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Monday, September 30, 2013 12:17 AM

American League

RANGERS 6, ANGELS 2

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas forced a 1-game tie-breaker for the second AL wild-card spot, winning its seventh straight when Geovany Soto hit a tie-breaking RBI double and later homered to beat Los Angeles.

The Rangers (91-71) added game No. 163 to the regular season and will host Tampa Bay tonight. The winner plays two days later at wild-card leader Cleveland in another win-or-be-done matchup.

About the same time Tampa Bay wrapped up its 7-6 win at Toronto to necessitate a victory by the Rangers to keep playing, Craig Gentry hit a 2-run single in the fifth for a 2-1 lead.

Los Angeles quickly tied the game against major-league strikeout leader Yu Darvish in the sixth but the Rangers went ahead to stay in the bottom half on Soto’s 2-out double.

Adrian Beltre and Soto added solo homers in the eighth.

RAYS 7, BLUE JAYS 6

TORONTO — Evan Longoria and Tampa Bay assured the Rays would tie for an AL wild-card berth, scoring six runs in the first inning and then holding off Toronto.

Longoria hit an RBI double as the Rays used their highest-scoring first inning since 2010 to go ahead early. Tampa Bay took a 7-0 lead into the sixth before Toronto rallied.

Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the seventh and the Blue Jays put the go-ahead run at the plate in the eighth and ninth innings. Fernando Rodney got four shaky outs for his 37th save in 45 chances.

ORIOLES 7, RED SOX 6

BALTIMORE — Ryan Flaherty had two hits subbing for Chris Davis after baseball’s home run champ left with a sprained wrist as Baltimore wrapped up its season with a victory over playoff-bound Boston.

Flaherty hit an RBI single in a 5-run fifth and a run-scoring double when the Orioles took the lead for good in the sixth.

Davis was hurt in the fourth inning when his arm got in the way of Jacoby Ellsbury on a play at first. The player who accepted the Orioles’ MVP award before the game walked off to a standing ovation, finishing tops in the majors in both homers (53) and RBIs (138).

The Orioles finished 85-77, giving them back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996-97.

The Red Sox finished up 97-65, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball. Boston will open its division series at Fenway Park on Friday.

YANKEES 5, ASTROS 1, 14 INNINGS

HOUSTON — Mark Reynolds hit a tie-breaking homer in a 4-run 14th inning and New York went into an offseason of uncertainty with a victory over Houston, whose 15-game losing streak was the longest at the end of the season in more than a century.

Mariano Rivera didn’t pitch in the final game of a career that started in 1995. He thanked the fans — just as he’s done in every other city that honored the retiring New York Yankees closer this year.

Then he threw in something a little different Sunday: an apology.

Rivera was honest about why he skipped the final three games of his career. It just couldn’t get any better than Thursday night in Yankee Stadium, when baseball’s career saves leader wept on the shoulder of Andy Pettitte — the left-hander and captain Derek Jeter came to the mound to take him out of a game for the last time.

Roger Clemens, Rivera’s old teammate who grew up in Houston and pitched for the Astros, attended the ceremony before New York’s 5-1 win in 14 innings over the Astros. So did Joe Torre, Rivera’s manager for 12 seasons and now an executive with Major League Baseball.

Rivera was presented with artwork commemorating his career and there was a video message from Kirk Hammett of Metallica, performer of the song “Enter Sandman” that played each time Rivera entered the game.

After the game, the 13-time All-Star smiled when asked if manager Joe Girardi asked about his availability as the extra innings piled up.

“No, no, no, no,” he answered. “Definitely that wasn’t going to happen.”

He was among the earliest to arrive in the Yankees clubhouse Sunday morning and he lingered for a while as some teammates hustled to go home for the offseason. He was still signing baseballs and sharing hugs every few minutes. Some reporters even took a moment to say thanks.

“I’m happy with my decision,” he added. “I’m OK with it.”

Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson were among the players unsure whether they had played their final games for the Yankees (85-77).

Bothered by sore legs, Alex Rodriguez also didn’t get into the game. The appeal of his 211-game drug suspension starts today.

New York finished with its fewest wins in a non-strike season since 1992 and failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years. Girardi’s contract is expiring and he hasn’t announced whether he wants to come back for a seventh season.

Houston (51-111) set a team record for losses and had the most in the majors since Arizona lost the same number in 2004. The Astros finished with the lengthiest season-ending losing streak since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders dropped their last 16, according to STATS.

ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 1

CHICAGO — Bruce Chen pitched 4-hit ball into the seventh inning and Kansas City beat Chicago to finish off its best season in 24 years.

The Royals’ 86-76 record was their best mark since they went 92-70 in 1989.

Chen’s sharp outing put a damper on what might have been the final major-league game for White Sox captain Paul Konerko, who is eligible for free agency and isn’t sure if he will play again next year. The veteran first baseman is second in franchise history with 427 homers and 1,361 RBIs and third with 2,249 hits.

Chen (9-4) allowed one run, struck out four and walked three in 6 2/3 innings.

