Mariners keep Wild Card hopes alive with walk-off in the 11th inning

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The Athletics lost to the Rangers 5-4 on Saturday night, leaving the Mariners a small glimmer of hope to attain the second AL Wild Card slot. Though they squandered plenty of opportunities to take care of business earlier in the game (for instance, loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth), the Mariners eventually won 2-1 with a walk-off fielder’s choice by Austin Jackson in the 11th inning. Jackson narrowly beat the relay throw to first base on what would have been an inning-ending ground ball double play.

Now, both the Mariners and the slumping Athletics will have meaningful baseball to play on Sunday. An Athletics loss and a Mariners win will force a one-game playoff to determine the winner of the second Wild Card, which would be hosted in Seattle on Monday. Alternatively, an Athletics win or a Mariners loss on Sunday will wrap up the Wild Card for the A’s.

Here’s what’s happening on Sunday:

  • Athletics @ Rangers, 3:05 PM ET (Sonny Gray vs. Derek Holland [tentative])
  • Angels @ Mariners, 4:10 PM ET (Cory Rasmus vs. Felix Hernandez)

Fan hit by foul ball during Sunday’s Rockies-Dodgers game

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Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.

After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”

Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]

Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”