ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Shane Baz pitched two-hit ball for five innings to win his major league debut and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays cut Toronto’s lead in the wild-card chase, holding off the Blue Jays 6-4 on Monday night.
Tampa Bay holds a seven-game advantage over second-place Boston with 11 games remaining.
The Blue Jays, who scored twice in the ninth inning and left the bases loaded, had their edge over the New York Yankees for the second AL wild-card spot drop to a half-game.
Baz (1-0) gave up a pair of home runs and little else, striking out five and walking none.
Toronto got homers from Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Marcus Semien.
YANKEES 4, RANGERS 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Sánchez hit a go-ahead home run, four pitchers combined for scoreless relief and New gained in the AL wild-card race with a win over Texas.
Sánchez put the Yankees ahead in the second inning against rookie A.J. Alexy (2-1) with his 22nd home run.
New York built a 4-0 lead before the Rangers closed the gap in a three-run fifth against Nestor Cortes.
Chad Green (8-7) retired five straight batters, Clay Holmes and Joely Rodríguez combined for the seventh and eighth, and Aroldis Chapman got three straight outs for his 28th save in 32 chances.
New York moved within a half-game of Toronto for the second AL wild card and with 11 games left is two back of Boston, the league’s wild-card leader.
ORIOLES 2, PHILLIES 0
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — John Means struck out six and stymied Philadelphia as Baltimore slowed the Phillies' playoff push.
Losers of two straight, the Phillies entered two games behind Atlanta in the NL East. The Phillies were 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card. Cincinnati also leads Philadelphia in the wild-card chase.
Here’s what they got instead: an offense led by Harper, an NL MVP candidate, handcuffed by Means, who tossed four-hit ball pitching into the seventh. Means, who pitched a no-hitter May 5, even doubled in the seventh for his first career extra-base hit.
Means (6-7) tossed four-hit ball into the seventh inning and helped himself with a double in the seventh for his first career extra-base hit.
Ranger Suarez (6-5) gave up consecutive RBI singles to Pedro Severino and Ryan McKenna in the first inning. He struck out five and his ERA bumped to 1.60.
TIGERS 4, WHITE SOX 3
DETROIT (AP) — Carlos Rodón was pulled after three rocky innings and Chicago squandered a three-run lead in a loss to Detroit.
Despite the defeat, Chicago’s magic number to clinch the AL Central dropped to two when second-place Cleveland was swept by Kansas City in a doubleheader.
Harold Castro’s eighth-inning single broke a 3-all tie for Detroit.
Drew Hutchison (2-1) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Tigers rookie Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his first career save, becoming the eighth Detroit reliever to earn a save this season.
Craig Kimbrel (2-2) took the loss.
ROYALS 7, INDIANS 2, 1ST GAME
ROYALS 4, INDIANS 2, 2ND GAME
CLEVELAND (AP) — Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run, breaking Johnny Bench’s record for most by a catcher in a season to highlight the opener, then the Kansas City Royals completed a doubleheader sweep of Cleveland.
Perez hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning of the opener, topping Bench’s total from 1970 for the highest total by a player who spent at least 75% of his team’s games at catcher. Perez also moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Perez leads the majors with 115 RBIs.
Joel Payamps, Domingo Tapia, Jake Brentz. Josh Statamount and Scott Barlow combined on a four-hitter in the second game. Tapia (3-0) struck out four in 1 2/3 innings and Barlow pitched the ninth for his 14th save.
The Royals scored twice off Nick Wittgren (2-8) in the first when Carlos Santana drew a bases-loaded walk and Hunter Dozier added a sacrifice fly.
Dozier and Andrew Benintendi also hit two-run homers for the Royals in the opener.
Brady Singer (5-10), activated from the COVID-19-related injured list before the game, allowed two runs in seven innings.
Triston McKenzie (5-7) gave up all three home runs and allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.
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