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Last Build Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:01:09 PDT

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The view at Fenway Park from David Ortiz's final weekend (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:01:09 PDT

David Ortiz stole the show from himself. On the opening night of a three-day celebration of his career, Ortiz hit a game-deciding homer to lead the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over Toronto on Friday night and overshadow the pregame ceremony to honor him. ''You expect it,'' second baseman Dustin Pedroia said.



Ortiz delivers another HR, Red Sox beat Blue Jays 5-3 (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:38:10 PDT

David Ortiz isn't quite finished with the late-inning heroics. The soon-to-retire Red Sox slugger opened his final weekend with yet another game-winning homer, lining a two-run shot into the right-field stands to break a seventh-inning tie and help Boston beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night. ''I've seen it for 10 years: Every time there's a big situation, he's always found a way to come through,'' said second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who had three hits to reach 201 for the season.



Cabrera 2 HRs, Tigers move up in playoff race, beat Braves (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:23:24 PDT

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus just wants to focus on his team, rather than worry about the other teams in the AL wild-card race. Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton also connected and Detroit moved up in the playoff race, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Friday night. The Tigers won their third straight and pulled within a half-game of Toronto for the second wild-card spot.



Trumbo hits 47th, Schoop 5 RBIs as Orioles top Yankees 8-1 (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:02:19 PDT

Buck Showalter was scoreboard watching through a fine, steady rain that gave Yankee Stadium a film noir feel. ''I had no choice, because it was right behind the pitcher's head,'' the Orioles manager said. Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 47th home run, Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones also went deep in a six-run fifth inning and the Orioles beat New York 8-1 on Friday night to open a one-game lead over the Blue Jays and remain 1 1/2 games in front of Detroit for the AL's two wild cards.



LEADING OFF: Colon, Mets aim for playoffs, AL chase tightens (The Associated Press)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:46:27 PDT

A look at what's happening around the majors Saturday:



Mariners host Athletics with slim playoff hope (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:51:33 PDT

The Seattle Mariners' slim chances of reaching the postseason took a hit Thursday night, despite their win over Oakland, but they head into a Friday game against the A's with a remaining shred of hope. Baltimore's win over Toronto gave Seattle (85-74) even less room for error as the Mariners prepare to play their third-to-the-last game of the season trailing the Orioles and Blue Jays by two games in the American League wild-card race. "We know we have to win," Seattle catcher Mike Zunino said Thursday night.



Baseball-Highlights of Thursday's MLB games (Reuters)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:28:01 PDT

(Adds later games) Sept 29 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Thursday: Orioles 4, Blue Jays 0 Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one hit in 6-2/3 scoreless innings and the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Blue Jays to tie Toronto for the first American League wild-card spot. The Orioles (87-72) victory eliminated Houston and the New York Yankees from wild-card contention.



Zunino's HR spurs Seattle past A's, 3-2 (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:18:58 PDT

Mike Zunino picked a perfect time to snap out of his slump. Zunino delivered the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and Seattle held on for a 3-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night, keeping the Mariners on the edge of the AL wild-card chase. ''It's nice to be in that spot and it's nice to come through,'' said Zunino, whose last home run was Sept. 11.



Orioles beat Blue Jays to set up potential weekend wild-card drama (Big League Stew)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:33:44 PDT

The powerful Baltimore Orioles’ first two runs came courtesy of a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder’s choice. Not how you would expect the team that leads the major leagues in home runs to generate its offense, but as long as they scored more runs than the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night it was good enough. Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez – he of the 5.71 ERA on the season, but 3.17 ERA in the second half – shut out Toronto over 6 2/3 innings and Baltimore’s lights-out bullpen did the rest in a 4-0 win at Rogers Centre where the home team managed just one extra-base hit.



Much at stake as Red Sox host Jays (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:25:19 PDT

The Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox have something at stake this weekend in the final three regular-season games of David Ortiz's career. For the Blue Jays, their playoff life is on the line as beginning Friday with Toronto's Marco Estrada facing 22-game winner Rick Porcello. For the Red Sox, who clinched the American League East in New York on Wednesday night, there's the matter of home field advantage in the playoffs.



