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Rays beat Rangers to take lead for first wild-card spot

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings dives but can't come up with a fifth-inning double by Texas Rangers' Mitch Moreland during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings dives but can't come up with a fifth-inning double by Texas Rangers' Mitch Moreland during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Rookie Wil Myers homered and had three RBIs, Alex Cobb pitched eight solid innings and the Tampa Bay Rays took the lead for the first AL wild-card spot by beating the Texas Rangers, 6-2, last night.

Tampa Bay and Texas started play one-half game ahead of Cleveland, which was at Kansas City, in race for the two wild-card spots.

Myers had a second-inning solo shot and hit a two-run double during a four-run fifth. Cobb (9-3) allowed two runs, six hits, one walk and had 10 strikeouts.

Matt Garza (9-6, 3-5 with Texas) gave up six runs and eight hits over 4 1∕3 innings to lose his third straight start for the Rangers, who have lost seven in a row and are 2-12 in September.

The announced crowd was just 10,724. The Rays entered with the major’s lowest home attendance average of 18,747.

Tampa Bay went up 6-2 in the fifth. After James Loney and Evan Longoria both had RBI singles against Garza, Myers drove in two with a double off Jason Frasor.

Garza, who was the MVP of the 2008 AL championship series when Tampa Bay beat Boston, pitched against the Rays for first time since being traded to the Chicago Cubs on Jan. 8, 2011. Texas obtained the right-hander from the Cubs on July 22.

The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Desmond Jennings’ sacrifice fly.

Texas pulled even at 2 during the fifth when Mitch Moreland, mired in an 0 for 22 slide, doubled and scored on Ian Kinsler’s double. Kinsler was caught attempting to steal third to end the inning.

Myers put the Rays up 1-0 on his 13th homer, an opposite-field drive to right in the second.

TIGERS 4, MARINERS 2

Rick Porcello struck out 10 in six innings and Detroit beat Seattle to move a step closer to its third straight AL Central title.

Victor Martinez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth with a run-scoring single, and Omar Infante followed with his own RBI single.

Porcello (13-8) allowed a run and five hits with two walks, falling one strikeout short of his career high. Drew Smyly got five outs in relief and Jose Veras finished the eighth.

Joaquin Benoit pitched a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 21 chances.

Joe Saunders (11-15) pitched well until the sixth, when he got two outs before a walk and three hits chased him from the game. Abraham Almonte homered for Seattle, which has lost seven of eight.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

San Diego 2, Pittsburgh 0

Andrew Cashner carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and faced the minimum 27 batters in a one-hitter that sent San Diego Padres past the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cashner (10-8) retired his first 18 batters before Jose Tabata grounded a clean single into right field leading off the seventh. Tabata was erased when Andrew McCutchen grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the right-hander cruised the rest of the way for his first complete game in 31 career starts.

Cashner struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

The Pirates lost for the second time in eight games after entering the day tied for first place in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals, who played later at Colorado.

PHILLIES 12, MARLINS 2

Cliff Lee had three hits, knocked in a career-high four runs and struck out a season-high 14 to lead the Phillies to a win over the Marlins.

Lee (14-6) stroked a two-run, bases-loaded single to cap off a six-run third inning and also hit his first career triple in the fifth. Chase Utley, who also drove in four runs, hit a long three-run homer in the third.

On the mound, Lee allowed two runs while scattering eight hits and walking none, at one point retiring 11 straight en route to winning his fourth consecutive decision. He is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in his last six starts and 5-1 with a 2.29 lifetime ERA against Miami.

Philadelphia has won six in a row over Miami.

In his first major-league start, Sam Dyson (0-1) allowed seven runs.

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