MLB playoff race: Rangers' collapse continues, Indians unable to capitalize

Otto Greule Jr

Texas lost its seventh straight game but still holds a slim lead in the race for the final AL Wild Card spot thanks to Cleveland's loss to Kansas City.

The opportunity was there on Monday for the Indians to take sole possession of the second American League Wild Card spot after the Rangers lost their seventh straight game, but 17 strikeouts from Royals pitchers kept the Tribe a half-game back.

James Shields notched 10 of those punch outs, helping the Royals defeat the Indians, 7-1, to pull within 2½ games of the Rangers in the playoff chase.

One of the players Shields was traded for in the offseason played a big part in another contest bearing major playoff implications.

Rays outfielder Wil Myers homered and drove in three runs to lift his team to a 6-2 win over Texas. The Rays gained possession of the AL's top Wild Card spot while the Rangers stumbled to their 10th loss in 11 games. Texas' starting pitching has been particularly bad in that stretch, going 0-10 with a 6.55 ERA.

The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees were off on Monday, but each gained a half-game on the Rangers in the standings:

American League Wild Card Standings

Tampa Bay 82 67 .550 - Won 1
Texas 81 68 .543 - Lost 7
Cleveland 81 69 .540 0.5 Lost 1
Baltimore 79 70 .530 2 Won 1
Kansas City 79 71 .526 2.5 Won 1
New York 79 71 .526 2.5 Lost 3

(updated 9.16.2013 at 10:30 PM MDT)

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