Orioles seek to solidify wild-card position (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:15:50 PDT

The Baltimore Orioles eliminated two of their pursuers Thursday night in Toronto. Now the Orioles head to Yankee Stadium to open a three-game series against the New York Yankees looking to further solidify their wild card spot on Friday night. The Orioles (87-72) begin the series tied with Toronto and holding a 1 1/2-game lead over the Detroit Tigers (85-73) for the second wild card.



Orioles down Blue Jays to bolster playoff pursuit (AFP)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:10:00 PDT

Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one hit in 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Blue Jays 4-0 to tie Toronto for the first American League wild card berth. The Orioles took the rubber match of the three-game series in Toronto after the Blue Jays took the opener. Baltimore's victory eliminated the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees from wild-card contention.



Blue Jays' offence a no-show in critical loss to Orioles (Eh Game)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:40:00 PDT

TORONTO – The powerful Baltimore Orioles’ first two runs came courtesy of a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder’s choice. The third run was driven home on a ground ball through the right side. So was the fourth.  Not how you would expect the team that leads the major leagues in home runs to generate its offence, but as long as they scored more runs than the Blue Jays on Thursday night it was good enough. One run would have been enough in this game. Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez – he of the 5.71 ERA on the season, but 3.17 ERA in the second half – shut out Toronto over 6 2/3 innings and Baltimore’s lights-out bullpen did the rest in a 4-0 win at Rogers Centre where the home team managed just one extra-base hit. The boos from the sellout crowd hoping to see the Blue Jays grab a stranglehold on the wild card began well before thebottom of the ninth when Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista struck out against reliever Brad Brach. It was Bautista’s third strikeout of the game and Donaldson was retired on strikes twice. The offensive woes that have plagued the team this month has put them in a less-than-ideal spot. “We need to get back to hitting the baseball, getting on base and knocking them in,” said Bautista. “We had seven chances today with runners in scoring position. We didn’t do that. That falls on guys like me do drive the runs in and we’ve got to do a better job.”



Jimenez delivers strong start, Orioles blank Blue Jays 4-0 (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:54:44 PDT

Ubaldo Jimenez is rounding into form at the right time for the Baltimore Orioles. Jimenez and two relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 4-0 on Thursday night, moving into a tie with Toronto in the AL wild card race with three games remaining. ''(Jimenez) was in command pretty much all night,'' Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said.



Blue Jays minor leaguer Jesus Montero banned for stimulant (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:03:13 PDT

Former major leaguer Jesus Montero has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a stimulant, his second penalty for a banned substance. Because the minor league season is over, the suspension will take effect at the start of next year. In August 2013, Montero drew a 50-game drug ban - he was among several players disciplined by Major League Baseball for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.



Blue Jays riding ups and downs of September baseball (Eh Game)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:10:00 PDT

One day up; the next day down. This is September baseball for a team that's still fighting for a playoff spot with less than a week left in the season. The Blue Jays had to feel good about their chances to be playing in the American League wild-card game next Tuesday night and have home field advantage after Tuesday's win over the Orioles. Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Baltimore followed and swiftly left a feeling of uncertainty about what had seemed like a foregone conclusion just 24 hours earlier. The Orioles are now one game back of Toronto in the wild-card standings entering Thursday night's game while Detroit is one game behind Baltimore in the race.  What unfolded at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night was representative of what this Blue Jays team is on most nights: a rotation that's been outstanding all year; an offence that for whatever reason doesn't have the same dynamic edge it had in 2015; a bullpen that had found stability midseason and is now suddenly shaky again. Toronto managed two runs off Orioles starter Chris Tillman in 5 2/3 innings, historically a pitcher they demolish. Francisco Liriano pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings, but Jason Grilli gave up a solo shot to Mark Trumbo in the eighth and Roberto Osuna allowed a two-run homer in the ninth that turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit.  This much is clear as it can be in the final week of the season: The Blue Jays aren't last year's team, and last year's team isn't turning up any time soon. The Red Sox clinched the AL East title Wednesday after the Blue Jays' loss, meaning all they have to play for during their weekend series against Toronto is playoff seeding. There's an outside chance Boston could pass Texas to be the AL's No. 1 seed and they remain one game up on Cleveland for home field in a potential ALDS between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. But before the Blue Jays get there, they have one more critical game opposite the Orioles left to play, with Marcus Stroman on the mound. A win Thursday night and everything feels good again. Two games up on Baltimore with three remaining. A home game for a spot in the ALDS in plain sight. A loss? Well, then Toronto will have to outdo or match what the Orioles do in their three-game set against the Yankees. A match will do because the Jays hold the tiebreaker over Baltimore. That's what fans will be holding on to if the result goes against Toronto on Thursday night. A win, though, and you can start planning your wild-card game watch party for next Tuesday. One run, like it was the case Wednesday, can make the difference between agony and ecstasy; t he slimmest of margins.  That's the beauty and the beast of September baseball. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Canada Sports: - - - - - - - Israel Fehr is a writer for Yahoo Canada Sports . Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr



