By The Associated Press
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 on Wednesday night 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.
Surging Rays win again, beat Yankees 5-3
The Associated Press
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 with a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
The Rays, seeking their third playoff berth in four seasons, began the night tied with Boston after making up nine games in the standings since Sept. 4.
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.
Jake McGee (4-2) pitched one scoreless inning to get the win. With a crowd of 22,820 standing and cheering, Kyle Farnsworth got the final three outs for his 25th save in 31 chances. The victory was the fourth straight for Tampa Bay.