Boston Red Sox clinch AL East crown, go worst to 1st again
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 29, 2016 01:25 PM
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) watches his sixth-inning flyout to deep center field in a baseball game against the New York Yankees, in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, left, watches along with Ortiz. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK (AP) — Even though they let a win get away Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox locked up something more important. And as far as they were concerned, an AL East title was certainly worth celebrating.
Boston clinched the division championship despite wasting a three-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Yankees. David Ortiz and the Red Sox, who last weekend secured at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs, were assured the crown when Baltimore rallied for a 3-2 win at second-place Toronto nearly 30 minutes before New York completed its comeback against Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly.
"In the end, the one inning, it doesn't take away from 158 games played to date. They should be extremely proud for winning a very, very difficult division," manager John Farrell said.
The result in Toronto knocked defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals out of contention despite their 5-2 win over Minnesota.
The Red Sox, after winning their eighth AL East title, will open their postseason schedule Oct. 6 seeking a second World Series championship in four years. The team's first opponent has not been determined yet.
Mark Teixeira's two-out grand slam off Kelly won it for the Yankees, costing Clay Buchholz a win after he allowed just an infield single in six shutout innings.
That only stunned the Red Sox for a short time, though. Once they returned to their clubhouse, they regrouped and let loose, dousing each other with beer and bubbly in a typical celebration.
This title tasted sweet, especially after the Red Sox completed a worst-to-first turnaround for the second time in five seasons. After winning the 2013 World Series, Boston finished last twice in a row.
"I think we can definitely use this as a stepping stone. But this is step 1," outfielder Mookie Betts said. "We've got to win a World Series and once we get there, everybody will know who the Red Sox are."
Hyun Soo Kim secured a win for Orioles, hitting a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Roberto Osuna to help his team move within one game of the AL wild-card-leading Blue Jays.
Detroit Tigers kept pace with the Orioles with a 6-3 win over Cleveland in five innings. Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning, moments before the game was halted for good, as the Tigers came away with a rain-shortened victory that kept them one game behind the Orioles.
Seattle beat Houston 12-4 to keep pressure on the other AL wild-card contenders.
Texas had an 8-5 win over Milwaukee, with Carlos Gomez hitting a three-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Rangers move closer to home-field advantage with a 1 1/2-game lead over Boston for the best record in the American League.
San Francisco dropped to 1 1/2 games behind the Mets for the top wild card in the National League after a 2-0 loss to the Rockies but remained a game up on St. Louis for the second spot after the Cardinals lost to Cincinnati.
In Pittsburgh, John Jaso hit for the cycle and drove in five runs in Pittsburgh's 8-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Jaso tripled off reliever Pedro Strop in the seventh inning for the first cycle in the history of PNC Park and the first for the Pirates since 2004.
The last Pirate to hit for the cycle was Daryle Ward on May 26, 2004, in St. Louis.
At Miami, the Marlins walked half a block alongside a hearse carrying their ace away from Marlins Park at the start of a funeral motorcade, then peeled away with watery eyes to go back inside and play.
Drained by four days of grieving Jose Fernandez's death in a boating accident, Miami didn't have much left in a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets.
The Marlins' loss in their home finale eliminated them from playoff contention.
St. Louis lost ground in the race for the two NL wild cards with a 2-1 loss to Reds. The Braves beat the Phillies 12-2 and San Diego beat the L.A. Dodgers 6-5.
At Washington, Shelby Miller threw five shutout innings, Jean Segura had three hits to reach 200 for the season and Arizona beat the Nationals 3-0 a rain-shortened game.
The NL East-champion Nationals have lost two of three to the last-place Diamondbacks and seven of their last 11 games overall.