ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury homered and drove in three runs, Aaron Cook stopped his five-game losing streak and the Boston Red Sox beat the sliding Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Monday night.
Tampa Bay, coming off a 1-5 road trip to Baltimore and New York, fell 5 ½ games behind the AL East-leading Yankees. The Rays started play four games back of the Orioles — who were at Seattle later Monday night — for the second AL wild-card spot.
Ellsbury hit a two-run homer in the sixth and added an RBI single during a three-run seventh for the Red Sox, who were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. Cook (4-10) allowed one run and five hits over six innings in his first win since Aug. 6.
CHICAGO — Omar Infante's throwing error on a potential double play helped Chicago scored two runs in the fifth inning Monday and the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 in a pivotal makeup game.
Chicago increased its lead in the AL Central to three games.
Nate Jones (8-0) pitched 2 2-3 innings of one-hit relief and the White Sox won their fourth straight.
The game had been postponed by rain last Thursday and Monday's makeup was the final meeting of the season between the two front runners in the division.
Addison Reed, the last of three relievers in the ninth, got the final out for his 27th save in 31 chances.
Trailing 4-3, the White Sox loaded the bases for a third straight inning in the fifth, driving out Detroit starter Doug Fister (9-9).
SEATTLE — Nate McLouth gave Baltimore a quick start with a leadoff home run and the Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners 10-4 Monday night to tighten the AL East race.
Matt Wieters went deep and Adam Jones scored four times for the Orioles, who moved within a half-game of the first-place New York Yankees. Baltimore also opened a three-game cushion over the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild-card spot.
Chris Tillman (8-2) allowed one run and three hits over six innings, supported by Baltimore's 15 hits. He struck out four and walked none.
Jones and Tillman were two of the five players Seattle sent to the Orioles in a lopsided trade for left-hander Erik Bedard in February 2008. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four career starts against his former club. Against everyone else, he is 11-17 with a 5.44 ERA.