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Red Sox top Rays 6-3 to increase AL wild-card lead


Red Sox top Rays 6-3 to increase AL wild-card leadST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Clay Buchholz finally beat someone other than Toronto this season, and it helped the Red Sox get a key win over Tampa Bay.

Buchholz (4-3) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings, and the AL wild-card leading Red Sox hurt Tampa Bay's playoff hopes with a 6-3 win on Thursday night.

Red Sox relievers Billy Wagner, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon, who got the final three outs for his 34th save, all pitched three hitless innings.

"That was the first thing that went through my head when Pap got that last out, that I got a win (over someone besides the Blue Jays)," Buchholz said.

Buchholz was 0-3 in six previous starts this year in non-Blue Jays games.

Things didn't start well on Thursday night. Buchholz was given a two-run lead in the first on Jason Bay's two-run double, and then let it all slip away in Tampa Bay's first at-bat.

"The way the game started, if he doesn't hold it together, we're going to that bullpen early," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "He pitches well enough to hold them down, and I thought he was pretty good."

The Red Sox won their first series at Tropicana Field since Sept. 21-23, 2007 by winning two of three. Boston dropped the defending AL champion Rays to six games back in the wild-card race. Texas is three games behind the Red Sox.

"It would have been nice to win two out of three, but it's not devastating," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I won't fault the effort. They outpitched us. That's just how it works sometimes."

Tampa Bay left-hander David Price, one of the stars when the Rays beat Boston in last year's AL championship series, gave up four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

"I just wasn't very good. Period," said Price, who had a win and save in the Rays AL pennant-winning series. "Didn't have command. Didn't have my stuff. I wasn't out there really mentally. When you're out there like that, you're going to lose."

Mike Lowell broke a 3-3 tie on a sixth-inning sacrifice before a run-scoring single by Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis' RBI grounder put Boston ahead 6-3 in the seventh. Rocco Baldelli had a second-inning solo homer.

"Nobody likes coming in here," Baldelli said. "To be able to come in here at any point and win a series is very big."

Evan Longoria had a run-scoring double during the first, which gave him 27 RBIs against the Red Sox this season. Since 1954, the most RBIs in one season against Boston is 29, set by Detroit Hall of Famer Al Kaline in 1959.

Tigers 4, Indians 3

At Detroit, Placido Polanco hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Tigers completed a three-game sweep and increased their lead in the AL Central to five games over the idle Twins.

Ryan Raburn led off the Detroit 10th with a double. Rafael Perez (4-3) then intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and issued an unintentional free pass to Magglio Ordonez. Polanco followed with a fly ball to center and Raburn scored standing up.

Zach Miner (6-4) pitched 2 1-3 hitless innings to get the win.

Yankees 10, Blue Jays 5

At Toronto, Jorge Posada homered and drove in four runs, Alex Rodriguez also homered and the Yankees won their seventh straight.

The AL East leaders won for the 14th time in 17 road games.

Posada's homer was his 20th, giving New York a major league-leading seven players with at least that many - the first time the Yankees have done it in team history.

Posada went 4 for 5 and hit his 340th career double, moving past Bob Meusel into ninth place on the team's all-time list.

Mariners 7, Athletics 4

At Oakland, Calif., Bill Hall, Franklin Gutierrez and Kenji Johjima each hit two-run homers to help Ian Snell (4-1) win his fourth straight start.

Johjima's fourth-inning drive gave the Mariners some breathing room after the A's had pulled within a run.

Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the Seattle lineup after missing six games with inflammation in his left knee. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Interleague

White Sox 5, Cubs 0

At Chicago, Carlos Torres threw seven crisp innings, Dewayne Wise made a great throw to cut down a runner at the plate and the White Sox won a makeup game between the city rivals.

Torres (1-0) earned his first major league win in his third career start. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out six.

Wise, whose highlight-reel catch preserved Mark Buehrle's perfect game back in July, made a strong throw from right field to nail Jake Fox at the plate and preserve a 1-0 lead in the seventh. Fox was trying to score from second on Jeff Baker's single.

Ryan Dempster (8-8) gave up three unearned runs and nine hits in seven-plus innings for the Cubs.

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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 4, 2009

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