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Blue Jays edge Red Sox 2-1, clinch Wild Card berth

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The Tigers were shut out 1-0 by the Braves, which officially clinched the second Wild Card for the Blue Jays. The Jays also took care of their own business, defeating the Red Sox 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. They will host the Orioles, who also clinched a Wild Card berth on Sunday afternoon. The two teams came into the day’s action tied at 88-73.

Devon Travis broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a solo home run off of David Price. Jays starter Aaron Sanchez was working on a no-hitter but it was broken up with two outs in the seventh inning when Hanley Ramirez hit a solo homer down the left field line. The Jays challenged the initial ruling, that the ball was fair, but it was upheld after replay review.

The Jays responded by rallying in the eighth inning against Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler. Josh Donaldson led off with a single and Edwin Encarnacion walked. Jose Bautista grounded into a 5-3 double play, which appeared to be a rally-killer. But Russell Martin reached on an infield single, pushing Encarnacion to third base. Troy Tulowitzki came up and ripped a single to center field to bring in the go-ahead run.

Brett Cecil took over in the bottom of the eighth for Sanchez. Sanchez’s final line: seven innings, two hits, one run, two walks, six strikeouts on 97 pitches. Cecil yielded a single to pinch-hitter Chris Young, then struck out Andrew Benintendi. Joe Biagini came in and saw the Jays out of trouble, getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out and then striking out Brock Holt to end the eighth.

Roberto Osuna took over in the ninth inning. He got Mookie Betts to ground out and David Ortiz to ground out. After walking Ramirez and allowing a single to Xander Bogaerts, Osuna was able to get the final out of the game, a ground out to third base by Jackie Bradley, Jr.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.