Oct 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) waves to the crowd after his game winning RBI single to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 and clinch a wildcard playoff spot at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
October 4, 2021
Aaron Judge singled with one out in the ninth inning to drive in the winning run, and the New York Yankees clinched a playoff spot with a dramatic 1-0 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.
The Yankees will face the Boston Red Sox on the road at Fenway Park Tuesday in a one-game wild-card matchup after Boston’s 7-5 comeback victory against the Washington Nationals. Boston will host after winning the regular-season series with the Yankees, 10-9.
Rougned Odor opened the ninth by flaring a single off Josh Fleming (10-8) into center field. Pinch runner Tyler Wade tagged up on a warning track flyball by Gleyber Torres. Wade was held up at third when Anthony Rizzo lined a single into right field past shifting second baseman Brandon Lowe and Fleming was replaced by Andrew Kittredge.
Judge won it when he lined a single that was deflected by Kittredge to Lowe. Lowe made a diving stop and Wade beat the throw home with a headfirst slide.
Red Sox 7, Nationals 5
Rafael Devers’ second homer of the game, a two-run shot in the ninth inning, lifted visiting Boston to a win over Washington and the top wild-card playoff spot in the American League.
The Red Sox rallied from a 5-1 deficit to finish the series sweep. Kyle Schwarber reached on an error to open the ninth for the Red Sox on Sunday. Xander Bogaerts struck out, but Devers connected with a 2-1 pitch from Kyle Finnegan (5-9) for his 38th home run of the season, a shot to center.
Ryan Zimmerman, who hasn’t said if he will return next season, was 0-for-3 with an RBI walk for Washington before being removed to an ovation in the eighth inning, and catcher Alex Avila had a two-run double in his final major league game.
Braves 5, Mets 0
Atlanta’s Jorge Soler led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run and six pitchers combined to limit visiting New York to three hits in the win to conclude the regular season.
Soler lined the second pitch from New York starter Noah Syndergaard into the left field stands for his 27th homer. It was his 14th since joining the Braves, his fourth in 11 games as the leadoff hitter and his second to start a game.
Reliever Spencer Strider (1-0), a hard-throwing rookie who made his major league debut on Friday, got the win. The NL East-winning Braves will open the Division Series at Milwaukee on Friday. The loss went to Noah Syndergaard (0-1), who pitched an inning in his second start since elbow surgery. He allowed two runs on three hits.
Astros 7, Athletics 6
Yuli Gurriel delivered a walk-off single in the ninth inning and Houston claimed a victory in the rubber match of its three-game series with visiting Oakland.
Kyle Tucker smacked a two-run, go-ahead homer with two outs in the sixth inning that gave the Astros a 4-3 lead. Tucker knocked his 30th home run off Athletics left-hander Cole Irvin and joined Alvarez (33) and Jose Altuve (31) with 30 homers for the Astros this season. Gurriel finished the season batting .319 to claim the American League batting crown.
Oakland’s Seth Brown keyed a three-run rally in the ninth when he drilled his second home run of the game and 20th of the season off Astros right-hander Zack Greinke, making his first relief appearance since Aug. 20, 2007.
Giants 11, Padres 4
San Francisco put on a performance worth celebrating, riding the arm and bat of right-hander Logan Webb to a shellacking of visiting San Diego to wrap up the National League West crown.
With a franchise-record and major-league-leading 107 wins, the Giants earned the home-field advantage through the NL playoffs, which for them will begin at home on Friday in Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the winner of Wednesday’s NL wild-card game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Webb (11-3) ran his unbeaten streak to 20 straight starts, limiting the Padres to four runs and six hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out eight and did not issue a walk. At the plate, he knocked out his first career home run and hit a one-out single in a two-run third inning that opened the scoring.
Cubs 3, Cardinals 2 (7 innings)
Matt Duffy drove in two runs as visiting Chicago edged St. Louis in seven innings in a rain-shortened game.
Frank Schwindel went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Cubs, who closed their season by winning four of their last five games. Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in four innings.
The Cardinals lost three of their last five games after clinching a National League wild-card playoff berth with their 17-game winning streak. Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Woodford (3-4) allowed three runs on six hits in five innings.
Blue Jays 12, Orioles 4
George Springer hit a grand slam and a solo home run and Toronto completed a three-game sweep of visiting Baltimore but fell one game shy in its American League wild-card pursuit.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a two-run home run for the Blue Jays, giving him 48 for the season. It gives him the most home runs for a player 22 or younger, surpassing the 47 by Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves in 1953. Guerrero also tied for the American League lead in home runs with Kansas City’s Salvador Perez, and it was his 12th of the season against Baltimore.
Marcus Semien added his 45th homer of the season for Toronto, which was eliminated when the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees each won their games to claim the AL wild-card spots.
