Welcome to Blue Jays Wild Card Watch, a regular look at how Toronto is faring in relation to its playoff rivals. Here we'll provide an update on the standings, recap what each team did in its most recent outing and look ahead to its next matchup.
Whit Merrifield delivered the go-ahead hit in the ninth inning, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Spencer Horwitz homered and drove in two runs apiece. Ace Kevin Gausman was shaky on the mound, surrendering three runs in four innings before a rain delay knocked him out of the game early.
Toronto has a golden opportunity to climb the standings this week as it continues its stretch against the three worst teams in baseball. The Blue Jays begin a road series against the Oakland Athletics on Monday before returning home to play the Kansas City Royals on the weekend.
The Athletics series comes as the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers square off for three games, meaning the Blue Jays will be making up ground on someone as long as they take care of business in Oakland. Jose Berrios (9-10, 3.70 ERA) toes the rubber for the Blue Jays in the opener against A's right-hander Luis Medina (3-8, 5.44 ERA)
Here's a look at the standings to begin the week:
Yesterday's result: The Mariners had no answer for Pete Alonso, as the New York Mets grabbed a 6-3 victory in the rubber match of the three-game series. Seattle pitcher George Kirby, who hadn’t started since Aug. 23 due to an illness, gave up four runs (three earned) in three innings.
What's next: The Mariners look to shake off a rare series loss in the opener of a three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Bryan Woo (2-3, 4.15 ERA) takes the mound for the Mariners, while the Reds have yet to name their starter.
Yesterday's result: Adolis Garcia delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Rangers over the Minnesota Twins to snap a three-game losing streak. Mitch Garver homered twice for Texas and drove in four runs in the 6-5 win. Texas ended up blowing three different leads before finally winning for just the fourth time in 16 games.
What's next: The Rangers welcome the rival Astros to town for a crucial three-game series. Andrew Heaney (9-6, 4.16 ERA) draws the starting assignment for Texas opposite Houston right-hander J.P. France (10-5, 3.49 ERA).
Yesterday's result: Houston couldn't muster much offence against Michael King and the Yankees bullpen, falling 6-1 to New York and getting swept at home. Yankees rookie Jasson Dominguez hit a two-run homer in the sixth that proved to be the decisive blast.
What's next: See Rangers section.
Yesterday's result: Masataka Yoshida hit a three-run homer in support of Chris Sale as the Red Sox won their second straight game against the Kansas City Royals. Sale pitched five scoreless innings in Boston's eventual 7-3 win.