The San Francisco Giants are back in the National League wild card game thanks to a 7-1 victory over arch-rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants booked a cross-country trip to New York where they’ll face the Mets in the NL wild card game on Wednesday.
On a nail-biting final day of the Major League Baseball regular season, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays booked an American League wild card showdown as the Detroit Tigers were finally eliminated from the race.
The Giants, owners of baseball’s best record at the All-Star break, survived a second-half swoon to reach the playoffs for the fourth time in seven seasons.
A defeat on Sunday could have sent them into a one-game playoff for the wild card berth against the St. Louis Cardinals, who were still on the field en route to a 10-4 victory over Pittsburgh when the Giants’ victory eliminated them from contention.
The Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Denard Span’s three hits for the Giants included a three-run triple and Buster Posey drove in three runs for San Francisco — who are counting on their even-year mojo to continue.
The Giants won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
In New York, Matt Wieters homered from both sides of the plate in consecutive at-bats for the Orioles in their 5-2 victory over the Yankees.
Wieters became the first Orioles player to homer from both sides of the plate since Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar on July 25, 1996 against Cleveland at Camden Yards.
The switch-hitting catcher recorded his seventh career multi-homer game and third of the season.
The Blue Jays will host the AL wild card game on Tuesday thanks to their better head-to-head record against the Orioles.
Troy Tulowitzki singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning to help Toronto to a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox in Boston.
Even before the win was in the books, the Blue Jays were assured of their wild card opportunity thanks to Detroit’s 1-0 loss to the Braves, who were playing their last home game at Turner Field.
American League East division champions Boston will open their AL division series against the Indians on Thursday in Cleveland after the defeat, coupled with Cleveland’s 3-2 win over Kansas City, gave the Indians home field advantage.
The Texas Rangers will open the second AL division series at home against either Toronto or Baltimore.
The Washington Nationals will host the Dodgers in their National League Division Series opener on Friday, when the Chicago Cubs will host either the Giants or the Mets.
The Cubs, on a quest for their first World Series title since 1908, capped their epic regular season with a 103rd victory — downing the Cincinnati Reds 7-4.
“We’re ready,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said of the looming post-season. “We’re going to enjoy it.”
© 2016 AFP
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