Marlins 5, Phillies 4
Rookie Nick Fortes gave Miami the lead with a two-run homer in the fourth inning en route to a season-ending victory over visiting Philadelphia.
Philadelphia finished second in the NL East, and Miami was fourth place. Reliever Hector Neris (4-7) took the loss, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings. Zach Thompson (3-7) earned the win with one scoreless inning in relief.
Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer and Freddy Galvis added a solo shot for Philadelphia.
Reds 6, Pirates 3
Joey Votto hit a three-run homer and Aristides Aquino also homered and drove in two runs as Cincinnati defeated host Pittsburgh.
Nick Castellanos added an RBI double for the Reds. He finished with 100 RBIs for the season, and Votto ended with 99. Cincinnati’s Reiver Sanmartin (2-0) — in his second major league start, both in less than a week and both against Pittsburgh — pitched six innings. He allowed one run and seven hits, with six strikeouts and one walk.
Oneil Cruz homered for the Pirates, who won the first two games of the series and finished as the only team in the majors without a sweep of an opponent. Cody Ponce (0-6), the second Pittsburgh pitcher, got rocked for four runs and six hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Indians 6, Rangers 0
Aaron Civale tossed six strong innings and Yu Chang hit a two-run homer as visiting Cleveland won its final game as the Indians.
Bradley Zimmer had two hits and an RBI for the Indians, who have gone by that nickname since 1915 but will be known as the Guardians starting in 2022.
Civale (12-5) yielded just three singles, walked one and struck out four to help Cleveland finish its first losing season since 2012 by taking two of three at Texas.
Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4
Josh VanMeter hit a walk-off home run and Arizona came back to beat visiting Colorado in the rubber match of a three-game, season-ending series in Phoenix.
VanMeter hit a two-out blast to right field off Carlos Estevez (3-5) as Arizona avoided matching the worst record in franchise history.
J.B. Wendelken (4-3) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the D-backs, who rallied from an early four-run deficit to finish at 52-110. The 2004 team went 51-111.
Tigers 5, White Sox 2
Daz Cameron hit a go-ahead, solo home run in the ninth inning, and Willi Castro had three hits as visiting Detroit topped American League Central champion Chicago in the teams’ regular-season finale.
Cameron connected against White Sox reliever Reynaldo Lopez (4-4) to open the ninth before Dustin Garneau and Akil Baddoo drove home insurance runs with a double and sacrifice fly, respectively.
Michael Fulmer pitched around a hit in a driving rain in the ninth for his 14th save. Joe Jimenez (6-1) was the winner, striking out two and walking one in a scoreless eighth.
Twins 7, Royals 3
Jorge Polanco hit a three-run home run to highlight a five-run first inning and Minnesota went on to defeat host Kansas City.
It was the 33rd home run of the season for Polanco, extending his club single-season record for a switch-hitter. Byron Buxton also homered and doubled and Luis Arraez went 3-for-4 with two runs for Minnesota, which finished in last place in the AL Central, one game behind fourth-place Kansas City.
Nick Vincent (1-0) picked up the win with two hitless innings of relief, while Jorge Alcala earned his first major league save. Carlos Santana went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Michael A. Taylor added two hits and an RBI for Kansas City. Jackson Kowar (0-6) took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits over four innings while striking out six.
Dodgers 10, Brewers 3
Trea Turner hit a grand slam and host Los Angeles finished the regular season with a victory over Milwaukee.
The Dodgers, however, were unable to run down the San Francisco Giants for the National League West title.
The Dodgers (106-56), who tied the franchise record for victories in a season, won their last seven games and their last 15 at home, but fell one game short in their quest for a ninth consecutive division title. Los Angeles will play host to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card game on Wednesday.
L.A. also lost first baseman Max Muncy to a left elbow injury in the third inning. Muncy collided near the bag at first with the Brewers’ Jace Peterson while reaching to catch a throw. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters it’s “very unlikely” Muncy will play on Wednesday.
Angels 7, Mariners 3
Shohei Ohtani led off the game with a home run and Jared Walsh added a two-run shot as Los Angeles defeated host Seattle, thwarting the Mariners’ bid for their first postseason appearance since 2001.
The Mariners had a chance to force their way into a playoff for the American League’s second and final wild-card berth but needed to beat the Angels and have either Boston or the New York Yankees lose. None of those happened.
After the Red Sox’s victory in Washington was completed, clinching the Mariners’ fate, Seattle manager Scott Servais pulled veteran third baseman Kyle Seager off the field with one out in the ninth inning to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd. Despite 35 homers and 101 RBIs this season, the Mariners aren’t expected to pick up the option on Seager’s contract.
–Field Level Media