The Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees are taking the race for American League East division title down to the final four games of the season.
The Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3 yesterday to share the AL East lead with the Yankees, who lost 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Both teams are 91-67 going into today’s games.
At Oriole Park, Manny Machado, 20, hit his seventh home run of the season in the seventh inning yesterday to break a 3-3 tie. Machado’s single in the second inning sent home Chris Davis, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
“It was a big win for us and we had a lot of fun out there,” Machado said in a televised interview.
Tommy Hunter (7-8) allowed one hit in two innings after he relieved starter Steve Johnson who gave up all three Red Sox runs.
“It was a good win for us, a good baseball game,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said during a post-game news conference. “Lot of contributors.”
Felix Doubront (11-10) surrendered four runs on seven hits and struck out 10 in seven innings for the loss. Jim Johnson struck out one batter in the ninth inning to claim his 49th save.
Baltimore can sweep the three-game series with a win today. The Orioles then travel tomorrow to face the Tampa Bay Rays in their final series of the regular season.
The Orioles and Yankees also share the top AL wild-card spot, one game ahead of the Oakland Athletics, who beat the Seattle Mariners 7-4.
At Rogers Centre in Toronto, the Yankees led 2-1 after the first. New York had run-scoring sacrifice flies from Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, while Rajai Davis responded for the Blue Jays with a home run in the bottom of the inning.
Davis reached on an infield single in the fifth to tie it and Adeiny Hechavarria drove in Yunel Escobar with a double in the sixth to win it for Toronto (70-88).
“We had chances to blow that game open and we didn’t,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You look at the opportunities that you have and you say, ‘We could have a pretty big lead here,’ but we didn’t do it.”
The fourth and final game of that series is tomorrow, with New York wrapping up the regular season with three home games against the Red Sox from Oct. 1-3.
In the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers (85-73) extended their division lead with a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. The Chicago White Sox, who fell 10-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays, trail by two games.
In the AL West, the Texas Rangers (92-65), whose rained-out game against the Los Angeles Angels will be played today during a doubleheader, are in first place, 2 ½ games ahead of the Athletics.
In the National League wild-card race, the Atlanta Braves (92-66), who beat the New York Mets 2-0 yesterday, are in contention with the St. Louis Cardinals (85-73), who lost 6-4 to Washington in 10 innings.
The Nationals (96-62) regained sole possession of the best record in the majors when the Cincinnati Reds fell 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.