The Tampa Bay Rays were nine games off the AL wild-card lead following a 3-2 loss to Baltimore on September 2. They have since shaved six games off the deficit by winning eight of their last nine, including Monday’s 5-2 triumph against the Orioles.
Ben Zobrist had three hits and three RBIs to help the Rays pull within three games of the wild card-leading Boston Red Sox.
B.J. Upton doubled twice and walked twice to set a Rays record by reaching base in nine straight plate appearances. Jeff Niemann pitched into the eighth inning of Tampa Bay’s fifth consecutive win.