BALTIMORE — The Boston Red Sox maintained a share of the AL wild-card lead Tuesday night, using four home runs to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 and set up a dramatic conclusion to the regular season.
The skidding Red Sox were 6-19 in September before rebounding to edge the last-place Orioles. The win, combined with Tampa Bay's 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees, kept Boston and the Rays tied with one game left.
After blowing a nine-game lead in the span of 23 days, the Red Sox will send Jon Lester (15-9) to the mound against Baltimore tonight in an effort to get into the postseason for the fourth time in five years. Lester, Boston's winningest pitcher, will be throwing on three days' rest.
Rays 5, Yankees 3
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist homered Tuesday night, helping the surging Tampa Bay Rays continue their improbable chase for the AL wild card.
Joyce's three-run homer off former teammate Rafael Soriano (2-3) was the All-Star's first in more than three weeks and wiped out a 3-2 deficit in the seventh. Zobrist hit a two-run drive off Bartolo Colon in the second, and the Rays kept the score close by turning the third triple play in franchise history after falling behind in the sixth.
Athletics 7, Mariners 0
At Seattle, Trevor Cahill and two relievers held Seattle to just four hits while Josh Willingham and Scott Sizemore hit home runs in the Athletics rout of the Mariners.
After allowing a pair of singles in the first inning, Cahill (12-14) retired the next 13 batters in a row. No base-runner advanced past second base. He struck out seven and walked one.
Cahill's 40 career wins in his first three seasons are second most in Oakland history — behind Vida Blue's 42 — for a pitcher before his 24th birthday.
Mariners starter Blake Beavan (5-6) gave up seven runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked the second batter of the game, Coco Crisp, to end his streak without issuing a walk at 241/3 innings.
Rangers 10, Angels 3
At Anaheim, Calif., Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz hit consecutive homers in the fifth inning, and the surging Rangers stayed on track for homefield advantage in the AL division series with a victory over the Angels.
Tigers 9, Indians 6
At Detroit, Wilson Betemit hit a 423-foot home run in his first game back from left knee soreness, and the Tigers beat the Indians.
Detroit remained one game behind Texas for the No. 2 seed in the AL after the Rangers beat the Angels.
White Sox 2, Blue Jays 1
At Chicago, Mark Buehrle pitched seven shutout innings in possibly his final start for the White Sox and Tyler Flowers homered to lead Chicago to a victory over the Blue Jays.
Buehrle (13-9) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked none. He left to an ovation before throwing a pitch in the top of the eighth.
Twins 7, Royals 4
At Minneapolis, Rene Tosoni hit a grand slam and Chris Parmelee also went deep to lift the Twins to a victory over the Royals.
Phillies 7, Braves 1
At Atlanta, the Atlanta Braves are doing their best to give away what looked like a certain playoff berth just a few weeks ago.
Derek Lowe had another miserable outing, surrendering five runs in four-plus innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies romped to a that left the Braves on the brink going to the final day of the regular season.
Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins homered for the playoff-bound Phillies to back a three-hit outing by Roy Oswalt (9-10), who tuned up for the playoffs with a strong performance in a largely disappointing season.
Cardinals 13, Astros 6
At Houston, the Cardinals are tied with Atlanta for the NL wild-card lead, getting a clutch two-run triple from Ryan Theriot in the seventh inning of a victory over the Astros.
The Cardinals trailed 5-0 early and appeared to be headed for a second straight loss to the Astros. But St. Louis scored five times in the fourth and erased a 6-5 deficit with a four-run seventh.
Giants 7, Rockies 0
At San Francisco, Madison Bumgarner and two relievers combined on a three-hitter, Brandon Belt homered into McCovey Cove and the Giants beat the Rockies.
Conor Gillaspie, making a rare start at third base in place of Pablo Sandoval, hit an inside-the-park home run in the seventh while Brandon Crawford added two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who have won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 6,10 innings
At Phoenix, Ryan Roberts' grand slam capped a six-run 10th inning that gave the Diamondbacks the most amazing of their 48 come-from-behind victories this season.
Brewers 6, Pirates 4
At Milwaukee, Prince Fielder homered three times in a game for the first time in his career, including a two-run shot in the seventh inning that lifted the Brewers to a victory over the Pirates.
Reds 5, Mets 4, 13 innings
At New York, Jose Reyes hit two solo home runs, putting pop into his bid for the NL batting title, but the Reds beat the Mets on Drew Stubbs' squeeze bunt in the 13th inning.
Marlins 3, Nationals 2
At Miami, Bryan Petersen homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and Javier Vazquez pitched a five-hitter as the Marlins beat the Nationals.
Cubs 6, Padres 2
At San Diego, Starlin Castro had two singles to extend his NL-leading total to 206 hits, Alfonso Soriano hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Cubs beat the Padres in a matchup of 90-game losers.