There were big Tuesday doings in the East, with two of the contenders facing off in St. Petersburg and the other aspirant winning yet again. And somehow the result was the Baltimore Orioles with a share of first place.
Rays 5, Yankees 2: Evan Longoria provided the big blow, a two-run homer in the third inning off Freddy Garcia. The Yankees' only runs came on Robinson Cano's two-run blast in the first inning, but afterward Alex Cobb held New York scoreless, and Desmond Jennings added a solo shot in the fifth. The Rays' bullpen pitched brilliantly once more, with Fernando Rodney (0.71 ERA) nailing down his league-leading 42nd save.
Orioles 12, Blue Jays 0: Baltimore's Zach Britton, who limited the White Sox to one run over eight innings last week, this time shut out the Jays for seven innings. And the Orioles got all the runs they would need in the fifth inning, on Mark Reynolds' three-run homer; he's now hit five home runs in his last five games. But they got a lot more, thanks to 18 hits off Toronto hurlers.
18, White Sox 9: The White Sox hit 10 doubles and the Twins none, but that didn't help Chicago at all. Among the White Sox relievers in this one: erstwhile starter Phil Humber, who gave up eight runs while recording just one out, and outfielder DeWayne Wise, who pitched a scoreless inning.
Indians 3, Tigers 2: Justin Masterson pitched six solid innings for Cleveland, the only blemish Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, after which the bullpen turned in three perfect innings. The Indians did all their scoring early, with two runs in the second and the decisive tally in the third.
Angels 6, A's 1: Oakland's hitters could do little with Zack Greinke, who gave up just one run in seven innings. Meanwhile, the Angels went ahead 2-0 in the sixth, and tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. The Orange Countians finished with a dozen hits, the Alamedans only four.
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Royals 6, Rangers 3: Texas couldn't take advantage of Oakland's loss, as Jeremy Guthrie continued his strong pitching since joining the Royals with seven solid innings. In the fifth inning, Alex Gordon put the Royals ahead for good with a two-run homer, his 11th this season.
Next Up: All of the above series continue Wednesday. There's a decent chance that by this time tomorrow, the Baltimore Orioles will have first place in the American League East all to themselves. Which would really be something.