MLB

Rays, Athletics clinch wild-card spots as Indians eliminated

By Sports Desk September 28, 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics clinched the final two American League (AL) playoff spots on Friday, while the Cleveland Indians will miss the postseason for the first time since 2015.

The Indians lost to the Washington Nationals 8-2, which earned a wild-card spot for the Athletics. The Rays later punched their own wild-card ticket with a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. It will be their first postseason appearance since 2013.

The Rays exceeded expectations this year, thanks in part to Tyler Glasnow. Although he missed almost four months with a strained forearm, when healthy the 6-8 right hander has been a beast. He pitched 4.1 innings of no-hit ball against the Blue Jays on Friday, striking out four. He now has a 1.78 ERA in 12 outings this year.

Outfielder Austin Meadows, who came over to the Rays with Glasnow in the deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trade deadline last year, homered in the ninth to provide an insurance run.

"Wow. This is a wow factor what has taken place," Rays manager Kevin Cash told Fox Sports afterward. "We were really good last year, we got better this year."

 

Awesome Alonso

Mets slugger Pete Alonso hit his 52nd home run of the season, tying him with Aaron Judge for most home runs by an MLB rookie in New York's 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Outfielder Raimel Tapia crushed a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning to break open the Colorado Rockies' game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Orioles right-hander Asher Wojciechowski stymied the Boston Red Sox, striking out six in six scoreless innings in a 4-1 Baltimore victory.

 

Goody struggles

Indians reliever Nick Goody gave up four runs in 0.2 of an inning as Cleveland fell to the Nationals and were eliminated from playoff contention.

 

Newman's well-timed blast

Kevin Newman walks it off for the Pirates against the Cincinnati Reds with his second home run of the game in a 6-5 Pittsburgh victory.

"He just bunted a double!" Cavan Biggio hustled for the most improbable two-base hit of the year. 

Albert Almora Jr. went up, up and up to rob a home run.

Friday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals 8-2 Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Boston Red Sox
New York Mets 4-2 Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees 14-7 Texas Rangers
Colorado Rockies 11-7 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 6-2 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 8-2 St Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 4-0 Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Cubs at Cardinals

The National League (NL) Central title was supposed to be on the line in this season-ending series, but the Cubs were eliminated from contention after inexplicably losing nine in a row. Yet the Cards and Brewers are still battling for the division crown. The Cardinals will go with Adam Wainwright, who gave up five earned runs in five innings in his last start against the Diamondbacks on Monday. Cole Hamels gets the start for the reeling Cubs.

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