Blue Jays Dent Yankees’ Playoff Chances; Rangers Snap Losing Run

Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis hit solo home runs and R.A. Dickey pitched seven scoreless innings as the Toronto Blue Jays won 2-0 to hand the New York Yankees their fourth straight loss in Major League Baseball.

The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays (both 82-68) lead the race for the two wild-card spots that go to non-division-winning teams in the American League. They’re followed by the Cleveland Indians (82-69), Baltimore Orioles (80-70), and the Kansas City Royals and Yankees (both 79-72), who lost their prior three games at the Boston Red Sox.

The Rangers beat the Rays 7-1 last night to snap a seven-game skid, the Orioles topped the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox 3-2 and the Indians defeated the Royals 5-3.

“It’s not good, that’s for sure,” said Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte (10-10), who allowed one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. “Go into Boston and get swept, then lose the first game here. We’re playing terrible and it’s not good. It’s a bad time to be doing that.”

Rasmus’s homer gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning at Rogers Centre in Toronto and Davis added the second run with his seventh-inning shot.

Dickey (13-12) allowed four hits and struck out eight for the win. Casey Janssen recorded his 31st save, giving up one hit and striking out three in the ninth inning.

The Yankees have 11 regular-season games remaining.

“We’re darn close,” New York manager Joe Girardi told reporters.

At Fenway Park in Boston, Baltimore’s Chris Davis set a franchise record with his 51st home run to surpass the mark set by Brady Anderson in 1996.

Davis’s MLB-leading shot tied the game in the sixth inning and the Orioles won it in the ninth when Alexi Casilla scored on Matt Wieters’s sacrifice fly.

Nationals Win

In the National League, the Washington Nationals swept the Atlanta Braves in a doubleheader to keep alive their chances of securing a wild-card spot. The Nationals won the first game 6-5 and the nightcap 4-0.

The first game at Nationals Park had been delayed a day after 12 people were shot to death at the Washington Navy Yard, which is several blocks from the Nationals’ stadium.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (87-64) lead the wild-card standings in the NL, with the Cincinnati Reds (86-66) holding the second spot. Washington (81-70) is third, 4 1/2 games further back.

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