Tying the Yankees once again for first place in the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles opened their three game home series with Tampa Bay with a resounding 9-2 victory while the Yankees were losing to the Red Sox, 4-3.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy provided the bulk of the offense for the Orioles, going 4-for-5 with a pair of homers, a double, single, three runs and five RBI.
Hardy's first homer - a two-run shot to left in the third inning - snapped a 1-1 tie, In the fifth, Hardy doubled and scored on Matt Wieters two-run double, then singled in a run in the sixth and finally capped off his night with another two-run homer in the eighth, his 21 of the year.
Baltimore hosts Tampa Bay in the second game of the series Wednesday night and ifnish up with a day game on Friday.
Forgotten after a horrible first half due to injuries to key players, the Philadelphia Phillies have been on a tear and are now threatening to become a key player in the NL wild card race over the final 20 games of the regular season.
Jimmy Rollins singled and homered in three at-bats, scoring three times, driving in the same number as the http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=320911122, in the second game of their three-game set in Philly.
With the Phillies winning and the Cardinals, Dodgers and Pirates all suffering losses, Philly and the Milwaukee Brewers have both reached the .500 level (71-71).
Atlanta has a 5 1/2 game bulge over St. Louis and are virtually assured of the #1 wild card, but the scramble for the second slot is ongoing and getting crowded. St. Louis leads the Dodgers by one game, Pittsburgh, losers of five straight, is two out with the Phillies and Brewers four behind. Arizona is still in it, five games back after topping the Dodgers, 1-0. Arizona's Ian Kennedy allowed four hits and struck out six over 7 1/3 innings.