American League wild-card race update: Sept. 23

Andrew Astleford takes a look at how Monday'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.

Monday's key results

Tampa Bay Rays 5, Baltimore Orioles 4

Buzz: The Rays scored three runs in the last three innings, capped by James Loney's game-ending homer to right field off reliever Tommy Hunter, to earn a four-game sweep. Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer allowed four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings, but the bullpen held the Orioles scoreless the rest of the way. Tampa Bay earned its 13th walk-off victory of the season.

Texas Rangers 12, Houston Astros 0

Buzz: The Rangers scored nine runs in the first four innings and never looked back. Houston right-hander Jordan Lyles allowed seven runs and seven hits in three, and that was more than enough for Texas to earn the blowout victory. Left-hander Derek Holland pitched a complete game and allowed six hits.

Kansas City Royals 6, Seattle Mariners 5

Buzz: Salvador Perez hit a two-out double to left field off reliever Lucas Luetge, scoring Alex Gordon, to give the Royals a much-needed victory. Kansas City led 5-3 after the top of the eighth inning, but Seattle rallied for two runs in the bottom half with homers from Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders off reliever Luke Hochevar. Royals relievers Francisley Bueno, Wade Davis and Greg Holland gave up a combined one hit the rest of the way .

Standings update

   W  L  Pct.  WCGB  Streak
 Tampa Bay Rays
 87  69  .558  +1.0  Won 4
 Cleveland Indians
 86  70  .551  --  Won 4
 Texas Rangers
 85  71  .545  1.0  Won 1
 Kansas City Royals
 83  73  .532  3.0  Won 2
 New York Yankees
 82  74  .526  4.0  Lost 1
 Baltimore Orioles
 81  75  .519  5.0  Lost 5

Tuesday's key games

Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees, 7:05 p.m.

Probable pitchers: LH Matt Moore (15-4, 3.34 ERA) vs. RH Hiroki Kuroda (11-12, 3.17 ERA)

Worth noting: Moore is 4-2 with a 4.24 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees

Quick take: The Rays can finish off the Yankees by winning this series. Look for Moore to deliver the first blow.

Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 p.m.

Probable pitchers: RH Todd Redmond (4-2, 3.82 ERA) vs. RH Chris Tillman (16-7, 3.70 ERA)

Worth noting: Tillman is 1-3 with a 4.28 ERA in four September starts.

Quick take: The Orioles are toast after being swept in St. Pete. Win? Lose? Doesn't matter. Let the countdown to spring training begin.

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians, 7:05 p.m.

Probable pitchers: LH Hector Santiago (4-9, 3.53 ERA) vs. RH Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9, 3.39 ERA)

Worth noting: Jimenez is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four September starts.

Quick take: The Rays keep winning, and the Rangers might as well be playing air with a series against the Astros. The Indians must sprint, too, and they will do so Tuesday.

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

Probable pitchers: RH Brad Peacock (5-5, 5.24 ERA) vs. RH Yu Darvish (13-9, 2.81 ERA)

Worth noting: Darvish is 3-1 in four starts against Houston this season, including a one-run, one-hit effort in eight innings Aug. 12.

Quick take: Did the Cowboys blow out the Texans on Monday night? Oh wait, just another day in AstroLand.

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

Probable pitchers: LH Bruce Chen (8-3, 3.13 ERA) vs. LH James Paxton (2-0, 2.12 ERA)

Worth noting: Chen has allowed two runs and six hits in six innings against Seattle this season.

Quick take: The Royals' window is closing. They need help ... fast.

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