Thu, Oct 01, 2009 - Page 19 News List

BoSox clinch berth despite loss

HEAVEN-SENT Although Toronto managed a one-run victory in Boston, the Red Sox secured a playoff berth after the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Texas Rangers

REUTERS AND AP , BOSTON AND DETROIT, MICHIGAN

AMERICAN LEAGUE

The Boston Red Sox have clinched the American League wild card entry into the playoffs despite suffering an 8-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.

The Red Sox needed a win or a Texas loss to take the postseason berth and when the Rangers were beaten 5-2 by the Los Angeles Angels, Boston sealed a sixth playoff appearance in seven years.

“Even not winning this game tonight, you [still] move into the playoffs, so it’s a celebration,” Red Sox designated-hitter David Ortiz told reporters. “We’re in this situation because we’ve done better in the regular season and we’ve worked our way to get here.”

Boston will meet the Angels in the American League Divisional Series for the third straight year, having eliminated Los Angeles from the playoffs in two straight seasons.

TWINS 3, TIGERS 2, 1ST GAME

TIGERS 6, TWINS 5, 2ND GAME

Detroit restored their two-game lead over Minnesota in the American League Central after a workhorse effort from pitcher Justin Verlander guided them to a 6-5 win in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

The Twins took the earlier game 3-2 to cut Detroit’s lead in the division to one, but Verlander logged eight innings and closer Fernando Rodney allowed one run and survived a shaky ninth for his 36th save of the year.

The Twins (82-75) trailed 5-0 in the fifth but rallied with two runs in both the sixth and eighth innings against Verlander, who struck out eight on the way to his career best-tying 18th win of the season.

The Tigers held a commanding seven-game division lead on Sept. 6, but the red-hot Twins have created late-season drama as Detroit try to win their first division title since 1987.

Tuesday’s late game went down to the wire when Minnesota’s Nick Punto hit an RBI double in the ninth to make it a one-run game. He was standing on second when Denard Span flied out to left field to end the game.

In the earlier game, Minnesota scored twice in the 10th inning for a dramatic 3-2 win.

YANKEES 4, ROYALS 3

At New York, A.J. Burnett pitched well in an encouraging playoff tuneup as New York rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to get its seventh straight victory.

Little-used Juan Miranda got the game-winning hit off ex-Yankee Kyle Farnsworth (1-5), an infield single that caromed off the reliever’s leg and into foul territory between home plate and first base. Miranda raised his arms in jubilation as he crossed the bag and the AL East champions rushed out of the dugout to celebrate.

In other AL action, it was:

• Rays 3, Orioles 1

• Mariners 6, Athletics 4

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AP, DENVER, COLORADO

Pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer off David Weathers in the 11th inning to give the Colorado Rockies a 7-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League on Tuesday.

Iannetta sent a 3-2 fastball into the Rockies’ bullpen in right-center for his first game-ending drive.

PADRES 3, DODGERS 1

At San Diego, Tony Gwynn Jr. homered and Kevin Kouzmanoff singled in the go-ahead run as San Diego kept the Dodgers from clinching their second straight NL West title.

The Dodgers have lost three straight since securing a playoff spot on Saturday night. Colorado didn’t do the Dodgers any favors, beating Milwaukee 7-5 in 11 innings.

In other NL action, it was:

• Phillies 7, Astros 4

• Marlins 5, Braves 4

• Reds 7, Cardinals 2

• Nationals 4, Mets 3

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