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Playoff chase: Red Sox clinch AL East
Question of the Day
The Yankees kept pace in the AL wild-card race in grand fashion and Kansas City walked off with a win that knocked Texas from the top spot. Rain helped Cleveland advance in the standings, while Cincinnati and Tampa Bay needed extras for crucial wins. A quick look at baseball’s playoff picture:
IN THE DIVISION: A night after clinching their first postseason berth since 2009, the Boston Red Sox wrapped up their first AL East title since `07 with a 6-3 win over Toronto. … The Atlanta Braves hung around the cramped visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley field after lowering their magic number to one for clinching the NL East for the first time since 2005 with a 9-5 win over the Cubs to see if Washington would lose. The Nationals didn’t cooperate, though. They beat Miami 8-0 behind Jordan Zimmermann’s two-hitter. Washington trails the Pirates and Reds by five games in the NL wild-card race.
GRAND FASHION: Alex Rodriguez set the grand slam record with No. 24, passing Lou Gehrig by hitting a tiebreaking slam in the seventh inning of a 5-1 win over San Francisco. The Yankees won for just the second time in seven games and trail Cleveland by 3 games for the second AL wild card
EXTRA WILD: Baltimore and Tampa Bay needed 6 hours, 54 minutes _ a record for both teams _ to settle a matchup between division rivals and wild-card contenders. David DeJesus gave the Rays a 5-4 win with a single in the 18th inning, keeping Tampa at the top of a crowded AL wild-card race. … The Reds took advantage of an error by Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer with two outs in the ninth inning to score three runs then Joey Votto homered in the 10th off Kyle Farnsworth, lifting the Reds to a 6-5 victory and into a tie with Pittsburgh atop the NL wild-card race.
WHATEVER IT TAKES: The Indians moved into one of the two AL wild-card spots when they beat Houston 2-1 in a rain-shortened game. The game was delayed for 1 hour, 9 minutes before the umpires decided to call it after 6 1/2 innings. Cleveland moved ahead of Texas when Neftali Feliz walked Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning. With the 2-1 victory, the Royals pulled 2 1/2 back of Cleveland for the final spot.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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