The regular season wrapped up on Wednesday with 16 final games and everyone getting a bit of afternoon baseball. There was nothing really to play for other than pride, as not only had all 12 playoff teams clinched, but all were also locked into their seed and position in the bracket.
That means there isn’t a ton we can read into with yesterday’s results, with plenty of teams resting players ahead of their playoff runs. The Yankees were one of those teams, giving Aaron Judge the day off in their 4-2 loss to the Rangers after his milestone home run on Tuesday night. However for one last time in the regular season, let’s check out what happened in today’s edition of the Rivalry Roundup.
Baltimore Orioles (83-78) 5, Toronto Blue Jays (91-70) 4 (Game 1)
A three-run eighth inning allowed the Orioles to rally past the Blue Jays in the first game of their final day doubleheader.
Toronto had opened up a 4-0 lead after the top of the sixth thanks to RBI hits from Otto López (who after this game was hitting a perfect 1.000, having gone 3-for-3 with a walk, in addition to going 1-for-1 on Saturday) and a three-run home run from Gabriel Moreno.
However, Baltimore started their rally in the bottom of the sixth after a two-run double from Austin Hays. The big blow then came in the eighth when a three-run Terrin Varva home run gave the O’s the led for good.
Toronto Blue Jays (92-70) 5, Baltimore Orioles (83-79) 1 (Game 2)
Toronto bounced back in the teams’ second game, with López again having a bit of a big day. His seventh inning double drove home two runs, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the Jays a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Much as they did in the first game, the Blue Jays basically went fully with a bullpen game, and unlike the first game, it got them a win. Other than the sixth inning, where Baltimore recorded two of their four hits and their only run, Toronto’s bullpen shut Baltimore down.
Meanwhile, López will finish this season — in a very, very small sample size — with a batting line of .667/.700/.667. It’s the little things that amuse you on the final day of the season.
Boston Red Sox (78-84) 6, Tampa Bay Rays (86-67) 3
In what could be his final game as a Red Sox player, J.D. Martinez led Boston to a final day win over the Rays. Martinez hit two home runs and drove home four of the Boston’s six runs as they ended their otherwise less than stellar season on a high note.
Martinez’s first came in the bottom of the first, a three-run shot which gave the Red Sox an early lead. After a Ji-Man Choi homer cut into Boston’s lead, Martinez added a solo shot in the fourth.
After that, Boston’s bullpen combined to allow one run on three hits over the last five innings to seal their win, sending the Ray into the playoffs on a losing note.
Cleveland Guardians (92-70) 9, Kansas City Royals (65-97) 2
The Yankees’ other potential ALDS opponent ended their season on a winning note as the Guardians crushed the Royals.
While the Royals took a lead in the top of the first, Cleveland answered with four in the bottom half of the inning and never looked back from there. José Ramírez had quite the performance on the final day, going 4-for-5 and driving home two runs. Meanwhile on the mound, Aaron Civale allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.
Houston Astros (106-56) 3, Philadelphia Phillies (87-75) 2
A late Phillies rally wasn’t enough to overturn the deficit they had fallen into earlier. Astros starter Framber Valdez capped off his All-Star season by striking out 10 in just five innings, shutting out the Phillies.
By the time Philadelphia started to put together a rally, Houston had already opened up a 3-0 lead courtesy of RBI hits from Chas McCormick and Yordan Alvarez, and a home run by Christian Vázquez. Brandon Marsh and Rhys Hopkins got the Phillies on the board, but it ended up being too little, too late.
Seattle Mariners (90-72) 5, Detroit Tigers (66-96) 4
The Mariners ended their season that marked their return to the playoffs with a walk-off win that took them to the 90-win mark.
Seattle opened the game’s scoring in the bottom of the first with Julio Rodríguez leading off the game for them with a homer, and Mitch Hangier adding one two batters later. However after that, the game turned into a back and forth affair, featuring two more lead changes and two other ties.
The Tigers rallied to tie the game at four in the seventh, and the score stayed there until the ninth. Then, after a couple walks and a throwing error by Tigers’ pitcher Gregory Soto, Ty France came up with a bases loaded, walk-off single.