Red Sox Vie With Rays, Braves Tie Cardinals for Playoff Spots on Final Day
Major League Baseball’s two wild- card playoff places remain unclaimed entering the final day of the regular season.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for the American League’s place with 90-71 marks, while the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals are locked together with 89-72 records in the National League.
The Red Sox last night beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 to improve to 7-19 in September, while the Rays kept pace with a 5- 3 win over the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox held a 1 1/2-game lead over the Yankees atop the AL East on Aug. 31 and were nine games ahead of the Rays. No team has held a lead that size for a playoff spot entering September and not made the postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Of the 17 times the Red Sox began September in first place, they’ve made the postseason 15 times, missing only in 1978 and 1948.
“It’s really good for baseball, not so good for my stomach,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters. “My goodness, I can’t remember being that nervous in a long time.”
The Braves dropped into a tie for first place in the NL wild-card standings with the Cardinals after a 7-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, their 12th defeat in 17 games. The Cardinals downed the Houston Astros 13-6.
If the Red Sox and Rays are still tied after today, a one- game playoff for the AL wild card spot will begin tomorrow at 4:07 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The same day, a one-game playoff will take place to decide the NL wild-card team if the Braves and Cardinals remain tied. That game would start at 8:07 p.m. eastern time at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
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