The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Every win these days is extra special for the playoff-contending Tampa Bay Rays.

Nate Lowe hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning and the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Saturday night to move one game ahead of Cleveland for the second AL wild card.

Tampa Bay won its third straight game, all in 11 innings.

“You look at teams that go down to the wire like we’re doing, you have to have some fortunate things go your way,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Travis d’Arnaud doubled off Josh Smith (0-3) in the bottom half of the 11th, and Lowe sent an opposite-field drive down the left-field line.

“There’s not a whole lot that’s better than hitting a walk-off homer in a pennant race,” Lowe said.

Also Saturday:

Cardinals 9, Cubs 8: CHICAGO — Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong homered on Craig Kimbrel’s first two pitches in the ninth inning, and the Cardinals handed the reeling Cubs their fifth straight loss.

Reds 3, Mets 2: CINCINNATI — Pinch hitter Christian Colon’s single broke an eighth-inning tie, lifting Cincinnati over the Mets and dealing New York a critical defeat in the NL wild card race.

Angels 8, Astros 4: HOUSTON — Houston remained just shy of its third straight AL West title, wasting a chance to clinch in a loss to Los Angeles.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 2: NEW YORK — Giancarlo Stanton launched his first homer since missing nearly three months to injury and New York beat Toronto.

White Sox 5, Tigers 3: DETROIT — Tim Anderson homered in a three-run fifth inning, and Chicago beat Detroit.

Braves 8, Giants 1: ATLANTA — Max Fried strengthened his case for a spot in the postseason rotation by throwing 51⁄3 scoreless innings and Atlanta beat San Francisco.

Brewers 10, Pirates 1: MILWAUKEE — Rookies Keston Hiura and Trent Grisham each hit two-run homers and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh to increase its edge for the second NL wild-card spot.

Nationals 10, Marlins 4: MIAMI — Brian Dozier hit a go-ahead RBI single during Washington’s six-run 10th inning in a win over Miami.

Phillies 9, Indians 4: CLEVELAND — Bryce Harper connected for a three-run homer, and Philadelphia avoided sliding deeper in the NL wild-card standings with a win over Cleveland.

Royals 12, Twins 5: MINNEAPOLIS — Closer Taylor Rogers got tagged during a seven-run ninth inning, and Minnesota missed a chance to add to its AL Central lead in a loss to Kansas City.

Mariners 7, Orioles 6: BALTIMORE — Mallex Smith scored from second base in the 13th inning and Seattle outlasted Baltimore.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2: SAN DIEGO — Rod Barajas lost his San Diego debut as interim manager, falling to Arizona.

Rockies 4, Dodgers 2: LOS ANGELES — Ryan McMahon and Josh Fuentes hit solo homers, and Colorado defeated Los Angeles to snap a 12-game skid at Dodger Stadium.

Athletics 12, Rangers 3: OAKLAND, Calif. — Marcus Semien hit his 32nd home run and Oakland routed Texas to maintain its two-game lead in the AL wild card race.

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