ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Manuel Margot flared a run-scoring single to right field to complete a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday and the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels, 5-4.

Tampa Bay, which holds the top AL wild card, started the day 2 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Baltimore, which holds the tiebreaker.

“We know that the Orioles are above us,” Margot said through a translator. “We can’t control what they can do. We’ve just have to be able to control what we can.”

Pinch-hitter Harold Ramírez and Yandy Díaz started the ninth with singles off Angels closer Carlos Estévez (5-5). Ramírez went to third on Curtis Mead’s fly ball and scored to make it 4-4 on Isaac Paredes’ single.

After Randy Arozarena struck out and Josh Lowe walked to load the bases, Margot delivered his opposite-field game-winning hit that handed Estévez his fourth blown save in 34 chances.

BREWERS 6, CARDINALS 0: Victor Caratini hit a three-run homer and Blake Perkins added a solo shot, leading Milwaukee at St. Louis in the final game of a four-game series.


The Brewers’ magic number to clinch their second National League Central title in three years fell to three with nine games to play.


BLUE JAYS: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got good news when an MRI on his right knee showed inflammation and no structural damage.

Guerrero, who was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game, is day-to-day. Toronto opens a three-game series Friday at Tampa Bay.

TIGERS: Jeff Greenberg was hired as general manager, adding a former Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks executive to work with team president of baseball operations Scott Harris.

“It’s an extraordinary honor to take on this role with one of the most historic franchises in Major League Baseball,” Greenberg said. “Throughout my conversations with Scott, (team owner) Chris Ilitch and the rest of the team with the Tigers, it became clear that this organization is headed in a great direction with an incredible culture of development and innovation that I’m excited to be part of.”


WHITE SOX: A game in Chicago last month where two women were wounded by gunfire should have been stopped or delayed, the city’s interim police superintendent said.

The Aug. 25 game against Oakland was allowed to continue without interruption after the two women were shot because of “miscommunication” on the protocol for notifying Major League Baseball, interim Supt. Fred Waller told the Chicago Sun-Times.

METS: The team emphatically denied a Wednesday report by an team blog saying Pete Alonso is seeking a 10-year contract.

Shortly after it was published, General Manager Billy Eppler issued a statement, denying the contract demands.

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