Jose Quintana (9-7) pitched seven innings to reach 200 for the season. He was charged with four runs and six hits.

ATHLETICS 9, MARINERS 0

SEATTLE — Sonny Gray threw five shutout innings and Oakland had a pair of 4-run innings to close out the regular season with a win over Seattle in Eric Wedge’s final game as Mariners manager.

The A’s now turn their attention to the AL Division Series against Detroit that will begin Friday in Oakland, while Seattle (71-91) enters the offseason with another managerial search on the docket after a 12th straight season without the making the playoffs.

Chris Young got Oakland started with a 2-run single in the second, followed by RBI doubles by Seth Smith and Brandon Moss. Alberto Callaspo had an RBI single in the fifth, followed by an RBI double from Josh Reddick and a two-run single by Daric Barton.

Gray (5-3) struck out eight and gave up three hits.

Oakland finished with 96 wins, its most since reaching that total in 2003.

National League

MARLINS 1, TIGERS 0

MIAMI — Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter with a most bizarre ending, celebrating in the on-deck circle when the Miami Marlins scored on a 2-out wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers 1-0 Sunday.

After Alvarez finished off the ninth with the game scoreless, he had to wait to see if it would become an official no-hitter. A Major League Baseball ruling in 1991 said only complete games of nine or more innings with no hits would count.

The Marlins loaded the bases and with pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs at bat, Luke Putkonen (1-3) threw a wild pitch that let Giancarlo Stanton score.

It was the first of the majors’ 282 no-hitters to end on a wild pitch, STATS announced.

Alvarez (5-6) struck out four, walked one and hit a batter against a patchwork Tigers lineup on the last day of the season.

Alvarez pitched the fourth season-ending no-hitter ever and first since Mike Witt of the Angels threw a perfect game at Texas in 1984.

ROCKIES 2, DODGERS 1

LOS ANGELES — Michael Cuddyer won his first batting title and Todd Helton singled in the final game of his career to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The NL West champion Dodgers will open the NL division series at Atlanta on Thursday but announced they won’t have centerfielder Matt Kemp in the postseason because of swelling in a bone in his left ankle.

Cuddyer went 1-for-5 and finished at .331 to win the title by 10 points over Atlanta’s Chris Johnson.

Helton was 1-for-4 with a walk, singling his first time up. The first baseman is retiring after 17 seasons. The sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium gave him a standing ovation before his last at-bat.

Jeff Francis (3-5) won and Rex Brothers got his 19th save in 21 chances. Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8) took the loss.

BRAVES 12, PHILLIES 5

ATLANTA — Evan Gattis had a 2-run homer among his three hits, Elliot Johnson drove in five runs and the NL East champion Atlanta Braves beat Philadelphia.

The Braves (96-66) won their first division title since 2005, finishing with its best record since also winning 96 games in 2004.

Julio Teheran (14-8) allowed four runs in five innings. Zach Miner (0-2) gave up five runs on seven hits and three in only 2 1/3 innings.

CARDINALS 4, CUBS 0

ST. LOUIS — Matt Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals clinched home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs when they beat the Chicago Cubs for their sixth straight win.

With the top seed, the NL Central champions will host the wild-card winner in Game 1 of the best-of-5 division series on Thursday.

Joe Kelly (10-5) pitched 5 1/3 innings of 3-hit ball. The Cardinals finished 97-65, their most since reaching 100 in 2005.

The Cubs finished last in the Central at 66-96. Jeff Samardzija (8-13) got the loss.

GIANTS 7, PADRES 6

SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence singled home the winning run with no outs in the ninth inning to lift the San Francisco Giants over San Diego.

Francisco Peguero hit his first career home run leading off the ninth to tie it as Huston Street (2-5) blew his second save in 35 chances.

Pence drove in three runs. Jedd Gyorko hit a grand slam for the Padres and Nick Hundley homered.

Sergio Romo (5-8) pitched the ninth for the win.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, NATIONALS 2

PHOENIX — A.J. Pollock beat out a run-scoring infield single in the eighth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks sent Washington manager Davey Johnson into retirement with a loss.

The Diamondbacks scratched out a pair of runs off Ryan Mattheus (0-2) in the eighth to finish the season at 81-81.

David Hernandez (5-6) pitched a perfect eighth and Brad Ziegler closed out the ninth for his 13th save.

Washington failed in the final game of a career by Johnson that spanned six decades but still finished 11 games above .500 at 86-76.

METS 3, BREWERS 2

NEW YORK — Eric Young Jr. won the NL stolen base crown and helped the New York Mets rally when Milwaukee botched two bunts in the eighth inning.

Young swiped two bases in the first, scored on a shallow sacrifice fly and later threw out a runner at the plate from left field. He began the day tied for the NL lead in steals at 44 with Milwaukee shortstop Jean Segura, who sat out for the 10th time in 11 games because of a strained right hamstring.

Vic Black (3-0) pitched a hitless inning and Frank Francisco struck out two for his first save since Sept. 1 last year. Brandon Kintzler (3-3) got the loss.

 

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