|Machado: 2HR, 3RBI|
It's a little late in the season (and too late to make the playoffs), but the Baltimore Orioles took their second straight from the Blue Jays, Thursday's 6-4 win coming courtesy of Manny Machado, who parked a couple of belts into the deepest parts of Camden Yards (left-center and center field) - his 32nd and 33rd homers - and also singled and scored, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs.
The Orioles lost the opener of a twin bill on Wednesday which clinched the AL East for the Blue Jays, but topped them in the nightcap, 8-1. Thursday's defeat left Toronto tied with Kansas City for the best record in the league (which would mean home field advantage in the championship round of the playoffs) with just three games to go.
In New York, the Yankees clinched a playoff spot with a 4-1 win over the Red Sox and can wrap up home field for the wild card game with one win in their final series of the season, at Baltimore, beginning Friday night at 7:05 pm EDT.
|Jackson: 3R HR|
The Rangers also clinched a playoff spot, topping the Angels, 5-3. Texas has a three-game edge on Houston in the AL West and can clinch the division with a in in any off their three remaining games, all at Texas, against the Angels, who are four games out and trail Hosuton by one in the wild card race along with Minnesota.
Austin Jackson clubbed a three-run homer in the first inning and later walked and scored the final run for the Cubs in the fifth inning as Chicago completed its sweep of the Reds, taking the third game by a 5-3 score.
Jackson, a speedy outfielder, was acquired by the Cubs from Seattle prior to the July 31 trading deadline and has played in 26 games for Chicago. His homer was his first in a Cubs' uniform.
The win was the fifth straight for the Cubs, leaving them two behind Pittsburgh in the wild card race. Both the Pirates and Cubs have clinched playoff spots but where the game will be played is yet to be determined. Chicago heads to Milwauke for a three-game series starting Friday, while the Pirates host the Reds, losers of 12 straight, over the weekend.
Pittsburgh can get the game at home by any combination of two wins or Cubs losses, so, if the Cubs lose Friday and the Pirates win, the game will be at Pittsburgh. Chicago is hoping to overtake the Pirates, something they've been unable to do thus far, though that scenario - among others, such as a tie for the wild card - seems unlikely.
In any case, here are the MLB rules for tie-breakers.