Athletics extend West advantage
The Oakland Athletics stretched their lead over the Texas Rangers atop the American League West with an 8-2 win against the Minnesota Twins.
AJ Griffin gave up two hits in seven innings and Josh Reddick homered in the eighth and had three RBI to help condemn the Twins to a sixth loss in eight games.
Tampa Bay stayed in pole position for the second AL wild card courtesy of a 4-3 triumph over the Boston Red Sox. Wil Myers struck the go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning to ensure the Rays avoided a sweep.
The New York Yankees remained one game behind Tampa Bay following a 6-5 success against the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees blew a four-run advantage at 5-1 but then won it on the back of Brendan Ryan's tie-breaking run in the ninth inning.
In other AL games, a seven-run fifth inning helped keep the Cleveland Indians 1 1/2 games adrift of the Rays with a 14-3 win over the Chicago White Sox, and the Los Angeles Angels edged the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 to seal a three-game sweep.
In the National League, Pittsburgh won their fourth straight game - 3-1 against the Chicago Cubs - to draw even with the St Louis Cardinals atop the Central. Jeff Locke allowed three hits in seven innings for the Pirates.
The Cards went down 5-3 at home to Milwaukee, Sean Halton hitting a two-run homer and Tyler Thornburg pitching six strong innings for the Brewers.
Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Wilson Ramos and Anthony Rendon all connected for Washington as the Nationals completed a four-game sweep by sinking the New York Mets 7-2 to stay in NL wild-card contention.
In other NL action, Freddy Garcia allowed five hits and one run in six solid innings as the Atlanta Braves overcame the Miami Marlins 6-1, a six-run first-inning burst spurred the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-5 success against the San Diego Padres and Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 walk-off win over the San Francisco Giants.