MLB NOTEBOOK: Dodgers fail to clinch NL West
It took a little longer to get things settled Wednesday night with five games going extra innings. Yet, nothing was decided for the postseason as Los Angeles and Boston failed to clinch playoff spots. A quick look at baseball’s playoff picture:
EXTRA EFFORT: Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati all won in extra innings to help their postseason chances. Chris Davis had a two-run single in the 12th for the Orioles to beat Boston. Desmond Jennings redeemed himself for an early defensive miscue with a game-winning hit in the 12th inning as Tampa Bay beat Texas 4-3. Cincinnati held off Houston 6-5 in 13 innings.
STAYING ALIVE: Six outs away from a second straight shutout loss, the New York Yankees gave their diminishing playoff hopes a big boost. Vernon Wells had a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning, Mariano Rivera earned a four-out save and the Yankees rallied from three runs down to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3, snapping a four-game skid. New York trails Texas by 2 1/2 games for the second wild card in the AL.
CLOSING IN ON THE POSTSEASON: Atlanta and St. Louis moved closer to clinching their divisions and Boston inched toward a playoff spot. The Braves and Cardinals did it by winning while the Red Sox benefited from a loss by the Indians. Atlanta’s magic number for winning its first NL East title since 2005 is down to two games. St. Louis increased its lead over Pittsburgh to two games. Even with its loss to Baltimore, Boston is guaranteed at least a tie for the second wild-card berth after Cleveland’s loss to Kansas City.
STAVING OFF ELIMINATION: Arizona kept alive its faint chance of winning the NL West by beating Los Angeles, 9-4. The Diamondbacks trail the Dodgers by 9 1/2 games with 11 games to play. The Diamondbacks blew open a close game with the Dodgers scoring five runs in the eighth inning.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Pittsburgh finally had a chance to beat San Diego before letting the game slip away in the ninth inning. The Pirates, who have gone 10-31 at home against the Padres since their new ballpark opened in 2001, led 2-1 heading into the ninth inning. Consecutive RBI singles by Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon sent Pittsburgh to another loss and dropped them two games behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead.