Boston clinch AL East after beating Toronto
APBOSTON--The Boston Red Sox clinched the AL East title on Friday, getting seven strong innings from Jon Lester to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 and eliminate Tampa Bay from the division race.
September 22, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
One night after securing their first playoff appearance since 2009, the Red Sox added their first division title since '07. Boston entered the night with a magic number of one — meaning the next Red Sox win or Rays loss would clinch the division.
Lester (15-8) allowed one run on five hits and two walks, striking out eight to win for the seventh time in nine decisions. It was his 100th career victory.
Toronto pinch-hitter Adam Lind hit a two-run homer off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth to make it 5-3 before Koji Uehara got five outs for his 20th save.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won 19 of their last 25.
Toronto starter Esmil Rogers (5-8) did not make it out of the third inning, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks and striking out two while getting only seven outs.
Rays 5, Orioles 4, 18 Innings David DeJesus ended a nearly seven-hour game with a one-out RBI single in the 18th inning as Tampa Bay took sole possession of the top AL wild-card spot by beating Baltimore.
Tampa Bay started its game at 7:05 p.m. tied with Texas atop a crowded race for two wild cards. By the time it ended 6 hours, 54 minutes later — a record in time for both teams — the Rays were a half-game ahead of Cleveland, which beat Houston 2-1 in a rain-shortened game. The Rangers lost to Kansas City 2-1. Baltimore is 2 1/2 games back.
Desmond Jennings had a one-out double in the 18th off Bud Norris (10-12) — the Orioles' 10th pitcher and one of a big league record 21 used in the game.
Tigers 12, White Sox 5 Max Scherzer became baseball's first 20-game winner, pitching through a rainy six innings to help Detroit defeat Chicago.
Scherzer (20-3) was making his fifth attempt to win No. 20. He had two losses and two no-decisions in his previous four starts. Torii Hunter had four hits for Detroit, and Victor Martinez homered.
Dylan Axelrod (4-10) allowed seven runs in 2 2-3 innings.
The AL Central division-leading Tigers lowered their magic number to eliminate second-place Cleveland to three.
Other games on Friday:
Indians 2, Astros 1, 6 1-2 Innings
Royals 2, Rangers 1
Angels 3, Mariners 2, 11 Innings
Athletics 11, Twins 0
Yankees 5, Giants 1