Baseball

Tampa Bay, Yankees tumble

Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees lost Monday night, keeping the Rays in first place in the American League East by a half game.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 5 — Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer, John Buck added a solo shot and the Toronto Blue Jays pounded A.J. Burnett, then held on to win.

Toronto assured itself of at least a .500 finish and temporarily denied the Yankees the chance to clinch a playoff berth. A Boston loss later Monday would also send New York into the postseason.

Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer and Curtis Granderson added a two-run drive for the Yankees, who have lost five of six.

The Blue Jays lead the major leagues with 243 home runs this season, one shy of the team record set in 2000.

Toronto left-hander Marc Rzepczynski (3-4) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season. He walked three and matched a career high with nine strikeouts.

Brian Tallet pitched 1 1/3 innings, Josh Roenicke and Jesse Carlson each got one out, Scott Downs worked the eighth and Kevin Gregg closed it out in the ninth for his 36th save in 41 chances.

Orioles 4, Rays 0 — Brian Matusz pitched seven sharp innings, and Nick Markakis drove in two runs with a triple and single for Baltimore.

Matusz (9-12) allowed three hits, two of them infield singles. The rookie walked one, hit a batter with a pitch and matched a career high with eight strikeouts before being replaced by Jim Johnson.

The Rays' magic number to clinch their second playoff berth in three years remained at one. The potential clincher drew a crowd of just 12,446 to Tropicana Field — well below the 23,047 Tampa Bay has averaged this season.

Markakis had an RBI triple off rookie Wade Davis (13-9) in the fifth inning. The Orioles scored three times in the seventh, with Markakis and Luke Scott delivering run-scoring singles and Ty Wigginton adding a sacrifice fly.

The loss was the first for Davis since June 27, ending a seven-game winning streak that matched the longest in Tampa Bay history.

Johnson pitched a perfect eighth for the Orioles. Koji Uehara struck out the side in the ninth to finish the three-hitter.

Baltimore was without manager Buck Showalter, suspended one game following a run-in Sunday in which Toronto star and major league home run leader Jose Bautista was twice hit by pitches. Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon was given a three-game penalty that he's appealing.

Showalter said before game that the plunkings were not intentional.

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