Orioles catcher Matt Wieters blasted a pair of two-run home runs, helping his team take down the Yankees 5-2 on Sunday afternoon. The win clinched a Wild Card berth for the O’s, who entered Sunday’s action tied with the division rival Blue Jays at 88-73.
J.J. Hardy opened the scoring in the third inning with a sacrifice fly against Yankees starter Luis Cessa. Wieters blasted his first two-run homer in the fourth. Brian McCann put the Yankees on the board in the bottom half of the fourth with a solo homer off of Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. Wieters went yard again in the sixth inning, this time off of lefty reliever Tommy Lane. In doing so, the switch-hitting Wieters homered from both sides of the plate. He’s the first Oriole to accomplish that feat since Roberto Alomar on July 25, 1996, per the Orioles’ Twitter.
Gausman got one out in the eighth and left after allowing a single to Gary Sanchez. Closer Zach Britton came in and allowed a single to Brian McCann, followed by a two-out single from Didi Gregorius, allowing an inherited runner to score. Britton was able to get Aaron Hicks to ground out to end the inning, however. The lefty came back out for the ninth, striking out Ronald Torreyes, getting Billy Butler to ground out, and then striking out Brett Gardner to end the game.
The Orioles will face either the Blue Jays or Tigers in the Wild Card game. Both teams will finish their games shortly.
Update (5:30 PM EDT): Sanchez lost the no-hit bid and the shutout bid in one fell swoop as Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run with two outs in the seventh inning, tying the game at 1-1.
With the Blue Jays’ playoff hopes on the line, Aaron Sanchez has delivered what may end up being the best start of his young career. The right-hander has held the Red Sox hitless through six innings thus far on Sunday afternoon, walking only two on 80 pitches.
Devon Travis provided the game’s only run, drilling a solo home run off of David Price in the top of the fifth inning at Fenway Park.
If Sanchez is able to navigate through the next three innings, he will become the first Blue Jay to throw a no-hitter since Dave Stieb no-hit the Indians on September 2, 1990. The Red Sox haven’t been victims of a no-hitter since the Mariners’ Chris Bosio accomplished the feat on April 22, 1993. The 2016 season has seen only one no-hitter: Jake Arrieta bested the Reds in a 16-0 rout on April 21. The 2015 season saw seven no-hitters.
Sanchez entered Sunday’s action with a 14-2 record and a league-best 3.06 ERA. We’ll keep you updated the rest of the way as Sanchez attempts to hold the Red Sox at bay.
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton wasn’t having the best season, owning a .561 OPS after his game against the Rays on August 5. The Twins demoted him to Triple-A Rochester, then brought him back to the majors when rosters expanded in September.
The demotion might have been the cure for what ailed Buxton as he has had a torrid finish to the season. Entering the final game of the regular season on Sunday, he had a .278/.346/.619 triple-slash line with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 108 plate appearances since September 1.
Buxton kept it going on Sunday, the final day of the regular season. Facing White Sox ace Chris Sale to lead off the ballgame at U.S. Cellular Field (soon to be Guaranteed Rate Field), Buxton drilled a first-pitch fastball to center field. Avisail Garcia went back but got turned around and made an ill-fated leap to attempt to snag the ball. Garcia fell into the fence and the ball caromed back towards the field. Garcia eventually got to the ball and returned it to the infield, but Buxton was far too fast for it to have been a close play.
Here’s the video.
According to Statcast, Buxton made his way around the bases in 14 seconds, setting a Statcast-era record.