the first three innings to chase Saunders. The left-hander has lost six of his last eight decisions.
Chris Carter and Jose Altuve each had three of the Astros’ 17 hits. Houston’s 10 extra-base hits were a season high, eclipsing the previous mark of nine — also set against the Mariners.
Altuve and rookie L.J. Hoes both had three RBIs. Jordan Lyles (7-7) held Seattle in check through six innings.
PIRATES 5, RANGERS 4
ARLINGTON, Texas — Francisco Liriano pitched six innings for his career-high 16th victory, Andrew McCutchen had three RBI singles and Pittsburgh held on to beat slumping Texas.
A night after victory No. 82 ensured the Pirates’ first winning season since 1992, the NL wild-card leaders added a series-clinching victory.
Pittsburgh scored three runs with four consecutive two-out hits in the fifth off rookie Martin Perez (9-4), who had won his previous six starts.
BRAVES 4, MARLINS 3
MIAMI — Julio Teheran, working on 10 days’ rest, overcame a rough first inning and pitched into the seventh to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Teheran (12-7) gave up three runs in the first, then none after that, and he left with a 4-3 lead. Craig Kimbrel pitched around a one-out double by Placido Polanco in the ninth for his major league-leading 46th save in 49 chances.
NATIONALS 6, METS 3
NEW YORK — Jayson Werth kept up his power surge with a home run and two doubles, leading the charging Nationals past the Mets for their fourth straight win.
Jordan Zimmermann (17-8) wound up with his NL-leading 17th victory and Rafael Soriano closed for his 40th save as Washington tries to make a late playoff push.
The Nationals have won six of seven, and have 18 games left this season. They began the day seven games behind Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot.
CARDINALS 4, BREWERS 2
ST. LOUIS — Matt Holliday’s two-run home run in the sixth inning stunned Wily Peralta with the Cardinals’ first hit and rookie Shelby Miller blanked the Brewers into the seventh inning.
Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams added RBIs in the seventh and eighth for the NL Central leaders.
The 22-year-old Miller (13-9) emphasized more off-speed deliveries to keep the pitch count down and allowed five hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 6 2-3 innings.
In 6 2/3 innings, Peralta (9-15) was charged with three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts.
Pinch-hitter Logan Schafer hit a two-run homer off Edward Mujica in the ninth.
CUBS 9, REDS 1
CINCINNATI — Welington Castillo drove in three runs with two home runs, Donnie Murphy added a two-run shot and even pitcher Edwin Jackson connected as the Cubs rolled to a victory over the suddenly punchless Reds on Tuesday night.
Jackson (8-15) hit his second career home run in the seventh inning on his way to his first win in seven starts since July 31.
The Cubs earned consecutive wins over Cincinnati for the first time since 2011.
PADRES 8, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA — Jedd Gyorko and Chase Headley each had three hits to back Andrew Cashner’s strong pitching in the Padres’ victory over the Phillies.
Gyorko, who entered in a 3-for-28 slide, scored three runs and drove in another. Headley added two RBIs for the Padres, who have won four straight and six of seven.
Cashner (9-8) earned his first victory since Aug. 2, throwing 7 2/3 masterful innings while limiting the Phillies to four hits and a walk.
Tyler Cloyd (2-4) was not sharp in his first major league start in three weeks for Philadelphia. The right-hander allowed seven runs and nine hits over four-plus innings.
From wire sources