Baseball

Rays top Red Sox to extend East lead

Rays 10, Red Sox 3: Willy Aybar, Gabe Gross and Fernando Perez homered off Tim Wakefield, and the AL East-leading Rays beat the Red Sox Wednesday night to move closer to their first playoff berth.

Matt Garza gave up two long home runs to David Ortiz, but the Rays otherwise held the Red Sox in check to win the season series against the defending World Series champions 10-8 and extend their division lead over them to two games.

Tampa Bay, which had never won more than 70 games in a season before this year, can clinch at least a wild-card playoff berth by beating Minnesota twice during a four-game series that begins Thursday at Tropicana Field.

Yankees 5, White Sox 1: Alex Rodriguez became the first player with 35 homers and 100 RBI in 12 seasons — one more than Babe Ruth — and the host Yankees slowed Chicago's pursuit of the AL Central crown. Phil Hughes' return to the mound was cut short after just four innings. Hughes needed 33 pitches to get out of the first inning. He threw 89 pitches — 57 strikes — overall and gave up a run and four hits and two walks. He hadn't pitched since April 29.

Indians 6, Twins 4: Cliff Lee was denied his 23rd win and finished with a no-decision against Minnesota — the only AL team to beat him — and the host Indians completed a three-game sweep over the Twins.

Tigers 17, Rangers 4: Freddy Garcia pitched five innings to win in his first game since June 2007 and the visiting Tigers scored nine runs in the fifth inning to snap a six-game losing streak. Garcia (1-0) allowed an unearned run and two hits. He signed a minor-league contract last month, more than a year after his season ended for Philadelphia because of an injured shoulder.

National League

Reds 3, Cardinals 0: Aaron Harang (5-16) completed a six-hitter as the host Reds sent the Cardinals to their seventh straight loss. Andy Phillips and Jay Bruce opened the fourth inning with consecutive home runs, and Paul Janish added the first of his career later in the inning to help Harang got his first win since Aug. 22, snapping a personal losing streak that had left him 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in his previous four starts.Three homers were more than enough for Harang, who didn't walk anybody and had four strikeouts for his fifth career shutout.

"He looked good tonight, unfortunately for us," said St. Louis catcher Jason LaRue, Harang's former teammate with the Reds. "He was using all of his pitches, and he had pinpoint control. He was throwing the ball wherever he wanted. That's what makes him good."

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 6: Brandon Webb (21-7) pitched seven solid innings Wednesday night and added a key two-run double, helping the Diamondbacks beat the Giants and gain ground in the NL West.

Brewers 6, Cubs 2: The visiting Brewers overcame the loss of injured starter Ben Sheets and boosted by Prince Fielder's three-run double, ended a five-game losing streak. Sheets left after two innings because of tightness in his right forearm. The severity of the All-Star's injury was not immediately known.

Phillies 6, Braves 1: Ryan Howard drove in the first run in Philadelphia's four-run first inning, and rookie J.A. Happ pitched six scoreless innings to help the visiting Phillies earn their season-high sixth straight win.

Pirates 15, Dodgers 8: Adam LaRoche hit a grand slam among his two homers and the host Pirates stalled the Dodgers' late-season surge with an eight-run seventh inning.

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