ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels spent an hour after their shutout victory over Seattle waiting in the clubhouse, their eyes glued to televisions while the Oakland Athletics blew a ninth-inning lead.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Sean Doolittle sat in a chair staring at his locker inside a quiet clubhouse before searching for the words to explain the Oakland Athletics' latest meltdown.
There used to be a time - any year really between 1993-2012 - when reaching 81 wins would be cause for celebration for the Pittsburgh Pirates. These days the certainty of a non-losing season is nothing more than a speed bump on Pittsburgh's resilient quest for a playoff berth. Gregory Polanco, Neil Walker and Ike Davis all homered and the Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox 9-1 on Wednesday night to maintain their grip on the second National League wild card spot. Polanco and Walker hit solo shots off Boston starter Clay Buchholz (8-9) and Davis drilled a three-run blast to center off reliever Steven Wright.
The Detroit Tigers expected David Price to bolster their postseason chances when they traded for the 2012 Cy Young Award winner this summer. After winning 11 games with Tampa Bay, though, he has a losing record as a Tigers starter and his latest setback further tightened the AL Central race. The left-hander gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings Wednesday night as the Minnesota Twins beat the Tigers 8-4 ahead of Detroit's big weekend series in Kansas City. Price (14-12) fell to 3-4 since coming to the Tigers in a July 31 trade with the Rays.
Adam Wainwright is rounding back into the shape the St. Louis Cardinals have become accustomed to from their ace. Wainwright posted his 19th win, pitching a shutout Wednesday night as the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 to hold their 2 1/2-game edge in the NL Central. ''It was good to be back making pitches when I need to.'' Wainwright (19-9) worked around seven hits and tied for the major league lead in wins and shutouts. Milwaukee dropped 2 1/2 games behind the Pirates for the second NL wild-card spot.
Perhaps the Royals are rousing from their offensive slumber at just the right time. Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer, Nori Aoki kept up his tear at the plate and Kansas City roughed up Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale in a 6-2 victory Wednesday night that allowed the Royals to creep within a half-game of first-place Detroit in the AL Central. Alcides Escobar also homered for a Royals lineup that had been scuffling for weeks, and Aoki went 3 for 4 to finish with 11 hits in the series.
The Baltimore Orioles had every right to experience a letdown just one night after clinching their first AL East title in 17 years. It would have made perfect sense, except that the players - and Steve Pearce, in particular - are simply having too much fun. Pearce homered twice and drove in four runs as the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 Wednesday night for a three-game sweep. One of the key components of Baltimore's surprising season, Pearce hit a solo shot in the third inning and a three-run drive in the fifth.
The Braves ended their five-game losing streak but gained no ground in their longshot chase for the playoffs. Three runs scored when Christian Bethancourt's sixth-inning single bounced off first baseman Tyler Moore's glove and into right field, lifting Atlanta to a 3-1 win over a Washington Nationals' lineup of backups on Wednesday night. The Braves remained 5 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh for the second NL wild card with 10 games remaining. Losses in 11 of 14 games before Wednesday night left Atlanta in need of a lot of help.
Carlos Carrasco threw a two-hitter with a career-high 12 strikeouts to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Houston Astros 2-0 Wednesday night. Yan Gomes had an RBI single in the fourth inning and a run-scoring triple in the sixth. Carrasco (8-5) walked one in his first career complete game. His previous best for strikeouts was 10 on Sept. 2 against Detroit, and his longest outing had been 8 2-3 innings on Sept. 7 against the Chicago White Sox.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Derek Jeter ended an 0-for-28 slump that was the second-worst of his career, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Wednesday night.
Someone had been to the costume shop, and Matt Duffy was about to put on faux leather boots, chaps and a pink cowboy hat to complete his travel ensemble. The annual ritual of making rookies wear unflattering outfits on one of the last road trips of the season was underway in the Giants' clubhouse, but it hardly bothered Duffy. ''I told them I feel so good right now, they can dress me up in whatever they want,'' Duffy said Wednesday after his pinch-hit single in the ninth inning sent San Francisco to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Duffy snapped a tie with a two-run single and the Giants narrowed their gap in the NL West, pulling within two games of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost 16-2 at Colorado.
They were rooting on Arizona against rival San Francisco. The Giants won and the NL West race just got a lot tighter. Nothing went right for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Justin Morneau tied a season high with six RBIs, including five as part of an eight-run first inning against spot starter Carlos Frias, and the Colorado Rockies routed the Dodgers 16-2.
Rusney Castillo's long journey to the major leagues is over. The Boston Red Sox rookie outfielder will make his debut on Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 27-year-old Castillo will play center field and bat seventh, ending a three-week sprint through Boston's minor league system for the former Cuban star. Castillo insists he feels no pressure to produce the kind of immediate impact in the majors provided by fellow countrymen like Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig and Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu.
Injured Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won't play again in the majors this season because of last week's beaning. Stanton was hit in the face by a fastball from Milwaukee's Mike Fiers last Thursday. Stanton sustained facial fractures, dental damages, cuts that required stitches and two black eyes. Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Stanton also had concussion symptoms but has been given neurological clearance.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman is appealing his six-game suspension that Major League Baseball imposed for throwing at the head of a Baltimore hitter. MLB penalized Stroman on Wednesday and also fined the 23-year-old rookie an undisclosed amount. The suspension had been set to start on Wednesday night when the Blue Jays played at Baltimore. Because Stroman is appealing, no penalty will take effect until there is a resolution.
Nearly 11 years after Barry Bonds testified before a grand jury investigating the illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs, a group of judges will hear arguments Thursday on whether baseball's career home-run leader should have his obstruction of justice conviction thrown out. Circuit Court of Appeals will convene an 11-judge panel in San Francisco to decide whether Bonds' rambling response to a question about injectable substances was ''corruptly'' an attempt to ''obstruct, influence or impede the grand jury proceeding ... by knowingly giving material testimony that was intentionally evasive, false or misleading.'' ''If I was Bonds' lawyers, at this moment I would be really feeling pretty good that they've got a real shot of reversing the conviction,'' said William B. Gould IV, a professor emeritus at Stanford Law School. Bonds was indicted in 2007, and four years later a jury deadlocked on three counts charging him with making false statements when he denied receiving steroids and human growth hormone from trainer Greg Anderson and denied receiving injections from Anderson or his associates.
Umpire Joe West was suspended for one game without pay for grabbing the jersey of Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre said in a statement Wednesday that West ''admitted that there was a better way to handle the situation.'' Papelbon was suspended seven games and fined Monday for making a lewd gesture and then bumping West. The right-hander has insisted he wasn't making a vulgar motion toward fans as he walked off the field to boos after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of Philadelphia's 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday.