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MLB roundup: Rays win, move half-game ahead of Indians for wild-card spot

Brandon Lowe hit one of three sixth-inning home runs for Tampa Bay in a 7-4 win over Boston on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Chris O'Meara / AP)
Brandon Lowe hit one of three sixth-inning home runs for Tampa Bay in a 7-4 win over Boston on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Chris O'Meara / AP)
Associated Press

Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames homered during Tampa Bay’s six-run fourth inning, and the Rays moved into sole possession of the second AL wild card by rallying for a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Rays hold a half-game lead over Cleveland, which had the day off.

The announced attendance was 8,779.

Boston slugger J.D. Martinez drove in a run to become the ninth player in franchise history to have at least 35 homers and 100 RBIs in multiple seasons. The list also includes David Ortiz, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams.

Colin Poche, the ninth Tampa Bay pitcher, struck out Christian Vazquez and Xander Bogaerts with two on in the ninth for his second save. Austin Pruitt (3-0) worked one inning.

Bobby Poyner (0-1) got the loss.

Nationals 7, Phillies 2: In Washington, Patrick Corbin pitched six effective innings, and the Nationals strengthened their playoff positioning.

Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes and Trea Turner homered for Washington, which moved a half-game ahead of idle Milwaukee for the top spot in the wild-card standings. The Nationals reduced their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to three.

Corbin (14-7) matched his career high for wins in the first season of a $140 million, six-year contract.

Philadelphia’s Zach Eflin (9-13) permitted five runs and eight hits in five innings. The Phillies were pushed to the brink of elimination after beginning the season with great expectations after signing former Washington slugger Bryce Harper to a blockbuster deal.

Marlins 8, Mets 4: In New York, Steven Matz allowed two homers to Jorge Alfaro, including a grand slam, and the Mets lost to the Marlins to dim their fading postseason hopes.

Amed Rosario cut into Miami’s big lead with his own slam, but the Mets dropped five games behind idle Milwaukee for the final NL playoff spot with six games remaining. They also trail Washington by 5 1/2 games for the top wild card after the Nationals beat Philadelphia 7-2.

New York (81-75) would be locked out of the postseason with a loss Tuesday and victories by Washington and Milwaukee.

Matz (10-10) permitted six runs in five-plus innings in his 100th big league start.

Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith (10-10) allowed four runs in six innings.

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 10 (15): In Toronto, Anthony Alford hit a game-ending drive in the 15th inning for his first career homer, sending Toronto to the victory.

Alford connected against rookie right-hander Ryan Eades (0-1), who was trying to close out a third consecutive scoreless inning.

Baltimore’s Chris Davis homered against Jordan Romano in the 12th, but the Blue Jays tied it in the bottom half on Jonathan Davis’ sacrifice fly.

Jason Adam (3-0) worked one inning for the win.

Austin Hays homered twice and drove in five runs for Baltimore.

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 7: In Phoenix, Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in his return to Chase Field, Yadier Molina also had a two-run shot, and St. Louis beat Arizona in Phoenix, for its sixth straight win.

The Cardinals have a 3 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. St. Louis has five games remaining in the regular season while Milwaukee has six.

The Diamondbacks – who have hung around the fringes of the NL wild-card race for months – were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

Goldschmidt had a big night in his return to the desert after playing eight years for the Diamondbacks from 2011-18. He got a loud ovation from fans in the first inning before drawing a walk.

In the third, he drove a change-up from Alex Young just over the right-center field fence for his 32nd homer of the season and 100th in his career at Chase Field, which is the most in the stadium’s history.

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