Padres’ Rene Rivera delivers the first three-run single in six years

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A true rarity proved to be the difference in Wednesday’s matinee between the Reds and Padres. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, Rene Rivera hit a liner to center that Billy Hamilton got his glove on, but couldn’t haul in. All three runners came around to score, but Rivera got only as far as first on the play, setting up the highly unusual three-run single.

You can see the video here.

According to Baseball-reference’s Play Index, it was the first three-run single since Magglio Ordonez had one for the Tigers in a 17-4 win over the Rangers on Sept. 17, 2008.

Rivera’s hit ended up providing the only scoring on the day, as the Padres went on to win 3-0 and complete their first three-game sweep of the season. Tyson Ross went the distance for San Diego, striking out nine in a three-hitter. It made a hard-luck loser out of Johnny Cueto, who hurled a three-hit shutout of his own last time he faced the Padres on May 15. He’s now 8-6 with a league-best 1.99 ERA on the season.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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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.