AL Wild Card Roundup: New York and Baltimore clinch playoff berths, Rays hold their place in the race
By Jenna West
‘s solid performance helped keep the Rays in the hunt for the AL wild card. Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
The Rays dominated the Chicago White Sox Sunday, winning eleven games out of their last twelve. David Price also earned his 20th win of the season, becoming the first Rays’ pitcher to do so. As they continue to seek an AL Wild Card slot, let’s see how the other contenders fared.
Baltimore 6, Boston 3
Baltimore’s Nate McLouth started the game with a leadoff homerun in the bottom of the first inning. Red Sox pitcher Zach Stewart gave up two more runs in the inning. The Orioles came up big again in the bottom of the third inning as J.J. Hardy hit a solo shot to left field and Adam Jones scored off of Jim Thome’s single to right field. Boston’s Cody Ross retaliated with a solo homerun to left field in the top of the fourth inning, but Baltimore’s Chris Davis returned the favor with a homerun to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning. Boston came up big again in the top of the seventh inning as Daniel Nava hit a two run homerun, allowing Ryan Lavarnway to score, but it was not enough to win the game.
Oakland 5, Seattle 2
Erasmo Ramirez took the mound for Seattle, only to give up a triple to A’s Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the first inning, allowing Stephen Drew to score. Cespedes went on to score off of Brandon Moss’ sacrifice fly to center field. Seattle’s offense got hot in the top of the third inning as Kyle Seager singled off of Oakland starting pitcher Tommy Milone. Franklin Guiterrez scored on the play, and Casper Wells also scored in the inning to tie the game. However, Oakland was able to pull away with the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning as Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo shot to left field. Josh Reddick solidified the lead with a two run homerun, with Brandon Moss also scoring on the play.
New York 6, Toronto 6
New York’s starting pitcher Phil Hughes gave up a double to Toronto’s Yunel Escobar in the bottom of the first inning, allowing Rajai Davis to score. Edwin Encarnacion also scored in the inning off of Adam Lind’s sacrifice fly to center field. New York’s Eric Chavez hit a one run homerun to right field in the top of the third inning off of Toronto pitcher Henderson Alvarez. Toronto’s Brett Lawrie returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth inning while hitting a two run homerun. Yunel Escobar also scored in the inning off of Moises Sierra’s single. In the top of the sixth inning, Robinson Cano scored off of a wild pitch by Toronto’s Alvarez. New York went on to have an explosive seventh inning and tie the game as three runners scored, including Alex Rodirguez off of a wild pitch thrown by Toronto’s relief pitcher Aaron Loup. However, New York broke away with a lead in the eighth inning as two runners scored, and Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano also scored in the top of the ninth inning. Brett Lawrie scored for Toronto in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Angels v. Rangers Doubleheader
Game #1: Angels 5, Rangers 4
The day started off with a pitcher’s duel as Angels’ starting pitcher Zack Greinke gave up a two run homerun to Texas’ Nelson Cruz in the second inning. Mike Trout scored for the Angels in the top of the third inning as Albert Pujols singled to right field. Texas scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning as Josh Hamilton singled and Adrian Beltre doubled. However, the Angels went on to dominate the game as Torii Hunter scored a run in the sixth inning, and Mike Trout hit a single shot to center field in the seventh inning. Hunter continued to be influential as Maicer Izturis and Peter Bourjos scored off of his double in the top of the ninth inning.
Game #2: Rangers 8, Angels 7
Texas won the second game of the day as Derek Holland took the mound for them. He gave up four runs in the first inning, including a two run homerun to Angels’ Mark Trumbo. In the bottom of the first inning, Josh Hamilton hit a double off of Angels’ starting pitcher Ervin Santana, allowing Elvis Andrus to score. Both David Murphy and Mike Napoli hit solo shots in the bottom of the second inning for Texas, and Napoli hit a three run homerun in the following inning. Napoli continued to be influential as two runners scored for Texas in the bottom of the fifth inning off of his double to center field. Howard Kendrick delivered a big inning for the Angels as he hit a three run homerun in the top of the seventh inning.
Here’s a look at the AL Wild Card standings:
1. Baltimore Orioles –
2. New York Yankees –
3. Oakland Athletics –
4. Los Angles Angels – 3
5. Tampa Bay Rays – 3
New York and Baltimore have both clinched playoff berths.