Toronto, Oct. 4 (BUS): The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox scored thrilling late-inning victories to bring baseball’s regular season to a magical end on Sunday, setting off a wildcard showdown between longtime rivals.
The final day of 162 games began, a six-month marathon with four teams—the Yankees, Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners—all vying for two major league wildcards and when the dust settled two of baseball’s most famous clubs were still standing.
The Yankees let it go as late as they could to take their place as Aaron Judge hit one shot down the bottom of ninth for a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It’s been a crazy, brutal year,” New York coach Aaron Boone said after the Yankees reached the postseason for the 23rd time in 27 years. “It is fitting that you make it to the last day to enter.
“We’re ready to take our picture.”
It was also one of the most exciting things to do in the US capital, as the Red Sox trailed the Washington Nationals 5-1 after five runs and then rallied for six unanswered.
Raphael Devers broke the 5-5 tie at the top of the ninth with Homer his second of the day, a one-time shot, twice into the deep center field.
The Red Sox now host the Yankees in a wildcard game Tuesday at Fenway Park as the winner moves to the divisional series against Middle East champion Reese, Reuters reports.
Toronto and Seattle went into the day needing a win combined with losing New York or Boston to force a tie-breaker and prolong their seasons.
The Blue Jays did what they had to do, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 while the Mariners’ season ended in a disappointing 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Angels Shuhei Ohtani, the favorites for the MLS Most Valuable Player, launched a lead game, his 46th of the season, putting the Mariners in a hole they’ll never get out of.
After winning five runs at home in a 10-1 win over the Orioles on Saturday, the Blue Jays’ bats were booming again on Sunday with a win over four hurdles, including a Grand Slam from George Springer and a two-round shot from Vladimir Guerrero. Junior in his 48th season.
In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, the top two teams in Major League Baseball, both started playing with first place in the Western Division.
Los Angeles and San Francisco ended the campaign with impressive victories – the Giants beat the San Diego Padres 11-4 while the Dodgers crushed Milwaukee 10-3.
But the top spot in the West goes to the Giants with a record 106-55 while the 105-56 Dodgers settled on the NL wildcard and Wednesday’s meeting with the St. Louis Cardinals.