BALTIMORE — Ryan Flaherty hit a pair of two-run homers, Jonathan Schoop had a solo shot in his big league debut and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 on Wednesday night to snap a six-game skid and clinch their second straight winning season.
Steve Pearce also homered for Baltimore and Chris Davis doubled in a run to increase his RBI total to 137 — tied with Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead, pending Detroit’s late game in Minnesota.
The Orioles were eliminated from playoff contention one night earlier, so manager Buck Showalter rested Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters and moved Davis from first base to designated hitter.
With a lineup that included Jason Pridie, Schoop and Steve Clevenger, the Orioles ended a streak of 21 straight games of scoring five runs or fewer. Schoop, a 21-year-old prospect, contributed two hits — including the homer in the sixth — and scored three runs.
Indians 7, White Sox 2
CLEVELAND — Rookie Danny Salazar gave Cleveland a much-needed quality start and Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer as the Indians tightened their grip one of the AL wild-card spots with their 14th straight win over Chicago in their home finale.
Salazar (2-3) struck out eight in 5 1-3 innings for the Indians, who won their final six home games to stay with the wild-card leaders. They entered the night with a one-game lead over Texas in the wild-card chase. Cleveland is also one game behind Tampa Bay for the top spot with just four games left.
Swisher homered in the fifth inning off Dylan Axlerod (4-11) as the Indians finished the season 16-2 against Chicago.
Cleveland hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007, but the Indians are closing in on a berth under first-year manager Terry Francona, who guided Boston to two World Series titles.
Rangers 7, Astros 3
ARLINGTON, Texas — Leonys Martin hit a three-run double, Ian Kinsler homered and Texas kept pace in the AL wild-card chase, handing Houston its team-record 108th loss of the season.
The Astros lost their 12th in a row. Texas completed a three-game sweep and finished 17-2 with 11 straight wins against their instate rival.
The Rangers remained a game behind Cleveland for the AL’s second wild-card spot — Tampa Bay is a game ahead of the Indians. Texas has four games left in the regular season, with the series opener at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Rookie left-hander Martin Perez (10-5) struck out eight over seven innings.
Angels 3, Athletics 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jered Weaver pitched seven innings of five-hit ball, Josh Hamilton drove in two runs, and Los Angeles did a bit more damage to Oakland’s home-field playoff hopes with a victory.
Erick Aybar had three hits in the Angels’ final home game of their disappointing season. Los Angeles is unbeaten in its past 10 series while winning 23 of the past 32 games, including four of six over the two-time AL West champion A’s in the past two weeks.
Dan Straily (10-8) allowed seven hits while pitching into the seventh inning of his first loss since Aug. 17 for the A’s, who began the day trailing Boston by one game for the majors’ best record.