Eflin, two relievers, limit the Orioles to 2 hits in 7-1 win to draw even in AL East

BALTIMORE (AP) — Zach Eflin and two relievers combined on a two-hitter, Brandon Lowe and Harold Ramírez homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 on Friday night to pull into a virtual tie atop the AL East.

Tampa Bay, which has won 18 of 24, has erased a season-high four-game deficit in a span of six days thanks in part to winning the first two of a four-game series against Baltimore.

Heston Kjerstad homered leading off the sixth — his first major league hit — for the Orioles, who have dropped four in a row to match their longest skid of the season. Baltimore (91-56) still leads the Rays (92-57) by percentage points in the division race.

Kjerstad’s homer was the only hit allowed by Eflin (15-8), who leads the AL in victories. He struck out eight in seven innings.

The teams combined for two baserunners in the first three innings before Tampa Bay got to Baltimore starter Jack Flaherty (8-9). Lowe led off the fourth with a homer to right-center, and Manuel Margot added an RBI single.


CLEVELAND (AP) — Lucas Giolito struck out a season-high 12 over seven scoreless innings, Josh Naylor and Andrés Giménez each drove in three runs, and Cleveland beat Texas to snap the Rangers’ six-game winning streak.

Giolito (8-13) allowed two hits and one walk. The right-hander had lost his previous five starts, and was 1-8 with a 6.99 ERA in 12 outings.

Naylor matched his career high with four hits and Giménez hit a two-run homer off right-hander Jon Gray (8-8), who allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings and is winless in six starts since Aug. 11.

Will Brennan had a two-run double in the sixth, when Cleveland scored five times to go up 9-0.

Texas got on the board in the ninth when Sam Huff homered.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres scored when a potential game-ending double play turned into a game-turning error as New York rallied past Pittsburgh.

The Yankees trailed by two in the ninth before taking advantage of some shaky pitching by Colin Holderman (0-3) and some sloppy defense by the Pirates.

New York drew within one when Holderman walked Estevan Florial with the bases loaded and one out. Anthony Volpe hit a chopper to Pittsburgh shortstop Liover Peguero, who flipped the ball to second baseman Ji Hwan Bae for one out. But Bae’s throw to first baseman Connor Joe deflected off Joe’s glove, allowing Torres and Judge to race home and put the Yankees in front.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s RBI single gave the Yankees some breathing room. Clay Holmes worked a perfect ninth for his 20th save. Nick Ramirez (1-2) earned the win by pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Ke’Bryan Hayes had three hits, including a two-run single in the sixth inning, for Pittsburgh.


NEW YORK (AP) — Jonathan India hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Cincinnati beat New York to keep pace in the tight National League wild-card race.

Grant Hartwig (4-2) plunked Luke Maile leading off the seventh. India then homered on a 2-2 pitch.

Pete Alonso had tied it for New York in the sixth with a 425-foot shot to left against Hunter Greene.

Lucas Sims (6-3) got the last out in the sixth. Alexis Díaz inherited a two-out, one-on jam and earned his 37th save — tied for the most in the NL — by retiring all five batters he faced.

Noelvi Marte went 3 for 4 and Spencer Steer hit a two-run shot in the sixth.

Greene allowed four hits and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings.


MIAMI (AP) — Luis Arraez homered twice and Jacob Stallings had two doubles, the second a go-ahead line drive with the bases loaded in the seventh, and Miami beat Atlanta.

In their first game since winning the division title Wednesday, the Braves lost star slugger Ronald Acuña Jr. after 7 1/2 innings because of right calf tightness. Acuña felt discomfort when he grounded into a double play to end the top of the inning.

Jake Burger and Garrett Hampson each had two hits for the Marlins.

Down 6-4, the Marlins rallied with a five-run seventh against Pierce Johnson and Brad Hand (4-2). Arraez’s solo shot off Johnson cut it to 6-5 and Stallings drove in three runs with his shot to the corner in left.

A.J. Puk (6-5) struck out three in 1 1/3 innings of relief for the win. Tanner Scott worked a perfect ninth for his ninth save.

Ozzie Albies hit a two-run single for the Braves in the sixth.


TORONTO (AP) — José Berríos and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run and Toronto beat Boston to snap a four-game losing streak.

Berríos (11-10) allowed all five hits and struck out eight over seven innings.

Jordan Hicks worked the eighth and Jordan Romano finished Toronto’s 14th shutout, earning his 35th save in 38 chances.

Justin Turner had two hits for the Red Sox, but Boston (74-74) has lost eight of 10 and is at .500 for the first time since they were 43-43 on July 4. With the Yankees beating Pittsburgh, Boston dropped into last place in the AL East.

Boston right-hander Brayan Bello (12-9) allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out a career-high 10.


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The Associated Press