Two MLB playoff berths undecided as Rays rip Yankees

Long ball: Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a pair of three-run home runs and another solo homer against the New York Yankees on Saturday in a Major League Baseball victory for the visitors at Yankee Stadium (AFP/Jim McIsaac)
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Brandon Lowe smashed three home runs to power the Tampa Bay Rays over the New York Yankees 12-2 on Saturday, keeping Major League Baseball's last playoff spots up for grabs.

On the penultimate day of the six-month regular season, New York's home loss kept the Yankees from clinching one of two undecided American League wildcard playoff berths.

The Boston Red Sox hoped to clinch a wildcard spot but needed a victory at Washington and losses by Seattle and Toronto.

The Canadian club ensured that wouldn't happen by thrashing visiting Baltimore 10-1, keeping Toronto in the playoff chase to the final day.

The San Francisco Giants were looking to secure the National League West division title on Saturday with a home victory over San Diego or a Los Angeles Dodgers' home loss to Milwaukee.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Atlanta and St. Louis have already sealed NL playoff berths while Tampa Bay, Houston and the Chicago White Sox have grabbed AL playoff spots.

The Yankees missed a chance when the Rays delivered a blowout defeat at Yankee Stadium.

Lowe's three-run homer to right field gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead over the Yankees in the first inning.

Anthony Rizzo answered for New York with a solo homer in the first.

But Lowe blasted another three-run homer off Yankees starting left-hander Jordan Montgomery in the third inning and Mike Zunino followed with a solo homer for a 7-1 Rays lead and New York replaced Montgomery with lefty reliever Lucas Luetge.

Gio Urshela's triple in the fourth drove in Joey Gallo to pull the Yankees within 7-2 but the Rays answered in the sixth on Wander Franco's single that scored Randy Arozarena from third base.

Lowe belted a solo homer to open the seventh inning and Austin Meadows sent a three-run homer into the rightfield stands to give Tampa Bay a 12-2 lead.

At Toronto, the Blue Jays got homers from Vladimir Guerrero, Teoscar Hernandez, George Springer, Bo Bichette and Danny Jackson to rout the Orioles.


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