Tuesday September 24, 2013 | 05:25 AM

The gap shrunk between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's Monday night.

While Boston had the night off (with many of the players reportedly taking in the Denver Broncos game), Oakland beat the Angels 10-5. Two former Sea Dogs shined with Brandon Moss hitting a two-run homer (his 28th) and Jed Lowrie swatting a three-run blast (his 15th).

The A's are only one game behind Boston in the race for the best record in the American League (and home field advantage in the playoffs). The Red Sox, obviously can't let up. See the Tom Caron column.

Detroit fell further back in the best-record chase. Ahead 3-0 against the Twins, the Tigers allowed two in the 8th, one in the 9th, and a walk-off run in the 11th.

Detroit is still a dangerous team to face in the playoffs. The Red Sox can avoid Detroit in the first round if they finish with the best record.

The team with the best record faces the Wild-Card winner. Tampa Bay, with its pitching, is looking good for that role. The Rays completed a four-game sweep of Baltimore, beating the Orioles 5-4 on James Loney's walk-off home run. It was the Rays' 13th walk-off win this year and they are feeling confident, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays move on to the Bronx to play the Yankees.

The Orioles not only fell further back in the wild card chase, they watched their star third baseman Manny Machado suffer a knee injury. He will undergo further tests today. See the Baltimore Sun story.

Tonight, the Red Sox send John Lackey (10-12, 3.44) against Colorado and right-hander Tyler Chatwood (7-5, 3.36).

Now for the numbers: 

RACE FOR BEST AL RECORD
Boston 95-62
Oakland 94-63 (1 game behind)
Detroit 91-66 (4)

BOSTON’S MAGIC NUMBER
To clinch the best record in the AL: 5

REMAINING GAMES:
Boston (5): at Rockies (2), at Orioles (3).
A’s (5): at Angels (2), at Mariners (3).
Tigers (5): at Twins (2), at Marlins (3)

Wild Card
Tampa Bay 87-69
Cleveland 86-70
Texas 85-71 (1 game back)
Kansas City 83-73 (3)
New York 82-74 (4)
Baltimore 81-75 (5)

TODAY’S GAMES
Red Sox at Rockies
A’s at Angels
Tigers at Twins
Rays at Yankees
White Sox at Indians
Astros at Rangers
Royals at Mariners
Blue Jays at Orioles

 

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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