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The Royals, clinging to contention, have been waiting even longer. If they make it, it will almost certainly be as the second wild-card team.

“It’s the first time I can say we’ve had a shot,” Billy Butler said.

They would take it without reservation. As would any of the dozen or so teams that can reasonably be considering postseason play at this point. Now it’s all about bridging September to get to October.

“If you get to the dance you have a chance,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You just don’t know.”


AP Sports Writers Tom Withers in Cleveland, David Ginsburg in Baltimore, Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., and AP freelancer Mark Schmetzer in Cincinnati, contributed to this report.