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Baseball

Rays take lead in wild card battle

Jennings hit sends Rangers to defeat

Desmond Jennings had an RBI single in the 12th inning and the Tampa Bay Rays took over the top spot in the AL wild-card race by beating the Texas Rangers, 4-3, last night.

Texas has a half-game lead over Cleveland, which lost at Kansas City, for the second wild card.

Jose Lobaton opened the 12th with a single off Joseph Ortiz (2-2) and pinch-runner Sam Fuld went to second on Yunel Escobar’s bunt. Fuld then scored on Jennings’s hit to right center.

Brandon Gomes (2-1) struck out Ian Kinsler with runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the 12th for the Rays, who have won two of the first three games of the four-game series.

Texas took a 3-2 lead in the 11th on Adrian Beltre’s two-out RBI single. The Rays tied on David DeJesus’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning.

YANKEES 4, BLUE JAYS 3

Vernon Wells had a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning and Mariano Rivera earned a four-out save as New York rallied from three runs down to snap a four-game skid.

Robinson Cano drove in the Yankees’ first run in this three-game series with a one-out single in the eighth. Alfonso Soriano followed with an RBI double, helping New York avoid falling farther behind in the AL wild-card race.

New York entered 3 ½ games behind Tampa Bay and Texas for the second wild card. The Yankees have 10 games remaining.

David Huff (3-1) pitched 3 2∕3 innings of relief to earn the win.

Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with a walk as the Yankees improved to 8-2 this season following a shutout loss. New York, which lost 2-0 Tuesday, has gone 34-11 following shutout defeats since Joe Girardi took over as manager before the 2008 season.

ROYALS 7, INDIANS 2

Bruce Chen worked five innings and Salvador Perez doubled home two runs as Kansas City beat Cleveland.

Chen was pulled in the sixth after giving up a single to Michael Bourn and walking Nick Swisher to lead off the inning.

Francisley Bueno replaced Chen and recorded two outs with three pitches.

After Jeff Kipnis advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, Bueno kept the runners put when Carlos Santana grounded out to third baseman Mike Moustakas. Louis Coleman came in and retired Ryan Raburn on a fly to right to strand the runners.

MARINERS 8, TIGERS 0

Hisashi Iwakuma extended his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 and Seattle’s Justin Smoak homered off Justin Verlander.

Iwakuma (13-6) matched his career high, going eight innings and giving up just four hits and one unintentional walk. His 25-inning scoreless streak on the road matches a franchise record.

Verlander (13-11) allowed three runs, four hits, walked three and struck out six over seven innings. He was hoping to win consecutive starts for the first time in more than three months.

The AL Central-leading Tigers had won three straight and six of seven to close in on their third straight division title. Seattle had lost eight of nine.

ANGELS 5, ATHLETICS 4

Josh Hamilton hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth inning then put the Angels ahead with a sacrifice fly in the 11th, leading Los Angeles over Oakland.

Hamilton connected against Grant Balfour, who blew his third save of the season. Jesse Chavez (2-4) was the loser.

Mike Trout added a two-run home run for the Angels, who won for the fourth time in five games.

Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes each hit two-run home runs for the A’s, who lost for the third time in 12 games. They entered yesterday with a six-game lead over Texas in the AL West.

Juan Gutierrez (1-4) pitched the 10th for the win. Ernesto Frieri worked the 11th for his 35th save in 39 chances.

A’s starter A.J. Griffin gave up Trout’s homer with one out in the first.

TWINS 4, WHITE SOX 3

Scott Diamond pitched into the seventh inning for his first win since June, and Minnesota avoided a three-game sweep.

Diamond (6-11) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1∕3 innings to earn his first big league win since June 20 against the White Sox. Since then, he was 0-5 with a 6.20 ERA in eight starts and spent more than a month at Triple-A Rochester.

Minnesota had scored four runs during the first two games of the series, but matched that in the first two innings, scoring once in the first and three times in the second against John Danks (4-14).

NATIONAL LEAGUE

PADRES 3, PIRATES 2

Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera delivered consecutive RBI singles in the ninth inning off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon and San Diego rallied for a victory.

Forsythe’s single to right scored pinch-runner Andrew Cashner to tie it and Rivera’s blooper brought home Chris Denorfia as the Padres sent the Pirates to their third straight loss. Dale Thayer (3-5) picked up the win in relief. Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 33rd save.

Melancon (2-2), who inherited the closer’s role when All-Star Jason Grilli went out with a forearm injury in July, blew his third save of the season.

BRAVES 5 NATIONALS 2

Justin Upton and Dan Uggla each homered in a three-run sixth inning, and the Braves rallied past the Nationals, lowering their magic number for clinching the NL East title to two games.

Brian McCann and Jordan Schafer also drove in runs as the Braves snapped a three-game skid. Atlanta has not won the division since 2005, the last of 11 straight titles.

Kameron Loe (1-2) got one out for the win. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta’s seventh pitcher, rebounded from his loss Tuesday to record his 48th save.

Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 29 straight, the longest in the majors this season.

MARLINS 4, PHILLIES 3, 10 INN.

Ed Lucas homered in the 10th inning to lift the Marlins to a victory over the Phillies.

The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning but could not score after Roger Bernadina struck out and Freddy Galvis grounded out to end it.

The homer was the fourth of the season for Lucas. Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton tied the game 3-all in the sixth inning with a two-run, homer to center field that was measured at 460 feet.

METS 5, GIANTS 4

Josh Satin hit a two-run single to cap a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent the Mets past San Francisco.

Shut down by Matt Cain for almost eight innings, the makeshift Mets lineup put together a surprising comeback. Pinch-hitter Zach Lutz had an RBI double and Juan Centeno, making his major league debut, knocked in a run with a single off closer Sergio Romo (4-8).

Satin had three RBI, including a sacrifice fly against Cain in the eighth. Vic Black (2-0) pitched a perfect inning for the win.

Gregor Blanco hit a two-run homer for San Francisco.

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