KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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.
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.
Both teams began the day in second place in their divisions, and Oakland held an edge in the wild-card race. The Tigers fell 2 1/2 games behind the Central-leading Chicago White Sox, who played later at Kansas City.
Outscored 18-4 in the first two games, Oakland held down Miguel Cabrera to win the finale. Cabrera singled in four at-bats, and tops the AL in batting at .333.
CLEVELAND — Casey Kotchman singled with the bases-loaded in the 10th inning, giving the Cleveland Indians a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
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.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — 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 to a sorely needed 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
Tampa Bay salvaged a split of the four-game series and remained 5 1/2 games back of Oakland for the second AL wild-card slot. The Rays (80-70) 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) got the win.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers dealt yet another blow to Los Angeles' fading playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.
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.
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.
NEW YORK — 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 Blue Jays 10-7 Thursday night 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.
Toronto trailed 10-4 before a three-run eighth. David Robertson got three outs for his second save this season and first since May 8.