EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 3, 2012

Playoff picture: Shields fans 15 but O's beat Rays

Associated Press
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay wasted an overpowering pitching performance by James Shields last night.

Chris Davis homered for the sixth straight game and the Baltimore Orioles overcame a club-record 15 strikeouts by Shields to beat the Rays 1-0, pushing the AL East race to the final day of the season.

“That is really the crime of the year right there,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Great fastball. Great changeup. That’s as good as I’ve ever seen him. They were all in it tonight. There’s no letup with that group. That makes it more impressive.”

Baltimore remained one game behind the first-place New York Yankees, who rallied late to beat Boston 4-3 in 12 innings.

Shields retired nine in a row before giving up Davis’ 33rd homer, a long drive to center.

Scherzer hurt during Tiger’s celebration

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Max Scherzer’s shoulder appears to be fine. His right ankle is another issue.

The Tigers’ right-hander will miss his start in the regular-season finale in Kansas City after twisting it during the on-field celebration of Detroit’s AL Central title Monday night.

Manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday that someone apparently stepped on Scherzer after the Tigers had streamed out of the dugout and were jumping into a joyous pile behind the pitcher’s mound.

Oakland in playoffs,

but want West title


OAKLAND, Calif. — This time, it was manager Bob Melvin who took a whipped cream pie in the face, delivered by ex-Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick.

All those walk-off wins from guys hardly known beyond the Bay Area until now, all those moving parts and the long list of injury reports day after day, Melvin has had as big a hand in Oakland’s return to the playoffs as anybody — and his players will swear by it.

With Monday’s victory, the upstart, scrappy, no-fear A’s are now the playoff-bound A’s, and they still hope to be AL West champions, too. Two more wins against the two-time reigning AL champion Rangers would do it, and Oakland was leading late in yesterday’s game.

Cards berth delayed

ST. LOUIS — Mat Latos won his fourth straight decision to finish the regular season and Scott Rolen homered off Chris Carpenter, helping the Cincinnati Reds keep the St. Louis Cardinals’ postseason plans on hold with a 3-1 victory last night.

The Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the second NL wild card remained at one with a game to go, and they were left in the uncomfortable position of watching the Dodgers on television and rooting for a loss for the second straight night. Los Angeles, which began the day two games back with two remaining, trailed the Giants through six innings late last night.