Austin Meadows’ three-run homer highlighted Tampa Bay’s six-run third inning Wednesday afternoon, securing a playoff berth for the Rays in a 7-1 drubbing of the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
After losing Tuesday despite being issued 11 walks and a hit batter, the Rays erupted by batting around against Toronto for the third time this season.
Meadows struck the big blow. Yandy Diaz (sacrifice fly) and Taylor Walls (two-run single) brought home tallies as Tampa Bay sent 10 men to the plate, setting the groundwork for the Rays’ 11th win in 19 games against their Canadian rival.
The victory sent the American League East-leading Rays to their third consecutive postseason — seventh in club history — and improved their major-league-best record in day games to 39-19.
Cardinals 10, Brewers 2
Tyler O’Neill and Paul Goldschmidt hit two-run homers as St. Louis pounded host Milwaukee for its 11th consecutive victory, extending its lead in the National League wild-card chase.
The Cardinals moved 4 1/2 games in front of Cincinnati and Philadelphia for the second NL wild card. St. Louis is within 8 1/2 games of NL Central-leading Milwaukee, which has lost four straight and six of its past eight.
Miles Mikolas (2-2) threw seven innings of two-run ball for the win. Brewers starter Brett Anderson (4-9) came off the injured list and took the loss, yielding six runs, just two earned, on six hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Yankees 7, Rangers 3
Gleyber Torres hit a tiebreaking double with two outs in the eighth, Gary Sanchez hit a long two-run homer later in the inning and New York moved back into the American League’s second wild-card spot with a victory over visiting Texas.
The Yankees won their third straight after losing 15 of 22 and moved a half-game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card. Gio Urshela and Kyle Higashioka each had a pair of hits for New York.
Willie Calhoun, Brock Holt and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit RBI singles off New York’s Corey Kluber but Texas lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Kluber, who no-hit the Rangers May 19 in Texas, allowed three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Red Sox 12, Mets 5
Kyle Schwarber smacked a pair of home runs and drove in four runs as Boston completed a two-game sweep of visiting New York and earned its seventh consecutive victory.
Chris Sale (5-0) tossed five innings of two-run, six-hit ball with two walks and eight strikeouts. Alex Verdugo and Jose Iglesias each had a pair of RBIs for the Red Sox, who remained two games ahead of Yankees for the top American League wild-card spot.
Pete Alonso hit a solo home run for the Mets, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Phillies 4, Orioles 3
Andrew McCutchen homered and Jean Segura delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly to lift host Philadelphia past Baltimore.
Segura and Matt Vierling each had two hits for the Phillies, who won their second in a row. Zack Wheeler tossed six solid innings and gave up four hits and one run with nine strikeouts and two walks in a no-decision.
Pat Valaika led the Orioles with two hits. Baltimore starter Keegan Akin, who entered the game with a 6.93 ERA, allowed just five hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings.
Twins 5, Cubs 4
Max Kepler went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs and Joe Ryan pitched five strong innings as visiting Minnesota edged Chicago to sweep a two-game series.
Minnesota’s Juan Minaya, Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala each logged a scoreless inning before Alex Colome worked around Ian Happ’s RBI single and three Cubs stolen bases in a two-run ninth to earn his 15th save.
Ryan struck out 11 while yielding two runs on three hits and a walk. Nico Hoerner hit a two-run single for the Cubs, who have lost nine of 11.
Nationals 7, Marlins 5
Juan Soto clubbed one of three Washington homers and Josiah Gray earned his first major league victory as the Nationals prevailed at Miami.
The Marlins threatened to win the game in the bottom of the ninth as Nick Fortes (two-run blast) and Sandy Leon (solo shot) each homered off reliever Ryne Harper. However, Tanner Rainey got the last two outs for the second save of his career.
Yadiel Hernandez and Luis Garcia also went deep for the Nationals. Soto went 3-for-3 with a double, a single, two walks and his 387-foot dinger. Gray (1-2) struck out eight in six innings, allowing six hits, one walk and two runs.
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