A.L. Playoffs Chase: Friday-Morning Update

Chicago, IL, USA; The game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers has been postponed due to weather at U.S. Cellular Field. Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Late-season weather -- specifically, a rainout in Chicago Thursday night -- is beginning to have an impact on playoff races.

A.L. East W L
Yankees 81 62 -
Orioles 81 62 -
Rays 77 66 4

Thursday's action brought a game for the ages... well, at least one of the best games of the season, as the Rays might now have to focus more on the wild-card race.

Orioles 3, Rays 2, 14 innings: Baltimore had many, many, many chances to win this game before finally putting it away, five hours and 14 minutes after it began. They had the winning run on base in both the ninth and 10th innings with two out and failed to score. They had the bases loaded with nobody out in the 13th inning and couldn't score despite some sketchy fielding by the Rays. In the bottom of the 14th, after the first two hitters were retired, Adam Jones walked, and consecutive singles by Endy Chavez and Manny Machado won it for Baltimore. The Rays had just three baserunners after the ninth inning. For Baltimore, the 81st win clinched their first non-losing season since 1997.

Yankees 2, Red Sox 0: Phil Hughes and three New York relievers combined on the first shutout by a Yankees team in Fenway Park after September 1 since 2001. Rafael Soriano posted his 38th save, and Derek Jeter rapped an RBI single in the seventh inning. For Jeter it was his 3,283rd hit, which tied him with Willie Mays for 11th place on the all-time hits list.

A.L. Central W L
White Sox 76 66 -
Tigers 75 67 1

White Sox, Tigers postponed: An all-evening rain in Chicago postponed the game after the umpires, in consultation with Major League Baseball, waited a little over an hour to start. For the White Sox, they caught a break as they do not have to face Justin Verlander, who instead will face the Indians in Cleveland Friday. Chris Sale, the White Sox' scheduled starter, will go against the Twins in Minnesota. The rainout will be made up Monday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. CT; it eliminates the regular season's final off day for both teams.

A.L. West W L
Rangers
85 58 -
Athletics
82
61 3

Angels 6, Athletics 0: The A's 12-game road winning streak -- the longest since the franchise moved to Oakland -- was snapped as Jered Weaver and two Angels relievers held the A's to just four hits. The Angels broke a scoreless tie with a six-run sixth inning, highlighted by a home run by Torii Hunter, who went 3-for-4. A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes left the game in the fifth inning after spraining his right wrist; the injury is not thought to be serious.

Indians 5, Rangers 4: The Rangers, knowing the A's had already lost in an afternoon game, hoped to increase their division lead and sweep the visiting Indians. Joe Nathan was on the mound in the ninth inning, trying to extend his team record of 31 consecutive save opportunities successfully converted. Cleveland's Jason Kipnis had other ideas; his two-run homer capped a three-run ninth (which included another solo homer by Ezequiel Carrera) off Nathan and Chris Perez closed it out for his 36th save.

A.L. Wild Card W L
Athletics
82
61 1
O's / Yankees 81 62

-

Angels 78 66
Rays 77 66 4
Tigers 75 67

Up next: The A's and O's will meet in a three-game series beginning Friday night in Oakland; the winner of this series will have a big heads-up in the wild-card race, since both teams could get in. The team with the better record will host the wild-card game. Meanwhile, the Angels will visit Kansas City to take on the Royals, with whom they've split six games so far this season. The Rays visit the Yankees; that series has an impact on both the wild-card race and the A.L. East race; Tampa Bay trails by four games in both. And the Tigers, who are on the fringes of the wild-card race but just one game out of the A.L. Central lead, travel to Cleveland for a three-game set with the Tribe.

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