Yanks’ rally falls short against Rays, wild-card lead slims

National Sports

NEW YORK (AP)Gary Sanchez and Rougned Odor both struck out with two runners on to blunt a ninth-inning rally and the New York Yankees’ lead atop the AL wild-card standings got even tighter with a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

The Yankees’ edge fell to one game over Boston and two games over Toronto after those contenders each won. Seattle was two games back of New York going into the night.

The Yankees lost for the second time in 10 games.

Rookie Wander Franco gave the Rays a 4-1 lead by chopping a grounder up the middle for a two-run single in the ninth.

Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge allowed Giancarlo Stanton’s one-out double and a bunt RBI single by Joey Gallo. Brett Gardner followed by singling home a run before Kittredge fanned Sanchez and Odor for his eighth save.

Louis Head (2-0) pitched 2 1/3 innings out of the Tampa bullpen. Starter Nestor Cortes Jr. (2-3) allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings for New York.

RED SOX 4, NATIONALS 2

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hunter Renfroe and Bobby Dalbec hit back-to-back homers during a four-run sixth inning, and Boston maintained its playoff position by beating Washington.

The Red Sox hold the second AL wild-card spot and moved within one game of the wild card-leading New York Yankees.

Eduardo Rodriguez (12-8) pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning, allowing five fits. Hansel Robles walked Juan Soto and Josh Bell with two outs in the ninth before retiring Keibert Ruiz for his 13th save.

Josh Rogers (2-2) allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. Soto, chasing former teammate Trea Turner for the NL batting title, went 0 for 1 with four walks.

BLUE JAYS 6, ORIOLES 4

TORONTO (AP) – Steven Matz pitched seven solid innings to win his fifth straight decision, Danny Jansen homered and drove in three runs, and Toronto beat Baltimore to keep its playoff hopes alive.

The Orioles put a scare into the Blue Jays with a four-run eighth, but closer Jordan Romano limited the damage as he got the final five outs for his 23rd save in 24 chances.

Toronto (89-71) remained one game behind Boston, which held onto the second AL wild-card spot by beating Baltimore.

Matz (14-7) allowed two runs and six hits, walked one and struck out five in his longest outing of the season.

Thomas Eshelman (0-3) allowed Jansen’s two-run homer in a start that lasted 2 2/3 innings.

CARDINALS 4, CUBS 3

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Paul Goldschmidt hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning, and playoff-bound St. Louis beat Chicago for its 19th win in 20 games.

Tyler O’Neill homered twice and threw out the potential go-ahead run in the ninth inning for the Cardinals, who will play either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants in the NL wild-card game.

Dakota Hudson made his first start for the Cardinals in more than a year, allowing three hits in five scoreless innings.

Andrew Knizner singled with one out in the ninth off Tommy Nance (1-1), and pinch-hitter Edmundo Sosa also singled. Tommy Edman grounded out before Goldschmidt greeted Rowan Wick with a sharp single to left field that easily scored Knizner.

O’Neill threw out Contreras at the plate in the ninth, allowing Giovanny Gallegos (6-5) to get the win.

ATHLETICS 8, ASTROS 6

HOUSTON (AP) – Matt Olson and Chad Pinder each homered and Oakland cut into Houston’s edge for home-field advantage in the AL playoffs.

Houston leads the White Sox by one game for home field in their best-of-five Division Series matchup next week. The AL West champion Astros also own the tiebreaker after going 5-2 against Chicago this season.

Sean Manaea (11-10) permitted two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the A’s ended a three-game losing streak.

Lou Trivino got four outs for his 22nd save. He allowed a leadoff double in the ninth to Yordan Alvarez and walked Carlos Correa, but recovered to strike out Jose Altuve and induce groundouts by Michael Brantley and Jake Meyers to end it.

Framber Valdez (11-6) yielded four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in five innings.

WHITE SOX 8, TIGERS 1

CHICAGO (AP) – Lance Lynn pitched one-run ball over five innings, Jose Abreu homered and drove in four runs, and Chicago beat Detroit for its fifth straight win.

Tim Anderson had four hits for the AL Central champions as they prepare for next week’s playoff series against Houston.

Lynn (11-6) earned his first win since July 25, giving up four hits and one walk while striking out four.

Wily Peralta (4-5) lost his second straight start, allowing two earned runs and nine hits in six innings.

METS 4, BRAVES 3

ATLANTA (AP) – Brandon Nimmo hit two solo home runs, Tylor Megill allowed one hit in five scoreless innings and New York ended NL East champion Atlanta’s six-game winning streak.

One night after clinching their fourth straight division title, the Braves played just three regulars: second baseman Ozzie Albies, left fielder Eddie Rosario and Austin Riley, who moved from third to first base.

Megill (4-6) didn’t allow a hit until Albies singled to center with one out in the fourth.

Edwin Diaz earned his 32nd save in 38 chances by working the ninth.

Huascar Ynoa (4-6) allowed three runs on six hits in five innings.

PHILLIES 5, MARLINS 0

MIAMI (AP) – Bryce Harper had three hits including his 35th homer, Ranger Suarez pitched seven scoreless innings, and Philadelphia beat Miami.

Putting the finishing touches on a possible MVP season, Harper had an RBI double in the third and hit an opposite-field solo homer off a 99 mph fastball from Sandy Alcantara (9-15) in the fifth.

Suarez (8-5) scattered six hits, struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter as he extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings and lowered his ERA to 1.36.

PIRATES 9, REDS 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Second baseman Cole Tucker made a spectacular diving catch, then hit his first career grand slam to cap an eight-run rally in the eighth inning that sent Pittsburgh over Cincinnati.

Tucker’s slam off Dauri Moreta came a night after the Pirates lost their 100th game of the season. Tucker also tripled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and scored the game’s first run.

Amir Garrett (0-4) began the eighth inning and retired only one of the three batters he faced. Chris Stratton (7-1) added to his team lead in wins despite allowing Max Schrock’s tying RBI single in the eighth.

ROYALS 11, TWINS 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Salvador Perez went hitless while every other Kansas City starter had at least one hit in a win over Minnesota.

With the loss, the Twins were assured of finishing in last place in the AL Central after winning the division the last two years.

Perez, who leads the majors with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs, went 0 for 4 and was hit by a pitch.

Jonathan Heasley (1-1) picked up his first major league win, allowing four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

John Gant (5-11) gave up six runs and eight hits in four innings.

INDIANS 9, RANGERS 4

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Austin Hedges and Bobby Bradley homered, Jose Ramirez drove in three runs, and rookie Eli Morgan won his third straight start as Cleveland drubbed Texas.

Morgan (5-7) allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings on seven hits, including homers by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Nathaniel Lowe.

Texas rookie starter Spencer Howard (0-5) allowed eight runs, five earned, in 3 2/3 innings.

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