BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox clinched the AL East title on Friday night, getting seven strong innings from Jon Lester to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 and eliminate Tampa Bay from the division race.
One night after securing their first playoff appearance since 2009, the Red Sox added their first division title since `07. Boston entered the night with a magic number of one - meaning the next Red Sox win or Rays loss would clinch the division.
Lester (15-8) allowed one run on five hits and two walks, striking out eight to win for the seventh time in nine decisions. It was his 100th career victory.
Toronto pinch-hitter Adam Lind hit a two-run homer off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth to make it 5-3 before Koji Uehara got five outs for his 20th save. With the crowd standing for most of the final inning, he struck out Brett Lawrie to end the game and the Red Sox poured out of the dugout and bullpen.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won 19 of their last 25.
Toronto starter Esmil Rogers (5-8) did not make it out of the third inning, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks and striking out two while getting only seven outs.
TIGERS 12, WHITE SOX 5
DETROIT (AP) - Max Scherzer became baseball's first 20-game winner, pitching through a rainy six innings to help Detroit defeat Chicago.
Scherzer (20-3) was making his fifth attempt to win No. 20. He had two losses and two no-decisions in his previous four starts. Torii Hunter had four hits for Detroit, and Victor Martinez homered.
Dylan Axelrod (4-10) allowed seven runs in 2 2-3 innings.
The AL Central-leading Tigers lowered their magic number to eliminate second-place Cleveland to three.
INDIANS 2, ASTROS 1, 6 1-2 INNINGS
CLEVELAND (AP) - Zach McAllister lasted five innings and the Cleveland Indians got two gift runs from Houston in a 2-1, rain-shortened victory over the Astros on Friday night to remain near the top of the AL wild-card standings.
The game was delayed for 1 hour, 9 minutes before the umpires decided to call it after 6 1-2 innings.
The Indians, who entered the night trailing both Tampa Bay and Texas by one-half game for a wild-card spot, scored an unearned run in the second and fourth innings off Brett Oberholtzer (4-4).
McAllister (9-9) allowed just one run and got a key double play in the fifth. Bryan Shaw went 1 1-3 innings for his first save.
INTERLEGEAGUE
YANKEES 5, GIANTS 1
NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez set a major league record with his 24th career grand slam, passing Lou Gehrig with a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning that sent New York Yankees to victory over San Francisco.
Rodriguez's slam helped CC Sabathia (14-13) beat Tim Lincecum in a matchup of former Cy Young Award-winners having subpar seasons.
More importantly for the Yankees, it led them to their second win in seven games as they cling to faint playoff hopes. New York began the day 3 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay and Texas for the second AL wild card, with three other teams in between.
Alfonso Soriano also homered and New York opened its final homestand of the season with a much-needed victory, hours after pitcher Andy Pettitte announced his plans to retire - again - following this season.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Opening 2018 World Series Odds The 2018 World Series opening odds have been released. Who is favored, who is the biggest challenger, and who is also in the mix?
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Are the Houston Astros going to clinch their first-ever World Series title Wednesday night in Game 7 with an upset win at the Los Angeles Dodgers? Game time is...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Can the Houston Astros clinch their first-ever World Series title Tuesday night in Game 6 at the Los Angeles...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Los Angeles Dodgers going to ride Clayton Kershaw to a victory over the host Houston Astros in a pivotal Game 5 of the World Series Sunday night? First pitch is at...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Houston Astros going to win a third straight game over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night in Game 4 of the World Series? First pitch is at...

MLB Team Pages