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
The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”
While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.
The deal has not been confirmed by the team.