AL Wild Card standings: Rays top Orioles in 18, Indians vault ahead of Rangers

Al Messerschmidt

A pair of exciting, one-run games -- one short, one long -- defined the American League Wild Card chase on Friday night.

The Cleveland Indians claimed one of two American League Wild Card spots with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday. But the game of the night was in Tampa Bay, where the Rays outlasted the Orioles, 5-4, in 18 innings to keep the top Wild Card position.

Desmond Jennings doubled with one out in the 18th inning in Tampa Bay, then scored on a walk-off single by David DeJesus. The Rays hold a half-game lead over the Indians, and the Orioles fell to 2½ games back of Cleveland.

The game in Cleveland was called in the middle of the seventh because of rain, giving the Indians their seventh win in their last nine games and a second consecutive 2-1 victory over Houston. The Indians took over the position previously occupied by the Rangers, who lost 2-1 to the Royals in Kansas City.

Alcides Escobar drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning for the deciding run for Kansas City. Ervin Santana pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run for the Royals, who are just 2½ games back after the win.

The Yankees remain three games back after a 5-1 win over the Giants, a victory which included Alex Rodriguez breaking the all-time MLB record with his 24th career grand slam.

American League Wild Card Standings

Tampa Bay 84 69 .549 Won 1
Cleveland 84 70 .545 -- Won 2
Texas 83 70 .542 ½ Lost 1
Baltimore 81 72 .529 Lost 2
Kansas City 81 72 .529 Won 2
New York 81 73 .525 3 Won 1

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