MLB roundup: Blue Jays beat Orioles to stay behind Red Sox for second wild card
TORONTO – Steven Matz pitched seven strong innings to win his fifth straight decision, Danny Jansen hit a home run and produced three runs, and the Toronto Blue Jays kept up their playoff hopes by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 Friday night.
The Orioles scared the Blue Jays with an eighth of four points, but closest Jordan Romano limited the damage by securing the last five strikeouts for his 23rd save on 24 occasions.
Toronto (89-71) stayed one game away from Boston, which retained second place in the AL wild card by beating Baltimore. Seattle, tied with Boston entering Friday, played later. The New York Yankees are still in first place in the wild card but lost to Tampa Bay, narrowing their lead to one game against Boston and two against Toronto.
Jansen hit a two-run homerun from Thomas Eshelman (0-3) in the third inning, his 10th, and Corey Dickerson added a solo shot from Brooks Kriske in the Toronto four-run sixth. The Blue Jays lead the majors with 253 home runs this season, four short of the club’s record set in 2010.
SPOKES 4, YANKEES 3: Gary Sánchez and Rougned Odor both pulled out with two runners to blunt a ninth-inning rally and New York’s lead atop the AL wild card was further strengthened with a loss to Tampa Bay.
The Yankees’ advantage fell to one game against Boston and two games against Toronto after those contenders each won. Seattle was two games away from New York before the start of the night. New York needed a win and a loss by Boston or Seattle to claim their fifth straight playoff appearance. Instead, the Yankees fell short against the AL East champions Rays in Game 1 of a three-game series ending the season.
PHILLIES 5, MARLINS 0: Bryce Harper had three hits, including his 35th homer, Ranger Suárez pitched seven scoreless innings and visiting Philadelphia beat Miami.
METS 4, BRAVES 3: Brandon Nimmo hit two solo homers, Tylor Megill allowed a scoreless five innings and New beat Atlanta, ending the NL Eastern Champions’ six-game winning streak.
PIRATES 9, RED 2: Pittsburgh second baseman Cole Tucker drew a spectacular dive, then landed his first career grand slam to cap an eight-point rally in the eighth inning that sent the Pirates against Cincinnati.
CARDINALS: Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals have agreed a deal for the next season and finalized it on Friday, sources close to the team confirmed at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The team announced the contract at a press conference on Friday.
“He has been a very effective pitcher throughout his career, one of the greatest Cardinals of all time, and has really led the staff for a number of years,” said President Bill DeWitt Jr. to present the contract. “He’s just a wonderful player, and a really wonderful person and leader. We consider him a cardinal for life.
Details of the one-year deal were not immediately known.
The two sides have had discussions over the past week, and Wainwright, 40, made it clear earlier this month that he intends to launch in 2022. He added that he hoped it would would be with the Cardinals, the only club he knew in his 18 years in the majors. The team also shared this sentiment.
Wainwright is 17-7 this season with a best 3.05 ERA per team, and he will receive votes for the National League Cy Young Award. He won his 17th game on Tuesday night as the Cardinals nabbed a wild card spot in the playoffs and extended the club’s winning streak to 17 games.
“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Wainwright said at the press conference to announce the contract. “Who am I kidding?”
ESCARPERS: Southpaw Julio Urías is the only baseball pitcher with a 20-game winning streak this season, and he will look to win it in a showdown against NL Cy Young Award contender Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
Urías (19-3, 3.01) hasn’t lost since June 21, and Los Angeles have won their last 10 outings since August 1. He is 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA during that span.
Burnes (11-4, 2.29) leads the ERA majors and has been in a close race for the top pitcher’s award with Dodgers ace Max Scherzer and Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler.
WATCH STAT: Several individual stat runs are going on on the wire, including an NL batting crown that will likely go to either Dodgers infielder Trea Turner or former Washington teammate Juan Soto. Turner entered on Friday with 0.325, just ahead of Soto’s 0.318. They were both nationals until Turner and Max Scherzer were released in LA in July.
Salvador Perez of Kansas City is trying to win the major league home run title. He entered on Friday with 48, two ahead of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and three ahead of Shohei Ohtani. Perez also led the RBI by a wide margin with 121 and is expected to become the first main backstop to lead an RBI league since Philadelphia’s Darren Daulton won the NL crown with 109 in 1992.
Federal agencies may start enforcing Biden’s vaccine warrants next month