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Rays clinch AL wild card with stunning rally

Posted: September 29, 2011 9:09 AM ; Updated: September 29, 2011 9:09 AM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Down by nine games in early September, down by seven runs on the final day of the season.

And yet somehow, these Tampa Bay Rays made it to the playoffs.

Evan Longoria capped a startling comeback by hitting his second home run of the game, hooking a drive barely inside the left-field foul pole in the 12th inning Wednesday night and giving the Rays the AL wild-card spot with an 8-7 win over the New York Yankees.

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Red Sox lose to Orioles 4-3

Posted: September 29, 2011 9:07 AM ; Updated: September 29, 2011 9:11 AM

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Jon Lester stood in front of a pack of reporters and cameramen, wearing a sharp suit with nowhere to go but home.

Someone asked the Boston Red Sox pitcher what he will remember most about this season, and without hesitation he whispered a one-word answer.


The Red Sox completed their late-season collapse in horrific and historic fashion Wednesday night, falling out of the playoff chase by allowing two ninth-inning runs in a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles .

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Cards win, earn NL wild card when Braves lose

Posted: September 29, 2011 9:05 AM ; Updated: September 29, 2011 9:06 AM

HOUSTON (AP) -- Tony La Russa clicked photos with his cell phone as the St. Louis Cardinals danced, yelled and doused each other with beer and champagne in a celebration none of them envisioned less than a month ago.

Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals completed one of baseball's greatest comebacks on Wednesday night, clinching the NL wild card with an 8-0 win over Houston and a later loss by Atlanta.

The Cardinals got their playoff spot when the Braves fell to Philadelphia 4-3 in 13 innings.

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Red Sox beat Orioles 8-7, stay tied for wild card

Posted: September 28, 2011 12:57 PM ; Updated: September 28, 2011 12:57 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox celebrated a rare September victory for about 20 minutes before turning their attention toward their next game - the last and most important of the 162-game schedule.

The Red Sox maintained a share of the AL wild-card lead Tuesday night, using four home runs to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 and set up a dramatic conclusion to the regular season.

The skidding Red Sox were 6-19 this month before rebounding to edge the last-place Orioles. The win, combined with Tampa Bay's 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees , kept Boston and the Rays tied with one game left.

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Start Bill-ieving: Buffalo 3-0 after beating Pats

Posted: September 26, 2011 10:51 AM ; Updated: September 26, 2011 10:51 AM

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- No matter how big the deficit, no matter which opponent, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills are proving they're not the same old NFL pushovers.

One week it's rallying to beat Oakland, the next it's storming back to conquer an even bigger nemesis: AFC East rival New England.

Rian Lindell made a 28-yard field goal as time ran out to seal a 34-31 win over the Patriots on Sunday after the Bills erased a 21-0 second-quarter deficit. The win has Buffalo - a team which hasn't reached the playoffs in 11 seasons - off to a 3-0 start and sitting alone on top of the division.

It's early, sure, but maybe it's time to start Bill-ieving.

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Vick hurts hand as Eagles fall to Giants 29-16

Posted: September 26, 2011 10:49 AM ; Updated: September 28, 2011 3:42 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Vick got a helping hand from an official after a hard shot knocked him to the ground and left him with a broken right hand.

He didn't get the call.

With Vick sidelined again, Eli Manning and the New York Giants wouldn't let the Philadelphia Eagles finish off their comeback.

Manning threw four touchdown passes, including two to Victor Cruz , and the Giants beat the Eagles 29-16 Sunday.

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Lions stun Vikings for first 3-0 start since 1980

Posted: September 26, 2011 10:46 AM ; Updated: September 26, 2011 10:46 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- That 20-0 halftime deficit under the Metrodome might've stifled many of their predecessors, but these Detroit Lions weren't deterred. Each week, it seems, they're stopping some kind of long losing trend.

That 20-point halftime lead held by the Vikings? It still wasn't big enough for a team making a troubling habit of second-half stumbles.

Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes in the second half to Calvin Johnson to rally Detroit, and Jason Hanson 's fourth field goal of the game gave the Lions a 26-23 overtime victory over the Vikings on Sunday.

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