The Rays 3-1 loss at the hands of the Chicago White Sox was difficult enough. Combined with the three teams they are chasing in the Wild Card hunt all winning, the defeat became truly disastrous. If the Rays were not in desperation mode previously, they certainly are now.
The Orioles exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by Ryan Flaherty‘s first career grand slam, and never looked back, romping over the spiraling Red Sox 9-1. Chris Davis also homered in the inning, as Red Sox starter Aaron Cook only lasted 1+ inning in the game, giving up the six runs on five hits and three walks. Flaherty also played a big part in the Orioles three run fifth, hitting an RBI double and scoring a run in the frame. Orioles starter Chris Tillman allowed only a bunt single to leadoff hitter Scott Posednick, leading to one unearned run over his eight innings of work. Tillman walked two, and struck out four as he improved to 9-2 on the season. Flaherty ended 2-4 with two runs scored and five RBIs.
The Oakland A’s edged closer to securing a postseason berth, defeating the Seattle Mariners 8-2. Coco Crisp and Trayvon Robinson traded solo home runs before Stephan Drew homered to put the A’s ahead 3-1 in the third. A passed ball with the bases loaded gave Oakland another run in the fifth before Michael Saunders cut the lead to 4-2 with a solo home run. Oakland broke the game open in the bottom of the frame, scoring on a bases loaded walk and an error on a fielder’s choice. Josh Donaldson capped off the inning with a two run bases loaded single. A.J. Griffin picked up the victory, allowing one run on four hits and two walks over 5.2 innings, while striking out four. Crisp was 3-5 with three runs scored and an RBI, finishing a triple short of the cycle.
Mike Trout led off the game with a home run, and Jered Weaver pitched seven strong innings as the Angels held on, defeating the Rangers 7-4. The Angels were able to get to Texas starter Ryan Dempster early, taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth. The Rangers got on the board in the bottom of the inning, as Nelson Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to plate Josh Hamilton. However, Los Angeles extended the lead, scoring again in the sixth. A three run seventh, capped by a Mark Trumbo RBI single, gave the Angels a 7-1 lead. The Rangers clawed back, with Nelson Cruz leading off the bottom of the inning with a solo home run. Adrian Beltre followed up with a two run blast in the eighth, but it was not enough as the Angels held on to win. Weaver became the first 20 game winner in the American League, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out seven batters in his seven innings of work. Trumbo was 3-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.
The AL Wild Card standings now look like this:
Los Angeles: 2 GB
Tampa: 3 GB