Earlier this week, it looked like the Orioles and A's had the two wild card slots in the American League locked up. Now...not so much. Baltimore's spot is still secure, and hell, they're still just a game back of the Yankees after Saturday's 9-6 comeback win over the Red Sox. The A's lost in hearbreaking fashion to the Yankees, 10-9 (more on that later), and with the Rays beating the Blue Jays 11-5 and the Angels knocking off the White Sox 4-2, we've got a race. Tampa Bay is now just 3.5 behind the A's with ten to play, while the Angels are 2.5 back. Get ready for chaos, ladies and gentlemen...
Game of the Day: Yankees 10, A's 9 (14 innings). This one really, really hurts for the A's. The game was back and forth over the first nine innings, and went into extras tied at five runs apiece. Oakland exploded for four runs in the 13th after a three homer barrage to take a 9-5 lead....and blew it. Pedro Figueroa allowed three straight singles to start the inning and was pulled for Pat Neshek, who proceeded to allow all three of Figueroa's runners to score, and one of his own after a two-run homer by Raul Ibanez to tie the game. Tyson Ross came in for the 14th for Oakland, and it was a rough inning that ended with Ichiro scoring on a Brandon Moss error at first base to end the game and give New York a huge win and break some hearts in Oakland.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Doug Fister threw a complete game shutout for the Tigers in their 8-0 win over the Twins, allowing seven hits, no walks, and striking out seven. Mat Latos threw eight shutout innings for the Reds in their NL Central clinching 6-0 over the Dodgers, allowing six hits, no walks, and striking out seven of his own. Gio Gonzalez picked up win #20 for the Nationals in their 10-4 win over Milwaukee, allowing two unearned runs on three hits, walking one and striking out five.
Hitting Lines of the Day: There were quite a few great hitting performances in the marathon in the Bronx, so they'll get their own section below. A pair of Nationals did work: Adam LaRoche went 3/4 with three runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer and Ian Desmond went 3/4 with a three-run homer. Desmond Jennings helped out the Rays offense by going 3/3 with four runs, two walks, and a homer, while his teammate Jose Molina went 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. Finally, Brandon Belt helped the Giants clinch the NL West with an 8-4 win over the Padres, going 2/3 with three runs, a walk, a double, and a homer.
Hitting Lines of the Day, 14 inning edition: Raul Ibanez, who didn't even start the game for the Yankees, went 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a double, and two homers. Ichiro went 3/5 with three runs, a solo homer, and two walks. Alex Rodriguez went 3/6 with three runs and two walks. For the A's, Stephen Drew went 4/8 with three runs, a double, and a homer. Yoenis Cespedes went 2/5 with two runs, two RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer. Chris Carter went 1/4 with a two-run homer and two walks.
Other Games: The Cardinals beat the Cubs 5-4 in ten, picking up a game on the Brewers, Dodgers, and Phillies (who fell 8-2 to the Braves) in the NL Wild Card standings. Despite a late Miami rally, the Mets beat the Marlins 4-3 to give RA Dickey his 19th win of the year. The Royals held off elimination for yet another day, beating the Indians 5-3. The Pirates' downward spiral continued, losing 7-4 to the Astros. Blake Beavan and the Mariners shut down the Rangers, winning 1-0. The Diamondbacks edged the Rockies 8-7.
Today's Games: AJ Griffin takes on Hiroki Kuroda in New York. Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers against the Twins. Yovani Gallardo starts for Milwaukee in Washington. Chris Tillman will start for the Orioles in Boston. Tim Hudson and Cliff Lee will duel in Philly. Jake Odorizzi makes his major league debut for the Royals against the Indians. Kyle Lohse will start for the Cardinals in Chicago. Gavin Floyd and the White Sox take on Jered Weaver and the Angels in a must-win in Anaheim.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.
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