TORONTO David Ortiz hit a two-run homer, Daisuke Matsuzaka remained unbeaten on the road and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Sunday to clinch at least a tie for the AL wild-card.
Boston (91-64) needs one more win or a New York loss to secure its fifth playoff berth in six seasons. New York hosted Baltimore in the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night, but Red Sox manager Terry Francona didn't plan on staying up late enough to see what happens.
"There's a pretty good chance I'll be asleep," Francona said before the game.
The Red Sox return to Fenway Park on Monday to close the regular season with a seven-game homestand, including four against Cleveland and three against the Yankees.
YANKEES 7, ORIOLES 3: At New York, after all those championships in this celebrated place, all those unforgettable moments, the New York Yankees weren't about to be knocked out of the playoff race on a night like this. Mariano Rivera finished what Babe Ruth started 85 years ago, and New York bid farewell to fabled Yankee Stadium with a 7-3 victory Sunday night that prevented postseason elimination at least for a day.
Derek Jeter was lifted with two outs in the ninth and jogged off the field to a raucous cheer before coming out for a curtain call. A loss would have officially ended New York's run of 13 straight playoff appearances, and a Boston win Monday night against Cleveland would still do the trick.
But on a beautiful Bronx night dripping with history and nostalgia, the Yankees refused to ruin the grand festivities. Johnny Damon and Jose Molina homered to back Andy Pettitte (14-14), a fitting winner after he helped pitch New York to four World Series titles and six AL pennants from 1996-2003.
ANGELS 7, RANGERS 3: At Arlington, John Lackey gave up two hits and struck out a career-high 12 in six shutout innings, Mark Teixeira and Sean Rodriguez homered, and the Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers. Lackey (12-4) walked three and allowed only two runners to reach third as the AL West champs continued their playoff tuneup.
WHITE SOX 3, ROYALS 0: At Kansas City, John Danks and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and Paul Konerko hit a two-run homer as the AL Central-leading the White Sox beat the Royals. The victory enabled the White Sox to remain 2 1/2 games in front of the Minnesota Twins, who won at 4-1 at Tampa Bay. The White Sox open a three-game series Tuesday at Minnesota that will likely determine the American League Central crown.
TWINS 4, RAYS 1: At St. Petersburg, Francisco Liriano allowed one run over seven innings to lead the Twins past the Rays. Minnesota, which got a total of just 6 1-3 innings from its starters during the first three games of the series, split the four-game set with the AL East-leading Rays, who clinched at least a wild-card spot Saturday. Liriano (6-3) rebounded from a rough start last Tuesday when the left-hander gave up eight runs over 2 2-3 innings in the Twins' 12-9 loss to Cleveland. He scattered five hits helping Minnesota complete a long road trip with a 4-6 record.
INDIANS 10, TIGERS 5: At Cleveland, Ryan Garko went 4-for-4 with five RBIs, rookie Scott Lewis won his third straight start and the Indians moved over .500 for the first time in more than four months with their sixth straight victory over the sloppy and seemingly disinterested Tigers. Garko hit a three-run triple in the first inning off Dontrelle Willis (0-2), added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a RBI double in the seventh as the Indians won their final home game and completed a sweep of the testy three-game series that began with a benches-clearing brawl on Friday night.
ATHLETICS 5, MARINERS 3: At Oakland, Jack Cust hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat Seattle to complete a three-game sweep of the last-place Mariners.
PHILLIES 5, MARLINS 2: At Miami, Jamie Moyer pitched six sharp innings and the Philadelphia Phillies increased their lead in the NL East, beating the Florida Marlins 5-2 Sunday and taking 1 1/2-game edge over the New York Mets. At 45, Moyer (15-7) is the oldest player in the majors. Five relievers finished, with Brad Lidge closing for his 40th save in 40 chances.
BRAVES 7, METS 6: At Atlanta, Scott Schoeneweis and the Mets bullpen blew another late lead, with the Atlanta rallying for four runs in the eighth inning and a win that stalled New York's playoff push. The Mets' lead in the wild-card race was cut to 1 1/2 games by Milwaukee, which beat Cincinnati 8-1.
GIANTS 1, DODGERS 0: At Los Angeles, Rich Aurilia hit a two-out, RBI single in the 11th inning for San Francisco, trimming the Los Angeles Dodgers' lead in the NL West to 2 1/2 games over Arizona.
DIAMONDBACKS 13, ROCKIES 4: At Denver, Chris Young drove in four runs and Arizona kept its postseason push going. Young hit a single in the first inning, a solo homer in the second and a three-run triple over Ryan Spilborghs' outstretched glove in the fifth.
BREWERS 8, REDS 1: At Cincinnati, Prince Fielder homered and drove in three runs, helping Milwaukee end one of its most bizarre weeks in its history with a victory that provided little solace for a fading team. The Brewers won for only the fifth time in 20 games, a September self-destruct that has made them a long shot for the playoffs.
CUBS 5, CARDINALS 1: At Chicago, Ryan Dempster earned his 17th victory as the Chicago Cubs kept on winning a day after clinching the NL Central title, beating St. Louis in their regular-season wrapup at Wrigley Field. The victory means the Cubs (94-60) need one more win to ensure home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs
ASTROS 6, PIRATES 2: At Pittsburgh, Roy Oswalt held the Pirates to one run in six innings and backup catcher Brad Ausmus drove in two runs to lead Houston over Pittsburgh. Miguel Tejada had three hits and drove in a run as the Astros took two of three in Pittsburgh to win a series for the first time since Hurricane Ike forced them to move an important set against the Cubs to Milwaukee.
PADRES 6, NATIONALS 2: At Washington, Adrian Gonzalez's 35th homer and Kevin Kouzmanoff's three RBIs backed Cha Seung Baek's strong start, and San Diego swept a three-game series between the NL's worst teams.