A.L. Playoffs Chase: Monday-Morning Update

Cleveland Indians players mob Lonnie Chisenhall after Chisenhall hit an RBI single to give the Indians a last at bat win against the Detroit Tigers in their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Tigers 7-6. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

The race in the AL East remained tight, while a dramatic win by the Indians over the Tigers widened the gap between first and second in the AL Central.

A.L. East W L
Yankees 83 63 -
Orioles 82 64 1
Rays 78 68 5

The White Sox added to their small cushion in the Central Division, while the Rays' postseason hopes took a tumble at Yankee Stadium. All of Sunday's key action in the American League ...

Yankees 6, Rays 4: Tampa Bay rookie Matt Moore struggled badly in New York, giving up five runs, all in the third inning, in his three innings of work. The big blow was supplied by Russell Martin, who sliced a three-run homer just over the right-field fence. The Rays' bullpen held the Yankees to just one run, but the Yankees' bullpen was even better. After Hiroki Kuroda gave up four runs in six innings -- good enough for his 14th win -- the relievers took over, with Rafael Soriano earning his 40th save in 43 opportunities.

Orioles 9, Athletics 5: Avoiding a sweep on the road, the Orioles kept pace with the Yankees, remaining just one game out of first place in the American League East while maintaining their tenuous hold on the league's second Wild Card. A's rookie starter Dan Straily gave up a couple of solo home runs to Matt Wieters; nearly as bad, Straily also walked five Orioles in only 4⅔ innings. The A's do still own the top spot in the Wild Card standings, but dropped a game in the West and now trail the first-place Rangers by three lengths. The Orioles, by the way, recorded their 82nd win, thus ensuring their first winning season since 1997.

A.L. Central W L
White Sox 79 66 -
Tigers 77 68 2

White Sox 9, Twins 2: With six innings of two-run ball, Jake Peavy evened his record at 11-11, while his teammates pounded Minnesota's pitchers (especially starter Scott Diamond) as the White Sox completed a three-game sweep and maintained their slim lead over the Tigers. Most of the damage came in the top of the sixth inning, when the Sox scored six times, including Dayan Viciedo's two-run homer off Diamond.

Indians 7, Tigers 6: The Tigers lost arguments on multiple razor-close plays at first base, plus (not coincidentally) their manager, their catcher, and finally the game in walk-off fashion. In the bottom of the sixth, Tigers catcher Alex Avila was forced to leave the game after colliding with Prince Fielder's elbow while in pursuit of a foul pop. Moments later, the Indians extended their lead to 5-3, but Miguel Cabrera wiped out the lead (and more) in the seventh, with a two-out, three-run homer off reliever Joe Smith. In the ninth, though, Tigers closer Jose Valverde couldn't hold the lead. With one out, Jason Kipnis doubled to deep right-center field. Next, Carlos Santana walloped a liner to deep right field; Don Kelly got the ball in his glove, but it popped out just before he hit the wall and Santana wound up on third base with a game-tying triple. After two intentional walks to set up a force at every base, Lonnie Chisenhall's line drive to right-center easily evaded the drawn-in outfield, and the Indians had a dramatic victory for the home fans. With their loss, the Tigers fell two games behind the White Sox in the Central.

A.L. West W L
Rangers
87 59 -
Athletics
84 62 3

Rangers 2, Mariners 1: Texas starter Matt Harrison fell one out short of throwing a complete game, but he did pick up his 17th victory of the season; with a couple of Mariners on base in the top of the ninth, Koji Uehara entered the game and struck out Michael Saunders to record his first save as a Ranger. Harrison had a shutout after seven innings, but that was busted when Justin Smoak led off the eighth with a home run. The game's start was delayed for more than two hours by rain, and was ultimately played in intermittent drizzle.

A.L. Wild Card W L
Athletics
84 62 2
Orioles 82 64 -
Angels 80 67
Rays 78 68 4
Tigers 77 68

Angels 4, Royals 3: Less than 24 hours after Saturday night's shocking walk-off loss to the Royals, the Angels bounced back to win a close one of their own. They scored three of their runs in the second inning when Mark Trumbo launched a three-run homer against K.C. starter Will Smith. That made the score 4-0, and the Royals could never quite recover. In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson was called out after over-sliding second base on a steal attempt -- Howie Kendrick did a great job, keeping the tag on Dyson -- and Kevin Jepsen retired Jeff Francoeur to end the game.

Up next: Monday's matinée is a big game between the Tigers and White Sox, making up a contest they lost to rain last Thursday night. With first place on the line, Doug Fister starts for the Tigers, Jose Quintana for the host ChiSox. Monday night, the Rays host the Red Sox in the first game of a four-game series, while the Orioles open a three-game set in Seattle. The Yankees, Rangers, and Angels all have Monday off.

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