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American League wild-card race update: Sept. 22

Andrew Astleford takes a look at how Sunday's action impacted the AL wild-card race.

Want drama? The American League wild card chase is heating up. Here's the latest look at how teams in the race stack up.


Sunday's key results


Tampa Bay Rays 3, Baltimore Orioles 1

Buzz: Rays left-hander Enny Romero only allowed one hit in 4 2/3 innings in his major-league debut. David DeJesus, Matt Joyce and James Loney each had RBI, helping Tampa Bay earn its third consecutive victory. The Rays’ bullpen allowed one run and two hits.


San Francisco Giants 2, New York Yankees 1

Buzz: Tony Abreu doubled to deep right field off Yankees reliever David Robinson in the eighth inning, scoring Nick Noonan from third base for the clinching run. Sergio Romo earned his 36th save of the season. The loss spoiled New York’s hopes for a sweep.


Cleveland Indians 9, Houston Astros 2

Buzz: The Indians erased a two-run deficit with nine consecutive runs to clinch a four-game sweep of the woeful Astros. Michael Bourn and Michael Brantley each had two RBI, and right-hander Corey Kluber gave Cleveland 5 1/3 innings while allowing two runs and six hits. The Indians are hot at the right time: The victory marked their third four-game winning streak of September.


Kansas City Royals 4, Texas Rangers 0 (10 innings)

Buzz: Justin Maxwell hit a 430-foot grand slam to left field off reliever Joakim Soria to give the Royals a series victory. Royals right-hander James Shields allowed six hits in eight innings. The Rangers’ bullpen spoiled a seven-inning, two-hit effort from right-hander Alexi Ogando.


Standings update


   W  L  Pct.  WCGB  Streak
 Tampa Bay Rays
 86  69  .555  +0.5  Won 3
 Cleveland Indians
 86  70  .551  --  Won 4
 Texas Rangers
 84  71  .542  1.5  Lost 1
 Kansas City Royals
 82  73  .529  3.5  Won 1
 New York Yankees
 82  74  .526  4.0  Lost 1
 Baltimore Orioles
 81  74  .523  4.5  Lost 4

Monday's key games


Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays, 3:10 p.m.


Probable pitchers: LH Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 4.03 ERA) vs. RH Chris Archer (9-7, 3.02 ERA)

Worth noting: Archer is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in two career appearances against the Orioles.

Quick take: The O’s must salvage one game in this series to remain relevant in the wild-card chase. Don’t expect much, though.


Houston Astros at Texas Rangers, 8:05 p.m.


Probable pitchers: RH Jordan Lyles (7-8, 5.26 ERA) vs. LH Derek Holland (9-9, 3.48 ERA)

Worth noting: Holland has lost three consecutive September starts with a 7.91 ERA for the month.

Quick take: Losing on a grand slam in extra innings? Oh, the Astros will provide relief.


Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners, 10:10 p.m.


Probable pitchers: RH Yordano Ventura (0-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. RH Brandon Maurer (4-8, 6.95 ERA)

Worth noting: Ventura allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings in his major-league debut last Tuesday against Cleveland.

Quick take: The Royals are riding high after taking two of three from the Rangers. Winning at least two more against the Mariners isn’t too much to ask.


You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.