Luke Raley hit a tiebreaking home run and Tampa Bay’s bullpen continued its stellar stretch to lead the Rays to a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday in the opener of a key four-game series.

The Rays pulled within a game of AL East-leading Baltimore with their sixth win in seven games.

Ryan O’Hearn and Gunnar Henderson homered for the Orioles, who have scored five runs during their first three-game losing streak since late June.

Aaron Civale allowed three runs and four hits over five innings with eight strikeouts before turning it over to Tampa Bay’s bullpen.

Colin Poche, Shawn Armstrong, Robert Stephenson and Pete Fairbanks teamed up to retire 12 straight, with Fairbanks striking out the side in the ninth for his 24th save.

Rays’ relievers haven’t allowed an earned run in 34 consecutive innings.

Raley’s home run with two outs in the seventh off starter Kyle Bradish snapped a 3-3 tie.

The game turned in the fifth inning when Baltimore had bases loaded and no outs.

After Adam Frazier’s force play tied it at 3, Civale got Adley Rutschman to hit into an inning-ending double play.


Surging Rangers complete sweep of Blue Jays

The Texas Rangers rolled to their sixth straight victory, as Corey Seager homered and drove in three runs in a 9-2 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jonah Heim also went deep and Robbie Grossman reached base four times as Texas completed a four-game sweep to pull within one-half game of idle Houston in the AL West.

Seager homered off Kevin Gausman in the first inning and put the Rangers ahead for good with a two-run double in the second.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first, but the Blue Jays were outscored 35-9 in the four games.

Toronto dropped 1 ½ games behind idle Seattle for the final AL wild-card spot.


Taylor sparks Brewers past Marlins

Tyrone Taylor had a pair of RBI doubles and a key slide in the fifth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Miami Marlins, 4-2.

With the game tied at 2 in the fifth, Taylor attempted to score on Sal Frelick’s single. The throw from right fielder Jesus Sanchez beat him to the plate, but Taylor managed to avoid the tag from catcher Jacob Stallings to score the eventual winning run.

The Brewers won three of four in the series and increased their NL Central lead to 4 ½ games over the Chicago Cubs.

Miami was limited to five runs in the four-game series and dropped one-half game behind the final NL wild-card spot.

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