The Yankees won their sixth straight game and third straight against Boston, pushing their archrivals to just a game away from getting mathematically eliminated from the postseason. That’s a nice little bonus for them, but the Yankees’ goals are mainly to wrap up the division and get healthy — the rest of the field can fight for the scraps. Speaking of, the Wild Card hunt is still cutthroat, and yesterday had several narrow results that swung in some teams’ favor:
Toronto Blue Jays 3 (85-67), Tampa Bay Rays 1 (84-68)
These two AL East rivals are neck-and-neck for the top Wild Card spot at the moment, and they both sent out two aces in Alek Manoah and Drew Rasmussen looking to break out of a dead-even tie in the standings. Manoah won the pitchers’ duel this time, tossing seven shutout and striking out eight, while Rasmussen allowed just one run in 6.1 innings. Unfortunately for Rasmussen, that run came after he exited the game as an inherited runner on Whit Merrifield’s three-run homer that sealed the deal for Toronto.
Houston Astros 11 (100-53), Baltimore Orioles 10 (79-72)
The Orioles have taken the top team in the AL to task while fighting to stay alive in the postseason hunt, and they nearly got away with their third-straight win against the AL West titans in a barnburner. Orioles closer Félix Bautista was tasked with getting a five-out save holding down a 9-7 lead in the ninth, but instead ran into his worst outing of the season — four runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. The O’s got one back in the bottom of the ninth when Rougned Odor led off with a solo shot to make it interesting, but Houston held on to finally reach the century mark in wins.
Seattle Mariners 6 (83-68), Kansas City Royals 5 (62-90)
Seattle’s had an up-and-down September that has been further complicated by an injury to their budding superstar Julio Rodriguez, but they’re still in prime position to secure their first postseason berth since 2001. Hanging on against the lowly Royals helped the cause here, as the M’s came back from a rough start from Logan Gilbert. Gilbert allowed runs in each of the first four innings, ultimately allowing five runs in five innings of work, but Cal Raleigh launched a two-run blast in the sixth to tie things up and laced a double in the ninth to bring home the go-ahead (and eventual winning) run.
Cleveland Guardians 4 (85-67), Texas Rangers 2 (65-86)
Cleveland drew closer to the AL Central crown with this win against Texas, scoring a run in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to secure the lead. Emmanuel Clase had an uncharacteristic start to his save attempt, allowing a solo shot with one out to tighten the gap to two runs, but he still managed to convert his 39th save of the year in 43 tries.