Rays rip Yankees 12-2 as two MLB playoff berths undecided

New York (AFP) –


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 later but needed a victory at Washington and losses by Seattle to the visiting Los Angeles Angels and Toronto to visiting Baltimore.

The Yankees would also seal a playoff trip if Toronto and Seattle were both defeated.

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 their 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.