Toronto’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr., left, celebrates with Corey Dickerson after Gurriel Jr. hit a solo home run in the fifth inning Tuesday night at St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rookie Alek Manoah rebounded from early control issues to last six innings and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night to improve to a major league-best 16-4 in September.

Toronto maintained a half-game lead over the New York Yankees for the second AL wild card.

There were no incidents one day after Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier scooped up a data card that fell out of Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk’s wristband during a play at the plate in the sixth inning and refused to give it back to the Blue Jays.

Manoah (7-2) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked six — double his previous season high. Four of the walks occurred during the opening two innings.

Jordan Romano, the third Toronto reliever, walked Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena with two outs in the ninth, Joey Wendle lined a ball just foul down the right-field line on the first pitch, then hit a flyout to right that gave Romano his 20th save in 21 chances.

YANKEES 7, RANGERS 1: Giancarlo Stanton lined a laser beam of a home run, Aaron Judge added a three-run shot and visiting New York kept pace in the crowded AL wild-card chase.

Joey Gallo also went deep – against his former team – and a finally healthy Luis Severino closed with two shutout innings in his first major league appearance since the 2019 AL Championship Series. New York, which remained a half-game behind Toronto for the final American League playoff spot, has taken two straight from last-place Texas following a 7-15 stretch.

Jordan Montgomery (6-6) struck out six in 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, giving up one run or fewer for the eighth time in his last 10 starts. Anthony Rizzo had an RBI single and scored both times after he was hit by a pitch.

Stanton drove in a run with a broken-bat groundout in the first and then ripped a solo homer inside the left field foul pole off starter Dane Dunning (5-9) in the third.

The ball left Stanton’s bat at 118.5 mph, the third-hardest-hit home run in the majors this season.

TIGERS 5, WHITE SOX 3: Akil Baddoo and Victor Reyes drove in two runs apiece Detroit stalled visiting Chicago’s drive for the AL Central title.

The magic number for the White Sox to clinch the division remained at two games.

Reyes had four of Detroit’s 16 hits. Daz Cameron reached base four times and scored two runs for the Tigers, who have won the first two games of the three-game series.

Bryan Garcia (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for Detroit starter Tyler Alexander, who went five innings. Michael Fulmer got the last four outs for his 11th save.

Jace Fry (0-1) gave up three runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief of White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel, who also lasted five innings. Luis Robert led Chicago’s offense with two hits and two RBI.

INDIANS 4, ROYALS 1: Yu Chang hit a bases-loaded triple off left fielder Andrew Benintendi’s glove in the first inning, leading Cal Quantrill and Cleveland to a win at home.

Ernie Clement homered for the Indians.

Chang, who has 19 RBI in 26 games since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus, hit a line drive and Benintendi slipped on the wet grass in pursuit. Benintendi made a late jump and the ball tipped off his glove – he quickly looked at his mitt to see if he’d caught the ball as it rolled to the wall, scoring Myles Straw, Oscar Mercado and Jose Ramirez.

Quantrill (7-3) worked 6 2/3 innings, striking out six and allowing one run on Hunter Dozier’s homer in the seventh. The right-hander made his final home start of the year, finishing with a 5-0 record and 2.20 ERA at Progressive Field.

NATIONALS 7, MARLINS 1: Josh Rogers pitched 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball and Washington won at Miami.

Rogers (2-0) scattered five hits, struck out four and walked two in his longest outing since joining the club Sept. 4.

Juan Soto and rookie Keibert Ruiz had two hits and an RBI each for the Nationals, who closed within two games of Miami for fourth in the NL East. Ruiz, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner on July 30, is 12 for 26 with nine RBI in his last nine games.

PIRATES 6, REDS 2: Ben Gamel homered, Ke’Bryan Hayes had three hits and Pittsburgh won at Cincinnati.

Gamel hit his eighth home run in the fourth inning to erase the Reds’ early lead in the fourth. Hayes singled to score Hoy Park, and Cole Tucker sent Hayes home with a single.

PHILLIES 3, ORIOLES 2: J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run triple with two outs in the 10th inning to rally Philadelphia past visiting Baltimore.

Realmuto lined a shot to right field past the outstretched glove of Anthony Santander, and NL MVP candidate Bryce Harper, who was intentionally walked, scored the winner and set off a wild celebration in the infield.


OBIT: Jo Lasorda, the widow of former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, has died. She was 91.

She died Monday night at her home in Fullerton, the team said. No cause of death was given.

The former Joan Miller met Tommy Lasorda at a minor league baseball game in her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, where he was playing for the Spinners. They wed on April 14, 1950, a union that lasted 70 years until Tommy’s death last January at age 93.

Lasorda is survived by daughter Laura and granddaughter Emily, as well as sister Gladys Reeves of Greenville. She was preceded in death by son Tom Jr.

LABOR: In the midst of difficult negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, Major League Baseball and its players’ association are scheduled to start a grievance hearing next Monday over the union’s claim the 2020 pandemic-affected season was too short.

The timing of the hearing was disclosed to The Associated Press by people familiar with the litigation who spoke on condition they not be identified.

Martin F. Scheinman, who took over as baseball’s impartial arbitrator after the clubs fired Mark L. Irvings, will hear the case over the coronavirus-impacted 2020 season. If the union prevails, MLB might be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

The hearing takes place in the midst of negotiations to replace the labor contract that expires Dec. 1. The sides are far apart in their central proposals thus far, and a lockout starting in December appears possible. That would be the sport’s ninth work stoppage but first since the 7 1/2-month strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series.

MLB suspended spring training on March 13 last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Management and the union agreed March 26 “that each of the parties shall work in good faith to as soon as is practicable commence, play and complete the fullest 2020 championship season and post-season that is economically feasible, consistent with” several provisions.

Those provisions stated that without MLB’s consent, the season would not start until there were no legal restrictions on playing in front of fans at the 30 regular-season ballparks, no relevant travel restrictions and no health or safety risk to players, staff or spectators to playing in the 30 regular ballparks. The agreement also said the sides “will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.”

Starting in late May 2020, the sides spent about a month exchanging economic proposals and virus protocols. MLB started with a plan for each team to play an 82-game season and a sliding scale lowering 2020 salaries from about $4 billion to approximately $1.2 billion. Players countered with a 114-game schedule and about $2.8 billion in salaries.

After a meeting between Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark, the last version of the deal proposed by MLB was rejected by the union’s executive board in a 33-5 vote on June 22.

MLB then said it intended to proceed with the season under the terms of the March 26 agreement, and two days later it issued a schedule calling for each team to play 60 games in a season that started July 23, down from the 162-game season that had been set to start March 26.

The entire regular season was played without fans. About 11,000 fans per game attended the NL Championship Series and World Series, both played at the neutral site in Arlington, Texas.

Base salaries were reduced by 60/162 due the shortened schedule, and base wages for 40-man rosters dropped from $3.99 billion in 2019 to $1.54 billion in 2020, according to information sent from MLB to teams and obtained by the AP.

The union contends that MLB did not schedule the fullest season economically feasible.

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