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Red Sox making it interesting for Yankees in East

A win over the Houston Astros today or tomorrow, or a loss by the New York Yankees to the Toronto Blue Jays, will clinch the American League East title and give the Sox the champagne celebration they've been chasing all week.

The magic number for Boston remained at one as the Red Sox lost for the fourth time in five games.

And Rodriguez could very well be the team's Game 3 starter should they run into the Astros in the playoffs.

If Boston and NY wind up even, they will play a one-game tiebreaker Monday at Yankee Stadium for the division crown, with the loser going to the wild-card game.

The Astros remained one game behind the Cleveland Indians for the league's best record, a deficit that was in reality two games because Cleveland owns the tiebreaker thanks to a 5-1 season series win.

Rays 7, Orioles 0: Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered, and host Tampa Bay sealed a third-place finish in the AL East. Longoria hit a leadoff drive in the fifth, marking his fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career. He allowed two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 3 1/3 innings in a 7-5 home loss to the Angels his last start. For the Astros, Jose Altuve is 6-for-14 (.429) and Jake Marisnick 4-for-12 (.333) with two homers off Pomeranz, who is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 games, six starts, against the Astros lifetime. But game #160 of the regular season was a win nonetheless, and one all the more impressive for having come in the wilds of Fenway.

CHICAGO - Ian Happ slugged his 24th home run, a three-run shot in the eighth inning that helped Chicago to a come-from-behind victory over Cincinnati.

Orlando Arcia's fielder's choice bouncer to short with the infield in plated Domingo Santana for a 4-1 advantage. But the Red Sox have already screwed up the playoffs simply by needing an all-out, postseason-intense performance from left-hander Drew Pomeranz on Saturday.

It likely will become official late Saturday afternoon because the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays wasn't enough to stay alive. Only four Red Sox have hit more.

Devers had an RBI double and Dustin Pedroia an RBI groundout for the Red Sox, who couldn't erase a three-run deficit.

But no one told the Astros, who in any case seem nearly incapable of losing at the present moment.

Red Sox: INF/OF Eduardo Nunez (knee) took groundballs and ran sprints, but manager John Farrell said he is "still not game ready".

Boston added another run in the bottom of the sixth to get to within one, 3-2.

From there, Aroldis Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with one strikeout for his 22nd save. The victor would get the division title and the loser relegated to the one-game wildcard against the Minnesota Twins. The Brewers only hope is to win their final two games in St. Louis and hope that the rest-and-stay-healthy Dodgers beat the Rockies on Saturday and Sunday.

The concept of a bullpen game in the postseason may seem far-fetched but so is expecting to win with Porcello or Fister. The right-hander struck out 5 and walked 1 among 101 pitches. Reigning Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello has taken a couple steps back, posting a 4.65 ERA.



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