- Associated Press - Sunday, September 25, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The Boston Red Sox lost yet again, with A.J. Burnett making his most impressive start in nearly three months and Jorge Posada hitting a two-run homer that led the New York Yankees to a 6-2 victory in the opener of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader.

Boston’s AL wild-card lead was cut to a half-game over Tampa Bay. What was a runaway nine-game advantage heading into play on Sept 4 would be completely gone by the end of the night if the Yankees swept.

The Red Sox have lost four straight and at 5-18 (.217) are on track for their worst September since going 4-18 (.182) in 1926, according to STATS LLC. Tim Wakefield (7-8) dropped to 1-5 in his last 10 starts.

Derek Jeter had three hits to lift his average to .300 at the end of the game for the first time since April 2. Burnett (11-11) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist homered in the first inning to back Wade Davis, (11-10).

Evan Longoria and Kelly Shoppach also homered for the Rays, who have closed the gap with Boston despite going 14-10 in September. Joel Peralta finished for his sixth save in eight chances.

Tampa Bay closes at home against the Yankees, while the Red Sox play at Baltimore.

Athletics 6, Angels 5

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Rookie closer Jordan Walden (5-3) wasted a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning, throwing away a potential game-ending grounder. The defeat left the Angels 2 1-2 games behind Boston and two games back of Tampa Bay.

But Josh Willingham homered leading off the ninth and, after a pair of singles, Walden threw Adam Rosales’ comebacker past shortstop Erick Aybar and into center. Kurt Suzuki followed with a tying double, and Coco Crisp’s second sacrifice fly put the A’s ahead.

Fautino De Los Santos (3-2) allowed Peter Bourjos’ two-run single in the eighth, and Andrew Bailey pitched a hitless ninth for his 23rd save.

Rangers 12, Mariners 5

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Yorvit Torrealba homered in consecutive innings, including a grand slam, after Derek Holland (16-5) pitched his scheduled five innings in a postseason tuneup.

Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler also homered for the Rangers, who matched a franchise record with their 52nd win at home.

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