With so many teams in the thick of this year’s AL Wild Card race, it can be tough to keep your scoreboard watching straight. Fear not, though: Bless You Boys has you covered. Over the last two weeks of the season we will update you on the ups and downs of the AL playoff picture, and how each contending team fared on a regular basis.
Baltimore Orioles 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Mark Trumbo hit his league leading 45th home run, his second in as many days, and rookie Trey Mancini added his third home run in just nine major league at bats to power the Orioles to victory over Arizona. Baltimore starting pitcher Wade Miley worked 8-2/3 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits with eleven strikeouts against his former club. Former Tiger Robbie Ray took the loss for the Diamondbacks.
Impact: The Orioles recapture the second wild card playoff spot, moving one half game ahead of Detroit. The Tigers have eight games to play and the Orioles have seven games remaining.
Toronto Blue Jays 3, New York Yankees 0
The New York Yankees were shut out for the third straight game, and their major league leading 13th time this season. This time, it was the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman who shut down New York, allowing just one hit in seven innings. Toronto left Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia winless for his last six starts. Jose Bautista’s three run homer provided all the scoring in the game. The blast made him the sixth Blue Jays’ player to reach 20 home runs this season.
Impact: The Jays moved 1-1/2 games ahead of Baltimore and two games ahead of Detroit for the first wild card playoff position, while the Yankees drop to 4-1/2 games behind the Orioles for the final playoff spot.
Chicago White Sox 8, Cleveland Indians 1
Jose Quintana pitched six innings of one run ball for Chicago as the White Sox downed the Indians at Cleveland. Cody Anderson made a spot start for the Tribe, working just two innings. Cleveland needed seven relief pitchers needed to finish the game. The Indians made three errors, two wild pitches, and a passed ball in the loss. Todd Frazier hit his 39th home run for Chicago.
Impact: The Indians magic number is reduced to two, thanks to the Tigers loss against Kansas City. Cleveland leads the Central division by seven games over the Tigers.
Boston Red Sox 6, Tampa Bay Rays 4
Rick Porcello recorded his major league leading 22nd victory and Dustin Pedroia smashed a grand slam to break an 0 for 17 slump, powering the Red Sox to their tenth straight win. The former Tiger allowed three runs on nine hits in 6-1/3 innings, while his ERA actually rose to 3.11 for the season. Kid Rick becomes the first Boston pitcher to record 22 wins since Pedro Martinez in 1999 and has to be considered the favorite for the Cy Young award.
Impact: The Red Sox clinched a playoff spot and maintained a 5 1⁄2-game lead over Toronto in the American League’s East division.
Minnesota Twins 3, Seattle Mariners 2
Tyler Duffey worked seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits for Minnesota, and Miguel Sano blasted his 24th home run of the season as the Twins snapped a seven game losing streak. Nelson Cruz hit a game tying two run blast in the fourth inning before Sano untied the score with a shot of his own. Jorge Polanco homered in the first inning to open the scoring for the Twins. Seattle has won eleven of their last 15 games.
Impact: Seattle dropped to 2-½ games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card spot.
Los Angeles Angels 10, Houston Astros 4
The Angels scored nine runs in the last two innings to come from behind and beat the Astros for the third straight time in Houston. The comeback follows Friday’s six run ninth inning performance, dealing the Astros a devastating blow to their playoff hopes. Kole Calhoun drove in a pair of runs on three hits, while C.J. Cron , Albert Pujols, and Mike Trout and each chipped in two RBI for the Angels. George Springer had four hits for Houston, who had won eleven straight over the Angels prior to this series.
Impact: The Astros drop to three games behind Baltimore for the second wild card spot.
- The Tigers’ playoff odds dropped to 49.9%. They’re still tied with Baltimore in the loss column.
- The Texas Rangers are just one game up on the Red Sox and 1-1/2 games ahead of Cleveland for best record and home field advantage in the American League.
- The Washington Nationals became the third team to clinch their division with a 6- 1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The title is Washington’s third division crown in five seasons.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers reduced their magic number to one with a 14- 1 victory over the Colorado Rockies behind a strong effort from Clayton Kershaw.
- The New York Mets and San Francisco Giants are tied for the two National League wild card spots, one half game ahead of the St Louis Cardinals.