ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon sat alone in his office, waiting for the reaction of his players gathered around a cluster of televisions in the middle of the clubhouse. The Rays beat the New York Yankees 5-2 on Monday night, then celebrated yet another loss that left the AL wild-card race tied with two games to go.
"I didn't want to expend any more energy in front of a TV," Maddon said. "It was fun to listen to guys from afar."
James Shields came within one out of his 12th complete game, yielding six hits. Kyle Farnsworth finished for his 24th save, closing it out moments before the Red Sox lost 6-3 at Baltimore. The Rays and Red Sox each have two games left.
"It's been a nice little run. All the stars have been aligned for us and here we are," Shields said. "This is what baseball is all about."
B.J. Upton drove in two runs with a third-inning double off Hector Noesi (2-2). Kelly Shoppach homered for the second straight day for the Rays, who've won three straight and are 14-7 since Sept. 4, when they trailed Boston by nine games. Johnny Damon's third-inning RBI single moved him into a tie with Lou Gehrig for 57th on the career hits list with 2,721.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 3
At Baltimore, the Boston Red Sox found another way to lose, this time on a broken-bat single and an inside-the-park homer, and their defeat against the Orioles dropped them into a tie in the AL wild-card race.
With the score 2-all in the sixth inning, Boston starter Josh Beckett (13-7) allowed four runs in an uprising that began with Vladimir Guerrero becoming the career hits leader among Dominican-born players.
Tigers 14, Indians 0
At Detroit, Doug Fister pitched eight strong innings and Alex Avila drove in three runs to help the Tigers beat the Indians.
Justin Verlander and Fister, who are scheduled to start the first two games of Detroit's first-round playoff series, are now a combined 14-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 16 appearances since August 16.
White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3
At Chicago, Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer, rookie Dylan Axelrod threw six shutout innings and Chicago beat the Blue Jays.
Axelrod (1-0) won his first big-league game, striking out six and holding Toronto to three hits. Sergio Santos picked up his 30th save.
Rangers 4, Angels 3
At Anaheim, Calif., Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer, Michael Young added an eighth-inning RBI single, and the Rangers eliminated the Angels from the playoff race.
Elvis Andrus had four hits for the AL West champion Rangers (94-66), who have won eight of nine. Texas also stayed one game ahead of Detroit (93-67) for the league's second-best record and homefield advantage in this weekend's division series.
Royals 7, Twins 3
At Minneapolis, Melky Cabrera became the first Kansas City player in 11 years to get 200 hits and Mike Moustakas hit the go-ahead home run in a four-run sixth inning as the Royals topped the Twins.
Cabrera, who hit an infield single and scored the game's opening run in the first inning and added another infield single in the sixth, became the sixth player in Kansas City history to eclipse 200 hits and the first since Johnny Damon and Mike Sweeney both did it in 2000.
Mariners 4, Athletics 2
At Seattle, Justin Smoak hit a three-run, tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning to lift the Mariners to a victory over the Athletics.
The victory gave Jason Vargas (10-13) his career-high 10th victory. He worked eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking none and striking out career-high 10.
Miguel Olivo also hit a solo home run in the fifth, his 19th. That broke the Mariners club record for most home runs by a catcher, one more than both Kenji Johjima and Dan Wilson.
Phillies 4, Braves 2
At Atlanta, Atlanta took another wrenching loss in its September swoon, squandering an early two-run lead against Cliff Lee as playoff-bound Philadelphia rallied.
Lee (17-8) pitched six strong innings, Jimmy Rollins homered and Raul Ibanez drove in two runs, leading the NL East champions past their division rivals to start the final series of the regular season.
Reds 6, Mets 5
At New York, Chris Heisey hit a go-ahead, three-run homer just moments after making a diving catch and Cincinnati held off New York.
Jose Reyes had three hits for the Mets to take over the NL batting lead.
Nationals 6, Marlins 4
At Miami, Michael Morse hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth inning, and Washington rallied past Florida.
The homer came off Edward Mujica (9-6), who was trying to earn the first save for the Marlins since closer Leo Nunez returned last week to his native Dominican Republic and admitted playing under an assumed name.
Astros 5, Cardinals 4, 10 innings
At Houston, St. Louis missed out on a chance to join Atlanta atop the wild-card standings when Brian Bogusevic scored on Angel Sanchez's bunt in the 10th inning to lift Houston.
St. Louis rallied from three runs down to force extra innings, but Bogusevic doubled off Octavio Dotel (3-3) in the 10th and advanced on Jason Bourgeois' bunt. Sanchez then dropped a bunt in front of the plate, and Bogusevic charged home as Dotel mishandled his attempt to flip the ball to catcher Yadier Molina with his glove.
Pirates 9, Brewers 8
At Milwaukee, Alex Presley homered to lead off the game and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, helping Pittsburgh snap a 12-game skid in Milwaukee.
Presley finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs, reliever Daniel McCutchen (5-3) got the win and Joel Hanrahan held on for his 40th save to give Pittsburgh its fourth victory in 40 tries over the last five years at Miller Park.
Padres 2, Cubs 0
At San Diego, Mat Latos took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out nine in seven innings to lead San Diego.
It was a strong finish to an uneven season for Latos (9-14) who struggled during the first half. It was the 16th time in his last 17 starts that Latos allowed three or fewer runs.
Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2
At Phoenix, Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer, Dana Eveland pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning and Los Angeles won its fourth straight.
Kemp connected against Daniel Hudson (16-12) in the first, hitting a drive to center for his NL-best 38th homer. Kemp also leads the NL with 123 RBIs and is third with a .324 batting average with two games left.