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Tampa Bay Rays' Nelson Cruz hits a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

BOSTON (AP) — Nelson Cruz homered twice and, at 41 years old, became the oldest player in major league history to hit 30 home runs in a season, powering the Tampa Bay Rays past the Boston Red Sox 12-7 Wednesday night.

Mike Zunino also homered twice and Jordan Luplow connected for the team with the best record in the American League and the highest-scoring club in the majors.

Rays rookie Wander Franco went 0 for 4 with a walk, extending his on-base streak to 37 games and passing Mickey Mantle (1951-52) for the longest by an AL player under 21 years old. The 20-year-old Franco now trails only Frank Robinson, who reached in 43 straight in 1956.

The Rays won their seventh straight road game and increased their AL East lead to 9 1/2 games over New York.

Cruz hit a two-run homer in the third inning and a solo drive in the fifth, giving him 447 in his career and his eighth 30-homer season. He passed David Ortiz (38 in 2016) and Darrell Evans (34 in 1987), who were both 40 when they hit the mark.

Cruz also doubled and singled, driving in four runs and scoring three.

Boston's Bobby Dalbec hit a pair of two-run homers. Danny Santana also homered for the Red Sox.

Drew Rasmussen (2-1) got the win, going five innings, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Eduardo Rodriguez (11-8) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, matching season highs with six runs and two home runs allowed.


NEW YORK (AP) — Marcus Semien homered again, Alejandro Kirk went deep twice and surging Toronto beat skidding New York after Yankees Gerrit Cole exited early with a hamstring injury.

Cole (14-7) was pulled in the fourth inning with left hamstring tightness. He allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Semien extended his career high with his 38th homer and seventh against the Yankees this year It was the sixth homer in six games for Semien.

Toronto won its sixth straight and for the ninth time in 10 games. New York dropped its fourth straight.

Steven Matz (11-7) allowed one run over six innings and matched his career high for wins. He struck out six, walked none and withstood several long outs to the warning track.


CHICAGO (AP) — Wade Miley pitched seven effective innings, Nick Castellanos homered and Cincinnati got a sorely needed victory, topping Chicago.

Cincinnati had dropped seven of nine to lose ground in the NL playoff race. The Reds began the day one game back of San Diego for the second wild card.

They rebounded behind Miley (12-5), who allowed one run and five hits, struck out eight and walked none.

Willson Contreras, Rafael Ortega and Ian Happ homered for Chicago, which had won a season-high seven straight. Happ finished with three hits.


ATLANTA (AP) — Ozzie Albies hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Ryne Harper in the seventh inning, Adam Duvall took Paolo Espino deep with an early three-run shot, and Atlanta beat Washington.

Albies, who had four RBIs and went deep for the fourth straight game, put the Braves up 5-1 in the fourth with a sacrifice fly.

Luke Jackson (2-2) earned the win after replacing Tyler Matzek. Will Smith recorded his 31st save in 35 chances after facing the minimum in the ninth. Harper (0-2) took the loss.

Yadiel Hernandez hit his eighth homer, a three-run shot, for the Nationals.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols homered in his return to Busch Stadium, sending Los Angeles past St. Louis.

Justin Turner homered twice and Will Smith also homered for the playoff-contending Dodgers, who won for the sixth time in eight games. St. Louis has lost five of six.

The 41-year-old Pujols drilled the fourth pitch from J.A. Happ on a line over the wall in left. It was his 679th career home run and 17th of the season.

Alex Vesia (3-1) picked up the win for Los Angeles.

Happ (8-8) allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings. Tyler O'Neill had three hits for St. Louis.


MIAMI (AP) — Pete Alonso hit two home runs, including the 100th of his career, and New York beat Miami to give Carlos Carrasco his first win with the team.

Alonso launched a two-run homer in the first inning for No. 100 and later added a solo shot. Alonso's long ball in the ninth gave him 32 this season.

Carrasco (1-2) threw five innings of four-run ball in his eighth start for the Mets. He gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked one.

Reliever Paul Campbell (1-3) took the loss.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Lauer allowed four hits in seven innings to lead Milwaukee over Philadelphia.

Avisaíl García hit a two-run homer in his return to the lineup and Eduardo Escobar knocked in three runs as the Brewers maintained their franchise-record 11-game lead in the NL Central over the Cincinnati Reds. Kolten Wong and Christian Yelich added two RBIs each.

Philadelphia fell 2 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.

Lauer (5-5) struck out five and walked one. Hunter Strickland and Miguel Sánchez worked the final two innings to complete the five-hit shutout.

Aaron Nola (7-8) gave up three runs and six hits in five innings while striking out six and walking none for the Phillies.


CLEVELAND (AP) — John Gant pitched five solid innings to get his first win since joining Minnesota and spoil Cleveland starter Aaron Civale's return from injury.

Brent Rooker homered for the Twins, who have won six of seven against the Indians.

Gant (5-9) didn't allow a run on three hits. The right-hander had been winless since May 26 for St. Louis — a span of 27 appearances. Four Twins relievers finished the combined seven-hitter with Alex Colomé working the ninth for his 13th save.

The Indians failed to homer for the first time in 20 games, ending the longest streak in club history.

The 26-year-old Civale (10-3) was in command until the Twins scored in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Andrelton Simmons.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Gamel had a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth inning among his three hits and Pittsburgh dealt Detroit its ninth loss in 13 games.

Gamel also made an outstanding catch in left field, slamming into the fence to take away a potential extra-base hit from Derek Hill with two runners on in the sixth.

Ke'Bryan Hayes added two hits for the Pirates, who have won the first two games of the series following an 0-for-6 trip to Chicago.

Miguel Cabera went 3 for 4 with a double for the Tigers, raising his career hits total to 2,967.

Sam Howard (3-4) got the win and Chris Stratton worked around a leadoff single in the ninth for his third save. Alex Lange (0-2) took the loss.


BALTIMORE (AP) — Cedric Mullins homered for the third consecutive game and Baltimore topped Kansas City.

DJ Stewart and Austin Hays also connected for Baltimore, which evened the four-game series at one apiece.

Orioles right-hander Mike Baumann (1-0) made his major league debut in the fifth inning and retired 11 of the 14 batters he faced.

Carlos Santana hit his 19th home run for the Royals, who are 9-4 in their last 13 road games after going 19-37 in their first 46.

Jackson Kowar (0-3) allowed six runs and five hits with seven strikeouts and four walks over six innings.