Uh oh, people. Justin Verlander has a lead.
Tigers designated hitter Delmon Young launched a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning off Yankees starter Phil Hughes, pushing Detroit ahead 1-0 in this ALCS Game 3. Hughes then walked Andy Dirks and departed with a trainer after appearing to tweak something in his back.
David Phelps entered the game in relief for New York and did not allow further damage in the frame.
Verlander has surrendered just one hit over his first four innings, fanning two batters and walking none. The Tigers are up 2-0 in this seven-game series. Oh, and Robinson Cano’s hitless streak is up to 28 at-bats.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.