There was significant movement Saturday in Major League Baseball’s divisional and Wild Card races.
The Yankees failed to capitalize on several scoring chances, falling 3-2 to the Blue Jays. The Orioles, meanwhile, bested the Red Sox by a score 4-3. There’s now a tie atop the American League East.
The Tigers rode another fine outing by Justin Verlander to a 6-4 win over the Twins and the White Sox lost 10-4 to Tampa Bay. Detroit has a two-game lead in the American League Central standings with four games to play.
In the National League, the Cardinals lost 6-4 in extra innings to the Nationals and the Dodgers blanked the Rockies 3-0. Los Angeles is suddenly just two games back for that second Wild Card spot.
It’s all setting up for a dramatic finish. Wednesday marks the end of the regular season.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Yankees 2, Blue Jays 3
Rays 10, White Sox 4
Tigers 6, Twins 4
Mariners 4, Athletics 7 (10 innings)
Angels, Rangers (Postponed)
Red Sox 3, Orioles 4
Reds 1, Pirates 2
Astros 5, Brewers 9
Mets 0, Braves 2
Royals 7, Indians 6 (14 innings)
Phillies 9, Marlins 5
Nationals 6, Cardinals 4 (10 innings)
Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 8
Giants 3, Padres 7
Rockies 0, Dodgers 3
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known. UPDATE: Per Rosenthal, the deal is done at one year, $8.5 million.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.