And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and recaps

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Orioles 6, Mets 4: Matt Wieters hits the first of what the
prophecies have foretold will be a thousand career home runs, each more
majestic than the last. The real story was the middle of the O’s order
— Markakis, Huff and Mora — who combined to go 8 for 11 with four
RBI.

Blue Jays 7, Phillies 1: I sat back on the couch and watched
this game, hoping to relax after a long day. But then Sutcliffe and Co.
start talking about the Jerod Morris/Raul Ibanez affair. Look, I don’t
come into your house and talk about your work when you’re off, so what
makes you think you can do it to me?

Nationals 3, Yankees 2: Wang pitched, but he was way less
responsible for the Yankees losing than was John Lannan (8.1 IP, 4 H, 2
ER). Five run game, three of them scored on homers.

Angels 4, Giants 3: Six straight wins for the Angels, who hung
around long enough to finally get to Tim Lincecum. It’s nice when you
can pinch hit Vlad Guerrero and Torii Hunter late in the game.

White Sox 4, Cubs 1: Piniella after the game: “Danks pitched a
good game, they executed a good squeeze bunt, and we didn’t do much
offensively. That’s about it. That’s the ballgame in a nutshell.” Hey
Lou, I do the recaps around here, got it?

Reds 4, Braves 3: Micah Owings’ three run homer was the big blow
of the game. If he played for the Braves, he’d be the team’s second
best outfielder in terms of OBP. Javier Vazquez has pitched better than
anyone could have hoped entering this year, but the dude is still only
4-6 because, I dunno, the universe hates him or something.

Red Sox 6, Marlins 1: The Brad Penny trade deadline audition
continues, with the commodity in question giving up 0 ER on three hits
in five innings, though he had to make 100 pitches and gave up four
walks in the process. David Ortiz walked twice, got a hit and scored
all three times on base. Pedroia had a big game too. The team made a
big deal out if it being the 500th straight sellout, including the fans
in all kinds of fun. The game story doesn’t say whether or not anyone
dangling their free tape measures or gawking at the giant “500” mowed
into the outfield realized that the sellout streak is why they had t
sell a kidney in order to buy their tickets on StubHub.

Cardinals 4, Tigers 3: A couple of Curtis Granderson homers aren’t enough for Detroit, as the Cardinals and Tigers trade little jabs all night.

Pirates 8, Twins 2: Andrew McCutchen over his first 13 games:
.339/.381/.492. That’s better than Nate McLouth is doing, both on the
season and since the trade. Are Pirates fans still supposed to be mad
about this?

Rockies 5, Rays 3: David Price has to pitch in Coors Field.
That’s bad. But he lasts a bit longer into a game than he has been
lately. That’s good! He still gives up ten hits and five runs and loses
the game. That’s Bad. But he gets more economical with his pitches,
walking no one. That’s good! The postgame spread contains sodium
benzoate . . . That’s bad. Can I go now?

Rangers 5, Astros 4: The battle for Texas rages on! So far,
Houston is down 2-0. If they don’t turn things around soon, they’re
going to be stuck with Texas.

Diamondbacks 12, Royals 5: Greinke’s return to Earth continues, as the Dbacks rough him up for six runs over six and two-thirds (four earned).

Brewers 9, Indians 8: Trevor Hoffman blew his first save of the
season, but the Brewers pull it out in extras. And really, it’s the
Indians’ bullpen that should be ashamed of itself, having given up 21
hits, 14 walks and 18 runs in 14 innings against Milwaukee.

A’s 5, Dodgers 4: Trevor Cahill started wild, but settled down
and then somehow managed to survive three errors by his mates which led
to three unearned runs. The A’s will take it.

Mariners 4, Padres 3: Rob continues to claim
that the American League is “playing a different game” and “a better
game.” And he may be right. But how much of that difference is
attributable to the Padres alone? I mean, jeez, they’ve lost 13
straight games to the AL, and that sort of skews things a bit, doesn’t
it?

