The Tampa Bay Rays clobber the Boston Red Sox 9-2 Thursday in the first of a four game series between the two teams in Boston; the win moves the Rays to within three games of Boston for the American League wild card.
In other AL games, Texas moves three and a half games ahead of idle Los Angeles in the AL West after beating Cleveland 7-4.
In the National League, Philadelphia sweeps Florida to reduce its magic number to clinch the NL East to two; the Phils have already clinched a playoff spot. The St. Louis Cardinals, trailing Atlanta by four and a half in the wild card and by five and a half in the NL Central, visit Philadelphia this weekend.
Milwaukee, leading the Central, plays at Cincinnati while the Braves host hapless New York.