The New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 to retain their advantage atop the American League East over the Baltimore Orioles, who hit seven home runs in a 12-2 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees (90-65) remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles (89-67), who occupy the top spot in the AL wild-card race. The second wild-card spot is held by the Oakland Athletics (88-67), who last night defeated the Texas Rangers 9-3. The Major League Baseball regular season ends Oct. 3.
New York starter CC Sabathia allowed two runs on six hits over eight innings for his 14th victory of the season. He threw 118 pitches and struck out 10, his second consecutive game with double-digit strikeouts.
“This is what he can do, he can string a bunch of good ones together,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “And if there’s a time, now’s the time.”
After the Twins took a 1-0 lead, the Yankees scored eight straight runs, including a six-run third inning that featured a two-run double from Robinson Cano and a two-run triple by Curtis Granderson at Target Field in Minneapolis. New York has won nine of its past 11 games.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter went 0-for-4, ending a 19-game hitting streak.
At Camden Yards, Chris Davis had two home runs and drove in a career-high five runs, while Manny Machado added two homers for the Orioles.
Nate McLouth, Jim Thome and Mark Reynolds added home runs as the seven homers tied a franchise record.
“We can’t count on teams to lose right now,” Davis said in a televised interview. “We don’t want to settle for the wild card. We want to win the division.”
In the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers (83-72) defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-4 to take a one-game lead over the Chicago White Sox, who fell out of first place by losing 6-4 to the Cleveland Indians. The Rangers (91-64) are three games ahead of the Athletics in the AL West.
In the National League, the Washington Nationals (94-61) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 to stay four games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the East. The Braves (90-65), who lead in the race for the NL’s two wild cards, shut out the Miami Marlins 3-0. The St. Louis Cardinals (84-72), who lost to the Houston Astros 2-0, are in position for the second wild-card spot.