Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain named ALCS MVP

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From the official Twitter account of the Kansas City Royals …

Cain has been one of the breakout stars of this postseason, making tremendous plays in center field, showing elite speed on the bases, and going 12-for-34 (.353) at the plate for the World Series-bound Royals. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in Tuesday’s decisive Game 4 win over the Orioles, but the ultra-athletic 28-year-old still finished the series 8-for-15 (.533) with five runs scored. Not bad for a guy who didn’t begin playing baseball until age 16. The Royals got him from the Brewers in the December 2010 Zack Greinke trade.

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

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Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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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.