Aaron Sanchez said he did not know — and did not care — that the Blue Jays had already clinched a spot in baseball’s post-season.
Toronto still had a chance to host the AL wild-card game, and Sanchez wanted the win.
“I wasn’t ready to go home,” he said after the Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 in the regular-season finale on Sunday to claim the AL’s top wild-card berth. “For it to come down to [game] 162, and me being out there ... there was a lot at stake in that game. And it was in my hands.”
Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh, and Troy Tulowitzki singled to break an eighth-inning tie.
Roberto Osuna retired David Ortiz on a weak nubber in front of the plate on the final regular season at-bat of his career, and then got Jackie Bradley Jr on a groundout with two on to finish the game.
The Blue Jays had a muted celebration on the field, then popped champagne in the visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park.
“I’m [usually] straight-faced, but that was fun out there,” Tulowitzki said.
Toronto clinched a spot in the post-season when Detroit lost to Atlanta 1-0 earlier on Sunday evening. With their win in Boston, the Blue Jays earned the right to host the Baltimore Orioles in a one-game playoff today.
The Red Sox are to start their AL Division Series against the Indians on Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio.
“We’ve been able to win on the road and that’s where our playoff journey begins,” manager John Farrell said.
Pitching with Jose Fernandez’s initials on his hat in tribute to the Marlins pitcher who died last week, Sanchez held Boston hitless until Hanley Ramirez’s disputed home run with two outs in the seventh. The ball sailed over the foul pole above the Green Monster.
Sanchez tried to wave the ball foul and then yelled to the umpire: “No way!” However, the replay upheld the original call.
“For me, it looked foul,” he said, but added that it did not matter as long as the Blue Jays won.
Xander Bogaerts followed with a single — the only other hit allowed by Sanchez, who lowered his ERA to 3.00 and clinched the AL title. In all, Sanchez (15-2) allowed one run, walking two, striking out six and hitting a batter.
“You have to give credit to Sanchez. He was [the] one today,” Ortiz said. “That’s the best I’ve ever seen him.”
The Blue Jays took the lead back in the eighth against Brad Ziegler (2-4) when Tulowitzki singled with runners on first and third. Toronto’s other run came on Devon Travis’ solo homer in the fifth.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but