Blue Jays clinch 1st playoff spot since 2016, beat Yanks 4-1

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Barred from playing in their own ballpark this year because of COVID-19, the vagabond Toronto Blue Jays have found a home in the playoffs.

The slumping New York Yankees, meanwhile, look likely to play on the road in the postseason, where they’ve struggled all year.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round series.

New York lost for the fourth time in five games following a 10-game winning stretch and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.

“We’ve got to get it rolling again, obviously, if we’re going to get to where we want to go,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I’m confident we can do it.

New York went 21-7 at home this season but was 11-18 on the road. Boone said he’s not concerned about that split even as a potential road playoff series looms next week.

“We’ve got to get ourselves in order and start playing really good baseball if we’re going to give ourselves a chance,” Boone said.

Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason. The Blue Jays had endured three losing campaigns since their previous playoff trip, going 67-95 last season.

“I’m just so proud of my club and everything we’ve gone through all year,” second-year manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Canada’s federal government refused to allow games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre this season, citing the closed Canada-U.S. border and the travel risk associated with the pandemic. Stuck on the road to start the season, the Blue Jays eventually ended up at their Triple-A ballpark, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, but didn’t gripe about their fate.

“They never complained,” Montoyo said. “They had their mind set on getting to this moment right now.”

Blue Jays players embraced after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it, donning blue T-shirts that said “Respect Toronto.”

“This is something we want to make an every year thing,” infielder Cavan Biggio said. “For us, we’re happy, we’re excited we’re able to put ourselves in this position, but this is only the start of hopefully something special for a long time.”

The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. Both teams have three games remaining. Toronto hosts Baltimore in Buffalo this weekend while the Yankees host the Marlins.

New York failed to hit a homer for the fourth straight game, matching its longest streak since June 2016. It’s the first time the Yankees have failed to homer in a four-game series since doing so at Texas in July 2013.

“I’m concerned with the way we’ve played recently,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “Any time you’re not playing your best baseball and the postseason is right around the corner, something needs to be corrected rather quickly.”

New York loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez flied out to deep center, where Randal Grichuk made a leaping catch at the wall.

“It’s good to see him get a really good swing off in a big spot,” Boone said of Sanchez. “Just unfortunately, that short.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Toronto, his eighth.

Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four. Luke Voit and Hicks hit back-to-back singles to begin the sixth but Ryu struck out Giancarlo Stanton, got Gleyber Torres to fly out, and retired Gio Urshela on a groundball.

“He’s an ace and he did what an ace does,” Montoyo said.

The left-hander lowered his ERA from 3.00 to 2.69.

Dolis got four outs for his fifth save in six chances.

Guerrero opened the scoring with a solo homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-3) in the second.

The Blue Jays extended their lead when Biggio and Bo Bichette hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the third.

Toronto made it 4-0 in the sixth. Grichuk chased Montgomery with a single and Guerrero singled off Adam Ottavino before rookie Alejandro Kirk hit a two-out, two-run double.

Montgomery lost for the first time in four starts. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays finished 5-5 in their 10-game regular season series against the Yankees.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (elbow) was activated off the injured list and RHP Wilmer Font was designated for assignment. . RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) will throw a second bullpen session Friday.

Yankees: Aaron Judge came on as a pinch-hitter but is expected to start all three remaining regular season games, Boone said.

SHARED DUTY

Boone said he expects to use both Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka at catcher in the postseason. Higashioka has hit well while working with ace Gerrit Cole, while Sanchez has struggled with both offense and his defense down the stretch.

SEVEN UP

Ryu became the first Blue Jays starting pitcher since Aug. 22, 2019, to pitch into the seventh. It had been an MLB-record 88 games since RHP Jacob Waguespack pitched into the seventh at Dodger Stadium last year.

UP NEXT

Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25) starts Friday as New York returns home to begin a three-game series against Miami. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12) starts for the Marlins.

Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 2.86) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore. The Orioles have not named a starter.