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The Juice: Orioles and Indians win tense games to gain ground in the AL Wild Card race

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Emotions ran high Monday night in the Baltimore Orioles-New York Yankees game, and with good reason.

With both teams in the hunt for an AL Wild Card berth, their series would be a crucial one. The Orioles got the jump on the Yanks winning the first game 4-2, thanks to a stellar performance from Chris Tillman, who got his 16th win of the season during a seven-inning, four-hit performance.

The Orioles didn't put on an offensive show, but did enough — using sac flies from Matt Wieters and Adam Jones for their first two runs. Manny Machado offered the biggest power punch with an RBI double in the seventh inning.

The most tense moment in the game, though, came when managers Joe Girardi and Buck Showalter got into a confrontation. The AP explains:

Both dugouts emptied briefly after the first inning, when Showalter angrily exchanged words with Girardi after the Yankees manager yelled at Baltimore third base coach Bobby Dickerson, accusing him of stealing signs. Showalter had to be restrained by home plate umpire Ed Hickox as he charged onto the field.

Girardi refused to go into specifics about what set him off, saying only, ''The one thing that I've done, the whole time that I'm here, and everywhere I've been, is I'm going to protect our players at all lengths. That's what I'm going to do, and there was something that I saw and I'm just going to leave it at that.''

Well, that means you can expect another high-strung bout on Tuesday as the Yankees try to get back the ground they lost. They're now three games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL Wild Card spot, while the Orioles moved to within a game and a half.

Indians 4, Royals 3: In a battle of two more teams trying to stay alive for an AL Wild Card spot, the Indians edged the Royals after escaping a bases-loaded, ninth-inning jam.

Chris Perez shut the door for the Indians, capping a strong outing by Ubaldo Jimenez. The Royals were down 4-1 going into the eighth, but surged back, using a two-run Alex Gordon homer to make it 4-3 heading into the ninth.

They couldn't, however, get another run, so the Indians gained half a game on the Rays. They're now a game and a half out of the postseason, while the Royals are four back.

Giants 3, Rockies 2: The Giants get a tenth-inning single from Brandon Belt to pull off the win.

Dodgers 8, D-backs 1: Or alternatively: Juan Uribe 4, D-backs 1. Uribe goes 4-for-4 and hits three of L.A's six homers.

Astros 6, Mariners 4: The Astros score four in the ninth to win the No. 1 pick in the 2014 MLB Draft ... no, wait. They just won their 48th game. Still a proud moment.

Twins 6, Angels 3: The Twins end a 10-game home losing streak.

Cubs 2, Reds 0: Speaking of streaks: the Cubs and pitcher Travis Wood cool down the surging Reds.

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(USA Today)

Nationals 9, Mets 0: Gio Gonzalez takes a no-hitter into the seventh, but comes away with a one-hit shutout after a barely-fair single from pinch-hitter Zach Lutz.

Braves 5, Marlins 2: The Braves use a big fifth inning, which included all their hits and runs, to top the Marlins.

Pirates 1, Rangers 0: 82 wins. 'Nuff said.

White Sox 5, Tigers 1: No Miggy, no Leyland, no win No. 20 for Max Scherzer.

''I had a stomachache,'' he said. ''That's about as nail baiting as you can get.''

— Indians manager Terry Francona about his club's 4-3 win.

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(USA Today)

Juan Uribe, three home runs and lots of happy Dodgers fans.

• Monday's official attendance at Minnesota's Target Field was 21,826, the lowest since it opened in 2010. But even that figure was quite generous.

• The Detroit Tigers have scored only one run in each of Max Scherzer's three losses this season. Coming into Monday night, they were averaging 5.79 runs per game when Scherzer starts.

• Yu Darvish, who lost to the Pirates on Monday, has been on the wrong side of three 1-0 games this season.

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