Brett Gardner scored the tiebreaking run on Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the ninth as the New York Yankees celebrated clinching their 14th playoff appearance in 15 seasons on Tuesday night with a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs before Mariano Rivera earned his 41st save for the Yankees, who were guaranteed a return to the postseason about 55 minutes before the last out in Anaheim when Oakland beat the Texas Rangers 9-1.
The Yankees blew a 5-0 lead before rallying to win for the first time in five games this season at Angel Stadium.
Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and their teammates are back in the postseason after staying home last fall in manager Joe Girardi’s debut campaign.
The Yankees won 17 playoff series and four World Series titles in a 13-year span after 1994, but New York hasn’t won a championship since 2000 or even a playoff series since the 2004 division series, losing four straight.
These Yankees are likely to be in prime position to end that streak. They also have a six-game lead over Boston in the AL East and a 5.5-game edge on the Angels for homefield advantage at the new Yankee Stadium throughout the postseason.
Chone Figgins homered for the Angels, who had won four of five.
Los Angeles still has a 7.5-game lead on the Rangers in the AL West, but its magic number stayed at six for clinching its third straight division title.
The Yankees took a five-run lead in the fifth inning after early homers from Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui, but Los Angeles chipped away with several typical small-ball rallies, tying it when Izturis drove home Howie Kendrick with a single over the drawn-in infield in the eighth.
Jeter’s fourth-inning single clinched his seventh 200-hit season, a major league record for shortstops.
A’S 9, RANGERS 1
At Oakland, California, Kurt Suzuki and Daric Barton drove in two runs apiece while Trevor Cahill won his fourth straight decision with a 9-1 victory over Texas.
The Rangers’ loss kept them 6.5 games behind Boston in the AL Wild card race.
In Tuesday’s other AL games, it was:
• Mariners 4, Rays 3
• Tigers 3, Indians 1
• Twins 8, White Sox 6
• Royals 5, Red Sox 1
• Blue Jays 6, Orioles 5, 11 innings
Joel Pineiro allowed five hits in seven innings and Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer as St Louis inched closer to the NL Central title with an 11-2 win over Houston on Tuesday night.
Colby Rasmus added a solo shot as the Cardinals reduced their magic number for clinching the division to two. Pineiro (15-11) struck out four to win for the first time in four starts.
The Astros have dropped nine straight, their longest skid since losing 10 straight in May 2007. Interim manager Dave Clark fell to 0-2 since replacing the fired Cecil Cooper on Monday.
ROCKIES 11, PADRES 10
At Denver, Colorado hung on to beat San Diego 11-10 despite a four-run ninth-inning rally by the Padres.
In Tuesday’s other NL games, it was:
• Diamondbacks 10, Giants 8
• Dodgers 14, Nationals 2
• Phillies 9, Marlins 3, Game 1
• Marlins 3, Phillies 0, Game 2
• Braves 3, Mets 1
• Cubs 7, Brewers 2
• Reds 10, Pirates 4
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017