MLB: Boston 8, Baltimore 7

Sept. 27, 2011 at 11:27 PM

BALTIMORE, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway belted two homers Monday and the Boston Red Sox remained tied for the AL wild-card lead with an 8-7 win over Baltimore.

Lavarnway, who got the start to due injuries to Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, cracked his first major-league homer in the fourth, a three-run shot that put Boston up 5-1. His solo clout in the eighth gave the Red Sox an insurance run that turned out to be the difference in the victory -- which kept the Red Sox knotted with Tampa Bay for the wild-card lead with one game remaining.

The Rays had defeated the New York Yankees 5-3 earlier Monday.

Should Boston and Tampa Bay both win or both lose their Wednesday games, a one-game playoff would be held Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Alfredo Aceves (10-2) earned the victory with 3 2/3 innings of one-run relief and Jonathan Papelbon notched his 31st save despite a shaky ninth in which he allowed a run and stranded the tying run at third.

Orioles starter Zach Britton (11-11) allowed five runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings.

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