Rays dump Red Sox to close in on wild card

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Old 20-Sep-2011
Rays dump Red Sox to close in on wild card

Boston: The red-hot Tampa Bay Rays improved their Major League Baseball playoff hopes by moving to within two games of rival Boston for the American League wild card spot with a 8-5 win over the slumping Red Sox on Sunday.

The Rays (85-67), who trailed Boston (87-65) by nine games as recently as two weeks ago, have won seven of their last 10 to close the gap. Each team has 10 games remaining.

"[The series] was a lot of fun," Rays reliever Jake McGee told reporters after he pitched 2-2/3 innings to record the win. "I love coming to the park every day, everyone has a good time, everyone is getting along. Everyone is really loose and not putting too much pressure on each other."

Missed opportunity

In Toronto, the New York Yankees fell 3-0 to the Blue Jays, missing an opportunity to extend their four-game lead in the AL East and denying Mariano Rivera a shot at setting MLB's career saves record. In the National League, the Milwaukee Brewers inched closer to clinching the Central division by capping a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds 8-1.

The Brewers have a seven-game lead over St. Louis with the Cardinals playing the Philadelphia Phillies late on Sunday.

The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants, trying to claw their way into the playoffs, beat Colorado 12-5 to move within four games of National League wild card-leading Atlanta who lost to the New York Mets 7-5. San Francisco trails Arizona by five games in the NL West.

Tampa Bay's post-season push took another step forward when they took advantage of Boston starter Tim Wakefield who allowed six runs in five innings. Matt Joyce went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Rays, who went ahead 3-0 in the second inning and also tacked on two runs in the fifth and two in the seventh to claim an 8-2 advantage.

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