Pirates edge ahead of Reds in NL wild-card race
The Detroit Tigers clinched a postseason spot and neared their third straight AL Central crown. In the wild-card races, the top AL contenders won while Pittsburgh jumped ahead of the Reds in the NL. With five days left in the regular season, a quick look at baseball’s playoff picture:
ONE MO’ TOWN: Victor Martinez, Omar Infante and Austin Jackson homered in the fourth inning as Detroit beat the Twins 4-2, cutting its magic number to one. The Tigers are assured of playing in October. “I guess it’s OK,” manager Jim Leyland said.
BACK AND FORTH: A day after clinching their first playoff berth since 1992, the Pirates won at Wrigley Field and edged ahead of Cincinnati by one game in the NL wild-card race. Pittsburgh remains two games behind Central-leading St. Louis.
NICE START, ROOK: Making just his ninth start in the majors, Michael Wacha nearly pitched a no-hitter. The St. Louis rookie just missed — a chopper by Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman barely got over the 6-foot-6 Wacha for an infield single with two outs in the ninth inning.
GOING, GOING ...: Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Texas all won, staying bunched in the AL wild-card scramble. Kansas City and the Yankees lost and are almost out. Baltimore was eliminated, but found out star third baseman Manny Machado didn’t tear any major knee ligaments in Monday’s spill and could be running in six to eight weeks without surgery.
ON DECK: 20-game winner Max Scherzer tunes up for the playoffs when he starts at Target Field, trying to clinch another AL Central title for the Tigers.
EXTRA, EXTRA! Don’t blame the Arizona Diamondbacks if they feel this season is running a little long. The D-Backs beat San Diego 2-1 in 12 innings, and have now set a record by playing 79 extra innings this year.