Blue Jays, Orioles still battling for wild-card position (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:51:40 PDT

Toronto's bullpen is beginning to sag as the Blue Jays try to clinch the first American League wild-card spot. It could not come at a worse time but it has given the Baltimore Orioles some hope. The Orioles scored three times in the final two innings against the Blue Jays bullpen Wednesday to earn a 3-2 victory that moved them to within one game of Toronto for the first wild card.



LEADING OFF: Ortiz plays last game at Yankee Stadium (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:22:59 PDT

A look at what's happening around the majors today:



Baseball-Highlights of Wednesday's MLB games (Reuters)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:20:55 PDT

(Adds late games) Sept 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Wednesday: Yankees 5, Red Sox 3 Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the New York Yankees rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox, who clinched the AL East Division title. The Red Sox learned they secured their eighth divisional title before Craig Kimbrel threw a pitch when the Baltimore Orioles secured a 3-2 win in Toronto.



Royals play Twins in 1st game since postseason elimination (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:07:31 PDT

When the Kansas City Royals take the field Thursday against the Minnesota Twins, for the first time since near the end of the 2013 season, there will be nothing much at stake. The Royals, who have been in the past two World Series and won it all last November, were officially eliminated from the postseason Wednesday night. While they scored three runs with two out in the eighth to pull out a 5-2 triumph over the Twins, they were soon ousted from the wildcard playoff race when the Baltimore Orioles rallied with a two-run ninth to beat the Toronto Blue Jays.



Teixeira hits game-winning slam, Yankees stun Red Sox 5-3 (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:28:37 PDT

His playing days dwindling, Mark Teixeira gave himself a moment to savor Wednesday night and rescued the New York Yankees in the process. Teixeira hit a game-winning grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Yankees staved off playoff elimination at the last possible instant with a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox. ''That's as good as it gets right there,'' said Teixeira, set to retire after this season.



Red Sox clinch playoff berth despite loss to Yankees (AFP)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:28:08 PDT

Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam lifted the New York Yankees to a 5-3 win over Boston, but didn't stop the Red Sox from clinching the American League East division title. The Red Sox were assured of their eighth division crown when the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Blue Jays 3-2 in Toronto.



Boston Red Sox clinch AL East crown, go worst to 1st again (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:43:08 PDT

Even though they let a win get away Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox locked up something more important. Boston clinched the division championship despite wasting a three-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Yankees. David Ortiz and the Red Sox, who last weekend secured at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs, were assured the crown when Baltimore rallied for a 3-2 win at second-place Toronto nearly 30 minutes before New York completed its comeback against Craig Kimbrel (2-5) and Joe Kelly.



Blue Jays' late-inning collapse allows Orioles to cut wild-card lead to one (Eh Game)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:07:00 PDT

