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The Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have clinched their spots in the American League wildcard game, which will take place on October 2. On Friday night, the Athletics clinched their American League Wildcard spot when the Cleveland Indians lost 8-2 to the Washington Nationals. The Rays meanwhile needed a win as well as an Indians loss and got those results when they beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Rays won their game on Friday due to the long ball. Designated hitter Tommy Pham of Las Vegas, NV hit a two run home run in the third inning, which also scored third baseman Joey Wendle of Wilmington, DE. Left fielder Austin Meadows of Atlanta, GA also hit a solo home run in the ninth inning. Pham’s home run went 391 feet to left field and opened the scoring as the blast put the Rays up 2-0 at the time. Meadows’ home run was 371 feet and ended the scoring as it put the Rays up 6-2.
With the win, the Rays improved to a record of 96 wins and 64 losses. The Athletics, which lost to the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Friday, are now tied with the Rays. If the Athletics and Rays are tied after their final two regular season games this weekend, Oakland will host the American League wildcard game on Tuesday, as they won four of the seven games against the Rays this season.
The winner of the American League wildcard game will play the Houston Astros in the American League Divisional Series. The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins are playing in the other American League Divisional Series.
In the National League, we know the Atlanta Braves have won the National League East, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won the National League West and the Washington Nationals have clinched a wildcard spot. We also know that the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers are in the postseason. What we do not know is who will win the National League Central.
At this time, the Cardinals have a one game lead over the Brewers. If the Cardinals and Brewers are tied after Sunday, there will be a one game playoff in St. Louis on Monday to determine the National League Central champion. The Cardinals have two games left against the Chicago Cubs and the Brewers have two games left against the Colorado Rockies.