Video: Pirates lose in the 12th after Gregory Polanco stumbles in the outfield

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The Pirates found one of the more embarrassing ways to lose on Friday afternoon against the Cubs. After falling behind 7-1 after five innings, the Pirates rallied for four runs in each of the sixth and eight innings before tying the game at 10-10 in the ninth inning. A win after all of that work sure would have felt nice for the Buccos.

Reliever Radhames Liz started the 12th inning and quickly got the first out with a strikeout of Kris Bryant. But he walked Starlin Castro, then allowed a single to Miguel Montero, which sent Castro to third base. Liz intentionally loaded the bases by intentionally walking Jorge Soler to bring up Matt Szczur. Szczur sent a fly ball to Gregory Polanco in shallow right field. Polanco, coming in, stumbled and slipped, allowing the fly ball to drop and send the winning run home for an 11-10 Cubs victory.

[mlbvideo id=”116414083″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

It was, uh, not pretty. Sadly, it erases the great play Polanco made to save the Pirates’ bacon in the 10th inning when he made a catch in shallow right field then threw out Castro at the plate for an inning-ending double play.

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.