NEW YORK — Ivan Nova pitched a six-hitter for his second career shutout, Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run homer and the New York Yankees kept pace in the AL wild-card chase Saturday with an 6-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Alfonso Soriano connected for the second straight day and Robinson Cano had an RBI single in a three-run third against Ryan Vogelsong (3-6), helping New York win for just the third time in eight games.
New York entered three games behind Cleveland for the second AL wild card with three teams ahead. The Yankees have seven games remaining, including three against the wild-card leading Tampa Bay Rays.
A day before New York honors retiring closer Mariano Rivera in a pregame ceremony, Nova (9-5) gave the Yankees’ bullpen a rest.
Rays 5, Orioles 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Desmond Jennings drove in four runs, Alex Cobb took a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles in a matchup of exhausted teams to maintain their lead in the AL wild-card race.
The first pitch came 10 hours, 56 minutes after the Rays’ 5-4, 18-inning win over Baltimore that ended at 2:05 a.m., a game that stretched on for 6:54 — a record time for both teams. Saturday’s game, by comparison, seemed to breeze by in 2:51.
Tampa Bay (85-69) moved one game ahead of Cleveland (84-70), which led for the second wild-card berth pending its game against Houston later Saturday. The Orioles (81-73) dropped three games behind the Indians and now have three others teams in front of them.
Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 2
BOSTON — Clay Buchholz lost for the first time this season, and the AL East champion Boston Red Sox fell to Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays.
A day after the Red Sox clinched the division title, they lost for just the sixth time in 21 games.
Buchholz (11-1) gave up two earned runs on six hits and two walks in six innings. He had pitched 11 scoreless innings in his previous two starts, his first since spending three months on the disabled list with a strained neck.
Buchholz was the first Boston pitcher to start a season 11-0 in his initial 14 starts since Roger Clemens went 13-0 in 1986.
Indians 4, Astros 1
CLEVELAND — Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer and the Cleveland Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a win over the Houston Astros.
Cleveland began Saturday with a half-game lead over Texas for the AL’s second wild card. The Indians, who have won eight of their last 10, trail Tampa Bay by a half-game for the wild-card lead.
The Indians passed Texas with Friday’s rain-shortened 2-1 win, moving into a wild-card spot for the first time since before play on Aug. 4. Following Sunday’s series finale, Cleveland hosts the Chicago White Sox for two games before closing the regular season with four games at Minnesota.
Athletics 9, Twins 1
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics lowered their magic number to one for clinching their second straight AL West title, beating the Minnesota Twins behind the pitching of Jarrod Parker and hitting of Alberto Callaspo.
The A’s have won 12 of 15 and are 16 of their last 21, opening a season-high 7½-game lead over second-place Texas entering Saturday. Texas was Kansas City later in the day.
Parker (12-7) allowed one run and four hits in six innings, and Callaspo matched his career highs with four hits and had three RBIs. Kurt Suzuki and Yoenis Cespedes homered for the A’s.
The game started after a two-hour rain delay. The visiting dugout was flooded and sewage backed up in the A’s coaches’ bathroom, the third such incident at the Coliseum this season.
Rangers 3, Royals 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Matt Garza pitched eight impressive innings for his first victory in six starts and the Texas Rangers kept close in the playoff race, beating the Kansas City Royals.
The Rangers won for only the fifth time in 19 September games. They remained a half-game behind Cleveland for the second AL wild-card berth.
The Royals, out of the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, dropped 3½ games in back of the Indians.