Jason Vargas earned his second shutout of the season with a four-hitter and Howie Kendrick homered, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night in Anaheim, Calif.
The Athletics, who clinched their second straight division title Sunday, remain a game behind the Red Sox for the best record in the majors following Boston’s 8-3 loss at Colorado.
Vargas (9-7) threw 110 pitches, retiring 15 consecutive batters at one point and striking out five en route to his fifth shutout and 10th complete game in 153 career starts. The lefthander is 3-3 with a 4.64 ERA in his last nine outings after missing almost two months because of a blood clot near his armpit.
A.J. Griffin (14-10) gave up three runs and five hits over five innings. The 25-year-old righthander was 4-0 in his previous five outings.
Rays 7, Yankees 0 — Matt Moore had New York flailing for five wild innings, and visiting Tampa Bay won to push the Yankees to the brink of missing out on the postseason for the second time in 19 years.
Tampa Bay roughed up Hiroki Kuroda in tightening its grip on an AL wild-card spot with its fifth straight win.
Cardinals 2, Nationals 0 — Rookie Michael Wacha lost his no-hit bid on Ryan Zimmerman’s infield single with two outs in the ninth inning, and host St. Louis beat Washington to close in on the NL Central title.
Zimmerman hit a chopper just over Wacha’s glove — the pitcher said he thought it nicked his mitt — and the ball bounced slowly toward shortstop. A charging Pete Kozma grabbed it with his bare hand and whipped a throw to first that was a little wide, pulling Matt Adams off the bag just as Zimmerman arrived.
Blue Jays 3, Orioles 2 — Toronto eliminated host Baltimore from the playoff hunt, using two clutch RBI singles by Mark DeRosa.
Baltimore’s sixth straight loss, combined with Cleveland’s comeback win over the White Sox, left the Orioles six games behind the Indians for the final wild-card slot with five games left.
Indians 5, White Sox 4 — Pinch hitter Jason Giambi belted a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a stunning win over Chicago.
Rangers 3, Astros 2 — Adrian Beltre homered at home for the first time in more than a month and Texas stayed close in the wild-card race, sending Houston to its 11th straight loss.
Mariners 4, Royals 0 — Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and host Seattle won to put Kansas City’s postseason hopes in serious jeopardy.
Pirates 8, Cubs 2 — Gerrit Cole threw six strong innings and Pittsburgh took over the NL wild-card lead, beating host Chicago to move one game ahead of Cincinnati.
Mets 4, Reds 2 — Daniel Murphy hit a three-run homer off Mike Leake, whose long streak of scoreless innings got shattered early, and New York won in Cincinnati, a costly setback to the Reds’ hopes of a second straight NL Central title.
Tigers 4, Twins 2 — Doug Fister struck out seven and visiting Detroit homered three times in the fourth inning to clinch at least an AL wild-card berth with a victory over Minnesota.
Phillies 2, Marlins 1 — Darin Ruf and Kevin Frandsen drove in runs without a hit in the first inning, and Philadelphia handed host Miami its 100th loss.
Dodgers 2, Giants 1 — Hyun-Jin Ryu and two relievers combined on a five-hitter that sent visiting Los Angeles past San Francisco, as the NL West champion won its third straight.
Braves 3, Brewers 2 — Andrelton Simmons’s single to the gap in right-center drove in Justin Upton with two outs in the ninth inning to give host Atlanta a win over Milwaukee.