With 10 games left and 6 12 games out of first in the American League East, the Rays can forget about their stated goal of winning the division. But with their suddenly invigorated bats, the Rays have closed to within 3 12 of the last wild-card berth. As for Orioles, they just need to keep taking games into extra innings if they want to catch the Yankees.
Yankees: Not a four-run deficit in extra innings nor a baserunning mistake by a rookie stopped the Yankees on Saturday. After rallying to tie in the 13th, the Yankees scored the winning run in the 14th on an error for a 10-9 victory over the As. "I told you all along that I like the fight in this team," manager Joe Girardi said. "Some of the things we go through, we find ways to get back up." The Yankees kept the game going thanks to the 13th-inning rally topped by Raul Ibanezs two-run homer. In the 14th, Melky Mesa, inserted as a pinch runner, failed to score from second on Alex Rodriguezs single when he missed third base rounding the bag and had to go back. But shortly after, with two outs and the bases loaded, Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss booted Eduardo Nunezs grounder, allowing Ichiro Suzuki to score the winning run. "Right now, every game is magnified, and we know the situation," Ibanez said. "It's a lot of fun."
Red Sox: When a game goes past nine innings, its bad news for the Red Sox. Their 9-6 loss to the Orioles on Saturday made them 0-7 in extra inning at home this season. "When you don't have that firepower, I guess, it hurts," manager Bobby Valentine said. "The guys are giving great at-bats. We're just coming up a little short at times. They're wanting it real badly when they go up there, and maybe trying too hard to get the walk-off." The loss marked another failure for former closer Alfredo Aceves Boston has lost the past 11 games in which hes pitched. "It's kind of like a box of chocolates right now you never know what you're going to get, as they say," Valentine said. "You know, he's got 94-mph stuff, he's got a breaking ball, he's throwing a cutter. He's just getting hit."
Rays: Somebody found the key and cranked up the run-scoring machine for the Rays. They are on a five-game winning streak after Saturdays 11-5 victory over the Blue Jays, having scored 43 runs in that span. "It seems like we've been having more fun," third baseman Evan Longoria said. "That's probably the biggest thing. It's really all about the belief that you can score runs, and we didn't have that for a while. It seems like it's back now." And what does the philosopher king in the dugout say? "We have to have another one-game winning streak Sunday," manager Joe Maddon said. "Anxiety lives in the future. You've got to stay in the present. You've got to focus on today, and that's what we've been doing."
Blue Jays: Shortstop Yunel Escobar returned to the starting lineup on Saturday after serving a three-game suspension for wearing eye-black stickers that contained a homosexual slur in Spanish. "It's time to get back in there," manager John Farrell said. "Whether he's completely over what has taken place, I would venture to say that he's not. These are the things that he has to deal with."