Mariano Rivera earned his 600th save, moving within one of Trevor Hoffman’s major league record, by closing out the New York Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
Rivera entered with a one-run lead in the ninth inning and allowed just a one-out single to Ichiro Suzuki. He was retired when catcher Russell Martin caught Suzuki trying to steal second for the final out.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter put the tag on Suzuki and smiled as he brought the souvenir ball to Rivera. One by one, New York players lined up to hug Rivera and give him high-fives near the mound.
Robinson Cano provided the Yankees offense with a homer and two RBIs, while A.J. Burnett (10-11) won for the first time since Aug. 15 thanks to a season-high 11 strikeouts.
New York stayed four games in front of second-placed Boston in the American League East after the Red Sox thumped Toronto.
Seattle starter Charlie Furbush (3-9) allowed three runs and struck out six in 5-1/3 innings.
Red Sox 18, Blue Jays 6
In Boston, Tim Wakefield earned his 200th win on his eighth attempt and Dustin Pedroia hit two homers in Boston’s highest-scoring game of the season as the Red Sox ended a five-game losing streak with a rout of Toronto.
The Red Sox needed the victory badly after their American League wild-card lead over Tampa Bay had dropped from nine games to three over the previous nine days and the 45-year-old knuckleballer was eager to end the long wait — 0-3 in seven outings since his last win on July 24 — to become the 108th pitcher with 200 wins.
Pedroia, who was four-for-five with two doubles, hit his 20th homer and tied a career high with five RBIs. He was on the tail end of consecutive homers from Jacoby Ellsbury in the fourth.
Ellsbury also had four hits and Carl Crawford had three as Boston finished with 18.
Jose Bautista hit his major league-high 42nd homer and J.P. Arencibia had a three-run shot for Toronto. Brandon Morrow (9-11) fell to 0-4 in his last four starts and 1-6 in his last eight.
Orioles 4, Rays 2
In Baltimore, Maryland, Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as Baltimore blunted Tampa Bay’s playoff push with a comeback victory.
Evan Longoria homered for the Rays, who had won five straight and eight of nine. Tampa Bay fell four games behind Boston in the wild-card race.
The Rays led 2-1 in the sixth, before the Orioles rallied to snap a three-game skid.
With the score 2-2, Tampa Bay reliever J.P. Howell (2-3) retired the first two batters in the eighth, before Vladimir Guerrero singled. Adam Jones entered as a pinch runner and Howell served up a 1-1 pitch that Wieters drove into the left-field seats.
In other AL play, it was:
‧ Tigers 5, White Sox 0
‧ Rangers 10, Athletics 4
‧ Angels 6, Athletics 3
‧ Royals 4, Twins 0
AP, HOUSTON, Texas
Clint Barmes hit a three-run homer and J.A. Happ pitched six solid innings against his former team as the Houston Astros beat Philadelphia 5-2 on Tuesday, preventing the Phillies from wrapping up a playoff spot.
The Phillies needed a win over Houston or a loss by St Louis to clinch at least a wild-card berth, but the National League East leaders will have to wait to secure their place in the post-season after the Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-4.
Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (14-8) fell to 0-3 in his last five starts against the Astros after going 3-0 in his first four career starts against them.