Boston: Hanley Ramirez homered for the second straight game and David Ortiz had a pair of hits to send the Boston Red Sox to a 7-4 victory over the New York Yankees in their Major League Baseball match on Friday night.
The Red Sox maintained a two-game lead atop the American League East over Baltimore and Toronto, who both also won. The Yankees, who on Thursday night were one out from climbing within three games of the division lead, fell six games back and lost ground in the AL wild card race.
Clay Buchholz (7-10) allowed two runs in six innings. Ramirez homered for the ninth time in 16 games, including a three-run shot to cap a five-run ninth in Boston’s 7-5 victory Thursday. Luis Cessa (4-2) gave up three runs in five innings.
Baltimore stopped lowly Tampa Bay’s late-season spoiling exploits against playoff contenders by beating the visiting Rays 5-4. JJ Hardy and Michael Bourn came through with RBIs in the eighth inning as Baltimore rallied from a four-run deficit.
The final out came when Mike Mahtook was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first base on a single into the left-field corner by Alexi Ramirez. Pedro Alvarez and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles.
Toronto claimed the first two games of their series at the Los Angeles Angels with a strong 5-0 victory. Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer and R.A. Dickey pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning as the Blue Jays maintained their playoff hopes against the free-falling Angels.
Edwin Encarnacion added a late two-run homer for the Blue Jays (81-66). Dickey (10-14) bolstered his case to keep a rotation spot by limiting the Angels to seven hits and striking out five.
Cleveland stretched its AL Central lead to seven games with a strong 11-4 home win over second-place arch-rivals Detroit, with Mike Napoli driving in four runs through a two-run double and a two-run homer.
The Indians lowered the magic number for clinching their first division title since 2007 to nine. Corey Kluber (17-9) worked seven innings, keeping the top of Detroit’s line-up in check.
In New York, Bartolo Colon limited Minnesota to three singles in seven innings as the Mets won 3-0. Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera hit consecutive home runs off rookie Jose Berrios in the third.
Matched against a pitcher nearly half his age, the 43-year-old Colon (14-7) won for the fourth time in five decisions.
New York is two games ahead of St. Louis for the second NL wild card and one behind San Francisco, after the Giants’ win against the visiting Cardinals later Friday night.
All that talk about Buster Posey’s second-half power drought was answered with one mighty swing in a September game that mattered — a two-run homer that helped the Giants win 8-2.
In Phoenix, Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda helped the LA Dodgers maintain their four-game NL West lead over the Giants, limiting Arizona to a run on three hits over five innings in a 3-2 win.
Maeda (15-9) struck out six and has seven wins is his last 10 starts. He outdueled former Dodger Zack Greinke, who allowed only one earned run.
In other games, the Chicago Cubs celebrated their division title with a 5-4, 10-inning win over Milwaukee, Washington won 7-2 in Atlanta, Texas beat the visiting Oakland 7-6, the Chicago White Sox won 7-4 at Kansas City, Philadelphia won 4-3 in 13 innings at home to Miami, Pittsburgh took 10 innings to win 9-7 at Cincinnati, Colorado beat the visiting San Diego 8-7 and Houston won 6-0 at Seattle.