Albert Pujols hit a three-run home run off Ryan Yarbrough in the fifth inning and drove in four runs Sunday, helping the Angels snap a six-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay in Anaheim.
The result dropped the Rays 1½ games behind the A’s for the top AL wild-card spot.
“Every game matters. It’s magnified at this point and for good reason,” said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash, whose team next faces the Dodgers in a two-game series that begins Tuesday in Los Angeles. “Losses are a tick more frustrating. Wins are a tick more exciting. But we get to come back and enjoy our day off in L.A. and play a really good baseball team.”
Tampa Bay trailed 6-1 before Austin Meadows’ 31st homer, a three-run drive off Ty Buttrey with two outs in the eighth. Hansel Robles struck out pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi, then worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 21st save.
Pujols had an RBI double in the first and then added his 23rd homer of the year — No. 656 overall. He’s four behind Willie Mays for fifth on the career list.
Indians 7, Twins 5: Roberto Perez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth as host Cleveland moved to 1½ games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild-card spot. The Indians are 4½ games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central.
Nationals 7, Braves 0: Anibal Sanchez pitched seven sharp innings as host Washington avoided a three-game sweep and maintained a 1½ game lead over the Cubs for the NL’s top wild-card spot.
Cubs 16, Pirates 6: Kris Bryant hit two of his team’s five homers as host Chicago moved to two games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and kept a one-game lead over Milwaukee for the NL’s second wild-card spot. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo exited after spraining his ankle.
Brewers 7, Cardinals 6: Ryan Braun hit a go-ahead grand slam off Junior Fernandez with two outs in the ninth inning as visiting Milwaukee won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Reds 3, Diamondbacks 1: Eugenio Suarez hit two home runs, Nos. 46 and 47, to tie the Mets’ Pete Alonso for the major-league lead as visiting Cincinnati won.
Astros 12, Royals 3: Josh Reddick had five hits, including a two-run homer, as visiting Houston completed a three-game sweep. Astros starter Wade Miley held Kansas City to two runs in six innings after being knocked out in the first inning of his previous two starts.
Dodgers 3, Mets 2: Jedd Gyorko singled home Kiké Hernandez with two outs in the ninth as Los Angeles dropped host New York four games behind the Cubs for the NL’s second wild-card spot.
Red Sox 6, Phillies 3: Christian Vazquez had two homers, including a grand slam, for visiting Boston.
Mariners 11, White Sox 10: Tom Murphy walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to complete Seattle’s comeback from a five-run deficit.
Rockies 10, Padres 5: Ryan McMahon hit two home runs for host Colorado.
Blue Jays 6, Yankees 4: Randal Grichuk hit two homers to lead host Toronto.
Orioles 8, Tigers 2: Rio Ruiz hit a tie-breaking homer for visiting Baltimore.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Rays-fall-lose-ground-to-A-s-in-playoff-race-14442242.php.