ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wil Myers hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Myers drove in Evan Longoria, who also doubled off Rubby De La Rosa (0-1), to give the Rays a 4-3 lead.
Jake McGee (5-3) pitched a scoreless eighth before Fernando Rodney got three outs to earn his 34th save for the Rays, who lead the race for the second AL wild card despite going 5-13 since Aug. 25.
David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for Boston, which has an 8½-game advantage over second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.
The Red Sox threatened in the ninth when Stephen Drew had an infield single and pinch-hitter Mike Carp walked with one out. Rodney worked out of the jam when pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks lined out to third and Dustin Pedroia popped out.
Athletics 8, Twins 2
MINNEAPOLIS — A.J. Griffin allowed just two hits in seven innings leading Oakland to the win to increase its division lead heading into a crucial weekend series.
Josh Reddick homered and had three RBIs for Oakland, which has a 3½ game lead over idle Texas in the American League West. It is Oakland’s largest lead over the Rangers since Aug. 3. The teams are to scheduled play a three-game series this weekend in the Lone Star State.
Oswaldo Arcia homered for Minnesota, which has lost six of eight.
In winning his fourth straight start, Griffin (14-9) struck out eight and walked just one batter.
Making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A, Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (5-11) allowed five runs — four earned — in 4 2-3 innings.
He struck out six of the first nine batters he faced, including four straight, and lowered his opponents’ batting average to .165 the first time through the lineup, the lowest mark in the majors among pitchers with at least 130 innings pitched.
Other than allowing Arcia’s homerun in the seventh, Griffin, who has served up a major league leading 34 homeruns, didn’t have many problems the rest of the way.
Minnesota had two runners on with one out in the fourth, but Arcia lined out to second baseman Alberto Callaspo and Brian Dozier was doubled off first. Dozier had walked.
Making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester, Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (5-11) lasted just 4 2-3 innings. He allowed five runs — four earned — on six hits while striking out one.
Before the game, manager Ron Gardenhire said that Diamond appears to be a much more confident pitcher than he was before his Aug. 1 demotion. In six minor league starts, Diamond was 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA.
The left-hander barely broke a sweat in retiring the A’s in order in the first two innings before the Oakland hitters forced Diamond deep into counts.
One day after scoring 18 runs against the Twins, Oakland used some two-out hitting to take a 4-0 lead in the third inning.
Angels 4, Blue Jays 3
TORONTO — Garrett Richards pitched 6 2-3 innings for his third straight win, Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run and Los Angeles beat Toronto to complete a three-game sweep.
Erick Aybar had two hits and scored twice as the Angels won for the 15th time in 20 games and improved to 12-2 in their past 14 road contests.
Calhoun went 2 for 3 with a walk to help the Angels win for the 10th time in 13 meetings with the Blue Jays. Los Angeles recorded its first sweep in Toronto since April 16-18, 2010.
Jose Reyes homered and finished 4 for 4 with a walk, but the Blue Jays lost for the 29th time when scoring first.
Richards left after Reyes hit a two-out double in the seventh. Michael Kohn came on and walked Munenori Kawasaki on four pitches, then struck out Brett Lawrie to end the threat.
Richards (7-6) allowed three runs and nine hits, walked one and struck out four. He’s 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in three September starts.
Moises Sierra hit a one-out double off Dane De La Rosa in the eighth but Rajai Davis struck out and Anthony Gose flied out.
Sierra posted his second straight three-hit game and has five extra-base hits in the past two games.
Reyes hit a two-out double in the ninth and Kawasaki followed with a walk, but Angels closer Ernesto Frieri struck out Lawrie for his 33rd save in 37 chances.
Adam Lind gave the Blue Jays a lead with a two-out RBI double in the first, but the Angels answered with Grant Green’s two-out RBI single in the second.
Angels infielder Erick Aybar made it 2-1 in the second when he tagged up from second base on Mark Trumbo’s fly ball to center and scored when third baseman Lawrie couldn’t handle an errant throw from Gose.
Reyes hit a leadoff homer in the third, his 10th, and Sierra added an RBI double to put the Blue Jays back in front, but their lead didn’t last.