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Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 09/21/2011

Leading off: Rays face a critical double header against the Yankees

Game of the day: Tampa Bay at New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. The Rays are trying to keep the pressure on Boston in the American League wild card race, and they have a chance to pick up an extra win Wednesday in a day-night double header against the Yankees. They’ll have to beat New York left-hander CC Sabathia (19-8) in the nightcap, and Sabathia has good numbers this year against Tampa Bay. Rays hitters are batting just .216 against him, but Tampa Bay has beaten Sabathia in two of his three starts. Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (13-10) is scheduled to pitch the night game for Tampa Bay, and the Rays have won each of Hellickson’s last three starts.

Other game to watch: New York Mets at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. The Cardinals are also trying to keep things close for the National League wild card, and they will have a favorable pitching matchup on Wednesday against the Mets. Left-hander Jaime Garcia (12-7) has rebounded from a shaky summer, and Garcia has a 2.37 ERA in three September starts. New York will counter with rookie right-hander Chris Schwinden (0-2), who has allowed six earned runs in 10 innings over his first two major league starts.

Games you should have seen:

Washington 4, Philadelphia 3 . In the first game of a double header, Ryan Zimmerman hit an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Nationals past the Phillies. Philadelphia clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs earlier in the week, so they rested nearly all of their regulars Wednesday afternoon. Raul Ibanez hit a pinch-hit three-run home run for the Phillies in the bottom of the seventh after Roger Bernadina hit a three-run shot for the Nats in the top of that inning.

Baltimore 7, Boston 5. Robert Andino hit a three-run double with two out in the top of the eighth inning to lead the Orioles to a dramatic win over the Red Sox. Adrian Gonzalez went 3 for 5 with a home run and a double for the Red Sox, who overcame an early 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Boston has allowed six or more runs in 11 of its past 14 games, and maintains a two-game lead over Tampa Bay — which also lost Tuesday — for the AL wild card.

Stat you should know: 2. Closers age 24 or younger who have at least 40 saves this season after Nationals reliever Drew Storen picked up two saves Tuesday in the double header against the Phillies. Twenty-three-year-old Craig Kimbrel leads the NL with 45 saves for the Braves.

Star of the night: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer went 5 for 5 with a home run and three RBI Tuesday in Kansas City’s 10-2 win over Detroit. The rookie has five multi-hit games in his past six starts, and has raised his batting average to .300.

Chatter: “The future, only two Gods know: Jerry’s God and the real God. They know if my future is here or somewhere else.”-- White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen, referring to team owner Jerry Reinsdorf and whether Guillen’s contract will be extended beyond next season.

By Gregory Schimmel  |  07:15 AM ET, 09/21/2011

 
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