The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles logged one-run wins to remain locked together atop the American League East division with three weeks remaining in the Major League Baseball regular season.
The Yankees hung on for a 5-4 win against the Boston Red Sox and the Orioles had a run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 last night.
Curtis Granderson hit his 36th and 37th home runs of the season for the Yankees and Robinson Cano added his career-high 30th homer at Fenway Park in Boston.
Nate McLouth drove in the winning run at Camden Yards to give Baltimore their second straight win over the Rays. The Yankees and Orioles are both 80-62 for the season.
The Rays are three games behind the Yankees and Orioles in the AL East, and also are three games back in the race for an AL wild-card berth. The Oakland Athletics (82-60) top the wild-card standings after winning 4-1 against the Los Angeles Angels (77-66), who are 3 1/2 games back. The top two non-division winners in each league earn wild-card spots in the postseason.
A solo home run by Granderson and a two-run hit by Cano in the top of the fourth gave New York a 3-0 lead before James Loney cut the advantage to two runs with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning.
Granderson made it 5-1 with a two-run shot in the seventh before Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored on Mauro Gomez’s ground out and Mike Aviles added a one-run double in the bottom of the inning. Boston got its final run in the ninth on a home run by Saltalamacchia, who went 3-for-3 to get a base hit in every at-bat for the first time in his career.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who scored his 1,860th run to pass Mel Ott for 12th on the career list, left in the eighth with a leg injury.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia left the game in the top of the seventh inning to attend the birth of his child, while his teammate Cody Ross, manager Bobby Valentine and third-base coach Jerry Royster were ejected in the eighth for arguing with home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.
The AL-leading Texas Rangers improved to 85-57 with a 5-2 home win over the Cleveland Indians, while the Detroit Tigers won 8-6 at the White Sox to pull within one game of Chicago in the AL Central.
In the National League, East division leader Washington won 2-0 at the New York Mets to improve to an MLB-best 89-54. The Mets have lost six straight games.
Central leader Cincinnati (87-57) won 2-1 at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who also lost their sixth straight game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (74-69) missed an opportunity to improve their playoff chances after the Atlanta Braves (81-63) lost 8-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres won 3-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals (75-68). The Dodgers lost 3-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, leaving Los Angeles a game behind Atlanta and St. Louis in the wild-card standings.
The San Francisco Giants (81-62) won 8-3 against the Colorado Rockies to extend their lead over the Dodgers atop the NL West to seven games.