The Tampa Bay Rays continued their hot streak, winning their sixth consecutive game Monday night. However, they were unable to gain any ground in the Wild Card standings, as the Oakland A’s came back to win in extra innings. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox now find themselves tied for first in the AL Central, leading to the White Sox becoming the latest entry in the nightly roundup. Here is the latest in the Hunt For October.
Toronto starter Aaron Laffey and five relievers combined to hold the Orioles to six hits, shutting out Baltimore for the first time since August 5th. The Blue Jays put runs on the board in the first and fourth innings, before opening the game up with consecutive RBI singles from Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarncion in the seventh. Baltimore loaded the bases in the ninth, using an error and two walks. However, Ryan Flaherty flew out to end the threat. Laffey picked up the victory, allowing five hits in 5.2 innings of work.
With nine games left to play, the Oakland Athletics had six games left against the Texas Rangers, as they not only attempt to hold on to the second Wild Card spot, but also try to wrest control of the division from Texas. Monday night, the A’s picked up a badly needed victory. The Rangers scored twice in the first, picking up both runs on an error after Josh Hamilton singled with runners on first and second. However, the A’s fought back, scoring a run in the second, then tying the game on a solo home run from Chris Carter in the fourth. George Kottaras led off the top of the tenth inning with a solo home run, propelling the A’s to the 3-2 victory. Evan Scribner picked up his first career victory, pitching a perfect ninth inning.
The Angels jumped out to a quick lead, scoring twice in the first inning on an Albert Pujols single and a sacrifice fly from Alberto Callaspo. After a solo home run cut the lead to 2-1, Los Angeles used a two run home run by Torii Hunter and a solo home run from Erick Aybar to jump out to a 5-1 lead. The Mariners fought back, scoring three times in the top of the seventh inning, highlighted by a two run home run from Justin Smoak, his second of the night. However, the Mariners were unable to muster any more offense, as the Angels bullpen retired the last seven batters to preserve the 5-4 victory.
Detroit Tigers 2, Kansas City Royals 0
Anibal Sanchez dominated the Royals, allowing only three hits and a walk as he pitched his first shutout in over a year, leading Detroit to a 2-0 victory. Prince Fielder and Delmon Young each had RBI singles in the first, providing all the support Sanchez would need. Detroit threatened to add to the lead in the second, loading the bases with no outs. However, Royals starter Bruce Chen was able to escape, getting a fly out and ending the inning on consecutive strikeouts. The Royals put runners on first and second with two out in the fourth, but Sanchez was able to get a line drive to third to end the threat. With the victory, Detroit finds themselves tied for the lead in the AL Central.
Cleveland Indians 4, Chicago White Sox 3
The Chicago White Sox recent slide continued, as they lost their six game out of the last seven played, falling to the Cleveland Indians 4-3. The Indians jumped out quickly, scoring a run in the second before tacking three more runs on the board in the fourth inning. The White Sox clawed back, using solo home runs by A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo in the fifth to cut the lead in half. Paul Konerko added a solo home run in the ninth to trim the lead to 4-3, but the White Sox were unable to complete the comeback. The loss moves them back into a tie with the Detroit Tigers for the first time since September 3rd.
The Wild Card standings are as follows:
Baltimore – –
Oakland – –
Los Angeles – 2 GB
Tampa – 3 GB
Detroit – 5 GB
Chicago – 5 GB