The New York Yankees overcame a 5-1 deficit to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6 and remain tied with the Baltimore Orioles atop the American League Eastern Division.
The Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-3 yesterday to push their winning streak to four games. The Yankees, Orioles and Texas Rangers all clinched AL playoff berths last night with a loss by the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie yesterday’s game in Toronto and then scored two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to pull out the victory in what outfielder Nick Swisher called a “season-defining” game.
“We could have gone down big like that and just packed it in, but that’s not this team,” Swisher told reporters. “That’s not how we approach it.”
The Yankees and Orioles are tied with records of 92-67 with three games left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. The Yankees finish with a three-game series at home against the Red Sox, while the Orioles play three games on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Every game is like it’s a playoff game right now,” Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. “That’s our attitude.”
Both teams locked up a postseason berth last night when the Angels lost 8-7 to the Rangers in the second game of a double-header. The Angels scored two runs in the ninth inning to win the first game 5-4 and temporarily keep on hold the Orioles’ first playoff trip since 1997.
The team that fails to win the AL East will claim one of the league’s two wild card berths, though that would mean a one-game playoff to start the postseason instead of making a best-of-five division series.
If the Yankees and Orioles remain tied after 162 games, they’ll have a one-game playoff Oct. 4 for the division title.
The Detroit Tigers (86-73) beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 yesterday to move within a victory of winning the AL Central title. The Tigers would claim the division by winning one of their final three games in Kansas City or having the Chicago White Sox lose one of their last three games in Cleveland.
The White Sox (83-76) lost 6-2 yesterday to the Tampa Bay Rays (88-71), who kept their slim playoff chances alive as pitcher David Price picked up his 20th win of the season.
The Oakland Athletics, at 91-68, are in position for the second AL wild card berth and beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 yesterday. The Angels and Rays are both three games behind the A’s, who trail the Rangers (93-66) by two games in the AL West.
Four of the five National League playoff berths have been locked up and the St. Louis Cardinals moved a step closer to gaining the last spot by beating the Washington Nationals 10-4 yesterday behind two home runs by Carlos Beltran.
The Cardinals (86-73) are two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (84-75), who beat the Colorado Rockies 7-1 for their fifth straight win. The Cardinals have three games remaining at home against the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds and the Dodgers host a three-game series against the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants.
The Nationals, Reds, Giants and Atlanta Braves have clinched playoff berths in the NL. The Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from playoff contention yesterday with a 7-0 loss to the Houston Astros.