Red Sox fall to Rays, wild card lead down to two games

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The Red Sox were able to knock David Price out of Sunday’s game, but they dropped another one to the Rays anyway, leaving them just two games up in the wild card standings.

The Rays, who were nine games back on Sept. 3, beat the Red Sox for the sixth time in seven games this month.

Aiming for win No. 201, Tim Wakefield gave up three runs in the second and another in the fourth, putting Boston in a big hole.  Still, there was hope for the Red Sox.  After taking a Mike Aviles liner off his chest in the third, Price struggled in the fourth, giving up two runs, and then left as a precaution.

Unfortunately for Boston, the pitching staff wasn’t able to hold the Rays offense in check afterwards.  Wakefield allowed two more runs in the fifth and Andrew Miller gave up two in the seventh.  The Red Sox came back with three of their own in the seventh, making it 8-5, but that was the end of the scoring for the day.

In the end, the Red Sox lost despite outhitting the Rays 8-7 and collecting the game’s only homer, a three-run shot from Mike Aviles.  Aviles and Darnell McDonald actually drove in all of Boston’s runs, as the big bats came up empty.

The Rays got three hits and three RBI from Matt Joyce, plus two hits and a steal from Desmond Jennings.

Both the Red Sox and Rays have 10 games left.  Seven of Boston’s are against the Orioles, with a three-game series in Yankee Stadium sandwiched in between.  The Rays will play the Yankees seven times, with their weekend series coming against the Blue Jays.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.