The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"You don't see any champagne tonight, but hopefully in a couple of days you will."
-- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira after New York became the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs
The Yankees clinched a spot in the playoffs but still have their eyes set on the AL East title after scraping past the Angels in Los Angeles. Alex Rodriguez drove in the winning run on a sac fly in the top of the ninth as New York withstood a rally from the Angels. Los Angeles shook off an early four-run deficit and took a 5-4 lead into the ninth. Kendry Morales went 4 for 4 for the Angels in a losing effort.
The Rays' defense of its AL crown came to an end Tuesday as Tampa Bay was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Inconsistent pitching certainly played a hand in the Rays' demise this year as Tampa Bay tanked in September, losing 13 of 14 during a particularly rough stretch. Proving it's quality, not quantity, only four Mariners had hits but they were timely, as Seattle hit two homers and worked six walks for the team's fifth win its past six games.
While other teams are racing to land a spot in the playoffs, Royals ace Zack Greinke is trying to land the Cy Young Award. Greinke tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five to become the first Kansas City pitcher to reach 15 wins since 2002. Greinke has not allowed a run in his last 35 innings, going 3-0 in his past five starts with a 0.26 ERA. The Royals staked Greinke to an early lead, putting up five runs in the bottom of the first against Boston's Paul Byrd who, coincidentally, was the last Kansas City pitcher to win 15 games (he won 17 in '02).
Baltimore's Mark Hendrickson turned in his first quality start of the season but in the end it didn't matter. The Orioles bullpen continued its implosion, giving up four runs following Hendrickson's exit after six innings. Toronto's Aaron Hill doubled to center to score Jose Bautista who reached base via a walk in the 11th inning for the win. The Blue Jays were able to score three runs over the final two innings to force extra innings.
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