Major Leagues: American League roundup
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 16, 2011
BOSTON (AP) ó Trade-deadline pickup Mike Aviles broke a fourth-inning tie with his first homer since joining the Red Sox and Boston beat Tampa Bay 4-3 on Friday night to hold off the charging Rays and extend its lead in the AL wild-card race to four games.
Josh Beckett (13-5) returned from a skipped start for another strong outing against the Rays, who trailed Boston by nine games on Sept. 3 and had a chance to catch them with a sweep in Fenway. It was Boston’s second win in nine games and its first in seven tries against the Rays.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 30th save ó his first since Aug. 18 ó striking out Evan Longoria with a runner on second to end the game.
James Shields (15-11) lost for just the second time since July. Longoria homered for the second straight night, and Desmond Jennings had three hits for the Rays.
Boston ace Jon Lester faces Jeff Niemann on Saturday.
In two previous starts against Tampa Bay this season, Beckett pitched 17 scoreless innings, allowing just a pair of infield singles. But he ran into trouble early on Friday when Jennings led off the game with a bunt single and took second on Beckett’s throwing error; two batters later, Longoria homered off the top of the Green Monster.
1:Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4
TORONTO (AP) ó Mariano Rivera remained on hold at 600 saves when CC Sabathia failed to hold a fifth-inning lead and Jose Molina’s ninth-inning single lifted Toronto to victory.
Ahead 3-1, Sabathia allowed a three-run double to Aaron Lind in the fifth. Nick Swisher’s RBI single tied it in the sixth, but Lind doubled off Boone Logan (5-3) leading off the ninth. Molina, who played for the Yankees from 2007-09, singled with one out off Cory Wade.
New York lost its second straight game on the last at-bat since Rivera got his 600th save Tuesday at Seattle, moving within one of Trevor Hoffman’s career record.
Casey Janssen (5-0) pitched two scoreless innings as Toronto won for the fourth time in five games.
1:Orioles 8, Angels 3
BALTIMORE (AP) ó The Los Angeles Angels’ playoff push was slowed when Tommy Hunter pitched seven shutout innings for Baltimore.
The Angels started the day trailing first-place Texas by 31/2 games in the AL West. The Rangers played at Seattle.
Mark Reynolds and Nolan Reimold homered for the Orioles, who have become spoilers of late. Baltimore took two of three from the wild-card hopeful Rays before easily handling the Angels, who had won eight of 11 coming in.
Los Angeles avoided a shutout in the ninth when Kevin Gregg allowed a two-run homer to Hank Conger and an RBI double to Alexi Amarista.
Hunter (4-4) gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked two.
Dan Haren (15-9) yielded seven runs ó six earned ó seven hits in five-plus innings.