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.
Dylan Bundy held the Diamondbacks to one run in five innings, and Hyun-Soo Kim hit a two run homer to provide all the runs that the Orioles needed to complete a three game sweep of Arizona. Zach Britton notched his 46th save to seal the victory. Baltimore winds up with a 50-31 record at Camden Yards, and will head to Toronto for a three game series against the Blue Jays that has huge implications in the wild card playoff race.
Impact: The Orioles expand their lead over the Tigers to 1 1/2 games for the second wild card spot, and remain 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the first wild card position.
Toronto Blue Jays 4 , New York Yankees 3
Marco Estrada threw six shutout innings and Joey Bautista hit his 21st home run as the Jays won their third straight game over New York. The Yankees broke a string of three straight games without scoring a run, plating two runs in the ninth inning to take a 3-2 lead over Toronto. However, they only added to their own heartache as the Jays scored two in the bottom of the ninth to walk off a 4-3 victory. Ezequiel Carrera squeezed home the tying run (it can be done) and Edwin Encarnacion singled in the winning run to give the Jays their eighth straight win at home against New York.
Impact: Toronto remains 1 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles, and are now three games up on Detroit for the first wild card spot. The Yankees fall to 5 1/2 games out of the final wild card position .
Carlos Rodon pitched eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out a career high 11 batters as the White Sox prevented the Indians from clinching the American League Central Division title. Josh Tomlin gave up two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings for the Tribe. The Indians committed three errors for the second time in as many days. Carlos Sanchez knocked in a pair of runs for Chicago.
Impact: Cleveland’s magic number falls to one because of the Tigers’ loss to Kansas City. The Indians have won 13 of 15 games against Detroit this season, and can clinch their first division title since 2007 with a win over Detroit in the four game series beginning Monday at Comerica Park.
Dustin Pedroia homered for the second straight day, and scored the winning run from first base in the top of the 10th inning on a throwing error following a double by David Ortiz to give the Red Sox their 11th straight victory. Eduardo Rodriguez allowed one run and struck out 13 batters in six innings, but drew a no-decision as the Rays tied the game in the eighth inning, eventually sending the contest into extra innings. Boston remains the hottest team in the major leagues, with two series remaining at New York and back in Boston against Toronto.
Impact: The Red Sox have clinched a playoff spot and have pulled even with the Texas Rangers for the best record and home field advantage in the American League. The Rangers lost at Oakland, 7-1.
Nelson Cruz blasted his 41st home run, Jesus Sucre hit his first for Seattle, and Tajuan Walker scattered nine hits over 5 1/3 innings to escape with a victory over the Twins . Nick Vincent, Steve Cishek, and Edwin Diaz held Minnesota without a hit for the remaining 3 1/3 innings to seal the victory for the Mariners. Hector Santiago gave up all four runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Twins, who suffered their 100th loss of the season.
Impact: The Mariners remain 2 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second wild card playoff spot, and a game behind Detroit. They now head to Houston for a three game series with the Astros.
Houston Astros 4, Los Angeles Angels 1
The Astros salvaged the final game of a four game series after dropping the first three to the Angels in Houston. Joe Musgrove threw seven innings, giving up one run on seven hits, four strikeouts, and no walks to record the win for the Astros. George Springer got three hits while Evan Gattis and Tyler White both homered for Houston. The Astros will host Seattle in a three game series before finishing the season at Anaheim.
Impact: Houston remains three games behind Baltimore for the final wild card spot.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their fourth straight division title in dramatic fashion with a 10 inning victory over the Colorado Rockies in Vin Scully’s last broadcast from Dodger Stadium. Corey Seager tripled in the tying run in the seventh inning, homered in the ninth to tie the game again before Charlie Culberson hit his first home run of the season, a walk off in the tenth inning to win it.
- Asdrubal Cabrera drove in four runs as the New York Mets routed the Philadelphia Phillies 17- 0 to remain in the drivers’ seat for the first wild card position in the National League.
- The San Francisco Giants dropped a 4- 3 decision in San Diego, falling a game behind the Mets. The St Louis Cardinals lost to the Chicago Cubs and remain one half game behind the Giants for the second wild card spot.