Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The New York Yankees are on the brink of missing the Major League Baseball playoffs for the second time in 19 years after a 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, who solidified their hold on an American League wild-card spot.
With five games left in the regular season, the Yankees (82-75) are six games behind the Rays (88-69) and cannot catch Tampa Bay for one of the wild-card spots that go to the two teams in each league with the best non-division-winning records.
The Rays are one game ahead of the Cleveland Indians (87-70), who scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning last night to defeat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 and currently hold the AL’s second wild-card spot. The Indians are one game ahead of the Texas Rangers (86-71), who won 3-2 against the Houston Astros.
Tampa Bay and Cleveland both have five-game winning streaks. The Yankees will be eliminated from postseason contention if they lose one more game or the Indians win one more.
At Yankee Stadium, Matt Joyce led off the game with a home run for Tampa Bay, David DeJesus added a pair of run-scoring doubles and James Loney had a two-run double.
Matt Moore pitched five scoreless innings for the Rays to improve to 16-4, while Hiroki Kuroda (11-13) allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Yankees.
In the National League, St. Louis is two games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Central division and pushed its margin to three games over the Cincinnati Reds.
Cardinals rookie pitcher Michael Wacha came within one out of a no-hitter, allowing an infield single to Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the ninth inning, as St. Louis (93-65) won 2-0 against the Washington Nationals.
The Pirates (91-67) won 8-2 at the Chicago Cubs, while the Reds (90-68) lost 4-2 to the New York Mets. The two teams that fail to win the Central division title will grab the NL’s two wild-card spots.
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