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Beltre, Rangers' offense was just too much for the Orioles

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USA TODAY Sports

Beltre, Rangers' offense was just too much for the Orioles

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre had two RBI singles to increase his hit total to 2,998, Elvis Andrus homered and the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 on Friday night.

Nomar Mazara had three doubles, driving in two runs in the first to put the Rangers ahead to stay. He also doubled in the third and fifth innings, scoring both times on singles by Beltre.

Andrew Cashner (6-8) allowed only a solo homer by Jonathan Schoop in his seven innings. The Rangers right-hander struck out four and walked two.

Beltre, the 38-year-old third baseman in his 20th major league season, is on the brink of becoming only the 31st player in the 3,000-hit club. Ichiro Suzuki is the only current active player with more than 3,000 hits after reaching that milestone last season.

After grounding out in the first, Beltre shattered his bat on a bloop single to center in the third, grounded a ball up the middle for a hit in the fifth, and had an infield popout in the seventh. He is 9 for 14 through four games of a nine-game home stand.

Beltre, who won his fifth Gold Glove last season, has also played 62 consecutive games at third base without an error -- a career best and the club record.

Chris Tillman (1-6) allowed eight runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out six, but trailed 2-0 before recording his first out. He has allowed 17 runs in the first inning of his 14 starts.

Shin-Soo Choo drew a leadoff walk on Korean Heritage Night at the ballpark before Andrus singled and Mazara doubled. Choo walked again to start the third, before Andrus extended his career high with his 14th homer.

Tillman was gone after Mike Napoli's double in the fifth, which scored Mazara and moved Beltre to third. A two-run single by Carlos Gomez off reliever Richard Bleier made it 8-0.

Schoop's 23rd homer of the season, and eighth of July, came in the sixth. Chris Davis had an RBI single in the eighth.

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0