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Best of MLB: AL East race getting interesting between Yankees, Red Sox

NEW YORK -- Twelve minutes into Aaron Hicks' return from 3 weeks on the disabled list, Tampa Bay had loaded the bases in the first inning when Wilson Ramos drove a changeup toward the Yankees' bullpen in right-center field.

"Oh, gosh," New York rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery thought to himself on the mound.

Hicks raced from center to the 385-foot sign and leaped to get his glove above the wall. He snagged the ball in the webbing, squeezed it tight and limited Ramos to a sacrifice fly with his Hollywood grab.

After nearly falling behind on a grand slam, the playoff-bound Yankees beat the Rays 6-1 Tuesday night to clinch home-field advantage if they end up in the AL wild-card game next week (see full recap).

Sale gives up 4 HRs, Red Sox lose to Jays
BOSTON -- Chris Sale has had a few setbacks as Boston has rolled down the stretch and back toward the postseason.

Tuesday was another one of those nights.

Sale matched a career worst by giving up four home runs in a playoff tuneup, including a pair to Josh Donaldson, and the Red Sox lost 9-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

"You can't have a good day at work every day," Sale said. "Unfortunately, what I do is amplified because we're here and we're in the thick of it. To survive, you've got to win games. I'm not doing that, and I'm as frustrated as anybody on the planet about that."

Boston's magic number over the Yankees in the AL East is three with five games remaining (see full recap).

Cardinals deny Cubs from clinching
ST. LOUIS -- Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk homered and drove in two runs each and the St. Louis Cardinals denied the Chicago Cubs a chance at clinching the NL Central with an 8-7 victory Tuesday night.

Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko also homered for St. Louis, which remains 2 1/2 games behind the second Wild Card spot. Zach Duke (1-1) got the win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Juan Nicasio earned his fifth save.

The Cubs were seeking to clinch the Central division with either a win or a Milwaukee loss against Cincinnati, but the Brewers beat the Reds 7-6.

Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (14-10) allowed five runs (three earned) and six hits in three innings, his second shortest outing this season (see full recap).

Twins rally past Indians, close in on WC
CLEVELAND -- When Brian Dozier's home run cleared the right-field wall, Minnesota's dugout burst into joyous celebration with players excitedly bouncing off each other.

The turn-around Twins are just one win from the playoffs.

Dozier's three-run homer in the eighth inning pushed Minnesota to the brink of the postseason as the Twins, with manager Paul Molitor using a club record 10 pitchers, rallied for an 8-6 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night, handing the Indians just their third loss in 32 games.

Dozier connected for his 33rd homer against Bryan Shaw (4-6) as the Twins, a 103-loss team in 2016, lowered their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to one (see full recap).