TORONTO — That’s September baseball is how Toronto Blue Jays reliever Jason Grilli described the result  Wednesday at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays lost a tough one to the Baltimore Orioles in the second of their three-game series against their division rivals. Toronto entered the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead, but closer Roberto Osuna gave up a two-run homer to Hyun Soo Kim to give the O’s the 3-2 comeback victory. Entering the game, the Blue Jays were looking to inch one step closer to clinching a playoff berth — their second in as many years — against the Orioles, their closest pursuers in the race for the top American League wild-card spot. Before the game, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he doesn’t concern himself with the mathematical possibilities of clinching. "I can't get caught up in that. We're getting close. There's different things — who can do what. But I'm sure somebody will come tell me when they juggle the numbers that 'Hey, this is the night,'" Gibbons told reporters before the game. The Blue Jays had the chance to lower their magic number down to one had they won on Wednesday. But as it stands now, the Orioles sit just one game back of Toronto for home-field advantage during the wild-card game with the series finale between these two teams going on Thursday. It is, or it feels very much like, a must-win game for either team. “Well I told you guys all along since I’ve been with this group that’s what they do, they’re resilient,” Gibbons said about how his team might respond after the disheartening loss. “Two teams, a lot at stake – they came up with the big blow.” Perhaps more concerning than the loss is the recent struggles that have impacted the Toronto bullpen. In what had been a strength for the Blue Jays for the latter half of the season, the bullpen has become a question mark of late. Joaquin Benoit remains out with a calf tear, suffered after he tripped leaving the bullpen to join an on-field brawl with the New York Yankees on Monday night Eighth-inning man Jason Grilli has struggled in his last three outings, including Wednesday when he allowed a solo home run to Mark Trumbo in the eighth inning, which narrowed the Blue Jays lead to 2-1. Osuna, too,  hasn’t looked as sharp lately. But the 21-year-old closer said he’s still feeling good, even after blowing the save. “I think we’re going to be fine,” he told reporters through Blue Jays translator Josue Peley. “We’re playing against the best teams in the major leagues in our division and stuff like today, I mean, it's supposed to happen sometimes. But I’m not worried at all. I think we’re going to be in good position for the next four games.” The 39-year-old veteran Grilli said despite losing Benoit and recent tough outings, the morale in the bullpen hasn’t suffered. “It’s not fun to lose a teammate no matter who it is. But our morale is good,” he said. “This is what September baseball’s like, right? I mean if you see any of these other games, they’re pretty similar.” On the bright side, the Blue Jays starters have been strong of late, including Francisco Liriano who delivered another stellar performance again on this night. The 32-year-old left-hander went six and a third inning, striking out 10 batters, while giving up six hits, but allowing no runs. It’s the second straight start where Liriano’s held the opposition scoreless, and[...]



Kim hits pinch-hit HR, Orioles beat Jays 3-2 (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:47:33 PDT

Hyun Soo Kim said he'd never hit a bigger home run. Kim hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Roberto Osuna, and the Orioles beat Toronto 3-2 on Wednesday night to move within one game of the AL wild card-leading Blue Jays. With Toronto ahead 2-1, Jonathan Schoop singled with one out, pinch-runner Michael Bourn stole second and Kim homered on a 3-2 pitch into the visiting bullpen in right, causing the Orioles relievers to jump in celebration.



Jaso hits for cycle as Pirates beat Cubs 8-4 (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:30:41 PDT

Coming around second base in the seventh inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 8-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night, John Jaso stumbled. Ninety feet later, Jaso was safe at third base with a triple to become the first player to hit a cycle in the 16-year history of PNC Park. The triple off reliever Pedro Strop clinched the Pirates' first cycle since 2004.



Red Sox clinch AL East despite walk-off loss to Yankees (Big League Stew)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:12:35 PDT

The Boston Red Sox got where many people expected on Wednesday night, clinching their third AL East title in the last 10 years, but the road they traveled to the top of baseball’s most volatile division wasn’t exactly predictable. The division crown was theirs after the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Blue Jays 3-2 in Toronto on Hyun Soo Kim’s two-run homer, rendering the results of Boston’s game on Wednesday meaningless as far as the division title was concerned. If everything goes the way it could for the Red Sox, they’ll have other moments to embrace and chances to celebrate in October.



Final Volume: Ranking 2016 (Rotoworld)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:53:00 PDT

With five days to go, Brad Johnson looks back at the top closers of the 2016 MLB season.



Rockies' Chatwood looks for road glory vs. Giants (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:02:23 PDT

Colorado Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood will be seeking a piece of individual glory while stalling a rival's pursuit of a playoff berth when he faces the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night. Chatwood ranks among the major-league leaders in road winning percentage (7-1, .875) and road ERA (1.88) as he prepares for his final start of the season. A win against the Giants would allow the 26-year-old to tie Rich Hill of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals and Aaron Sanchez of the Toronto Blue Jays -- all 8-1 (.889) -- for the top road winning percentage in baseball.



Wins by the dozen: Mets, Giants, Cards all score 12-run routs (Big League Stew)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:06:31 PDT

If you like symmetry, you probably like this: The New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants each scored 12 runs in their victories. • The Mets got big homers from Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes plus eight strikeouts from starter Noah Syndergaard to beat the Miami Marlins by the count of 12-1. The Mets trounced the Marlins on Tuesday night.