AL Capsules: Seth Smith stars in A's 12-4 win
Oakland Athletics' Seth Smith hits a three-run double against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
DETROIT - Seth Smith homered, doubled and drove in four runs, and the Oakland Athletics avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Detroit Tigers 12-4 Thursday in a matchup of AL playoff contenders.
Oakland is tied with Baltimore for the wild-card lead. The Tigers are two games behind Central-leading Chicago.
Josh Donaldson hit a go-ahead single in a four-run sixth inning that made it 6-3, then had an RBI double to cap a six-run ninth that included Smith's three-run double.
Pat Neshek (2-1) retired the only batter he faced and got the win.
Anibal Sanchez (3-6), who held Cleveland hitless for 6 2-3 innings in his last start, gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings.
YANKEES 10, BLUE JAYS 7
NEW YORK (AP) — Streaking Ichiro Suzuki hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning capped by Nick Swisher's grand slam, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto to open a one-game AL East lead over idle Baltimore.
After struggling for much of the summer, the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays and have won five in a row, their longest winning string since June 23-27.
Backed by an 8-2 lead, Phil Hughes (16-12) lasted just five innings. David Robertson got three outs for his second save this season and first since May 8.
Suzuki homered in the third, then doubled in the fourth. His ninth hit in 10 at-bats chased Aaron Laffey (3-6).
RANGERS 3, ANGELS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Adrian Beltre hit a tie-breaking two-run homer off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning, and the Rangers dealt yet another blow to Los Angeles' fading playoff hopes.
Yu Darvish (16-9) held the Angels to four hits and struck out nine in a scintillating eight-inning duel with Zack Greinke, who gave up five hits and struck out eight.
Beltre then rewarded Darvish with his 34th homer to left field off Frieri (3-2), who wasted a phenomenal start by Greinke for the second time in six days.
Joe Nathan earned his 34th save.
Texas (89-60) improved the AL's best record and stayed four games ahead of Oakland (85-64) in the AL West by taking two of three from the Angels.
Los Angeles (81-69) dropped 4 1/2 games behind the Athletics and Baltimore in the AL wild-card standings.
ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Rios was thrown out at the plate, Alexei Ramirez was picked off third base and the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox again failed to come up with a clutch hit in a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
Eric Hosmer singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning. The White Sox stayed two games ahead of Detroit, which lost in the afternoon to Oakland, with 13 games remaining.
The Royals beat the Chicago for the ninth time in their last 11 meetings.
Jesse Crain (2-3) took the loss. Greg Holland (7-4) worked a scoreless ninth for the victory.
RAYS 7, RED SOX 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — B.J. Upton hit a game-ending, three-run homer off Vicente Padilla, capping Tampa Bay's six-run ninth inning and lifting the Rays over Boston.
Tampa Bay salvaged a split of the four-game series and remained 5 1/2 games behind Oakland and Baltimore for the second AL wild-card slot. The Rays have 12 games left on their schedule.
Andrew Bailey (1-1) gave up four hits and a walk before Padilla came in to face Upton, who drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in centre for his 24th homer.
Burke Badenhop (2-2) recorded one out to get the win.
INDIANS 4, TWINS 3
CLEVELAND (AP) — Casey Kotchman hit an RBI single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and the Cleveland Indians topped Minnesota.
Pinch hitter Shin-Soo Choo doubled off the wall in left-centre to start the inning against reliever Anthony Swarzak (3-5). Choo took third on Jason Kipnis' groundout before Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley were intentionally walked to load the bases.
Kotchman fouled off the first pitch before bouncing a ground ball up the middle against the drawn-in infield for his third hit of the game.
Esmil Rogers (3-1) pitched a perfect inning for the win. Both teams used five pitchers.