If you take a gander at the standings today, you'll notice a familiar name right under the two wild card leaders in the American League – that's right, it's those pesky New York Yankees again, just 3.5 games behind the Rays for the second wild card spot. New York finished off a 16-12 August with a 2-0 win over the Orioles on Saturday night. The Yankees successfully picked up ground on every AL team ahead of them in the standings except for the Tigers and Rangers, who are going to win their divisions and aren't exactly a threat to the Bronx Bombers' playoff hopes. With a September schedule that includes three games with the Rays, five with the Orioles, and seven with the Red Sox, the Yankees have plenty of chances to make a late push for some October baseball.
PIC OF THE DAY
Justin Morneau in an unfamiliar uniform (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Angels 6, Brewers 5. A two-run double by Jonathan Lucroy in the first inning immediately gave the Brewers a lead, but Marco Estrada coughed it up by allowing three in the third. Aramis Ramirez doubled in Lucroy in the bottom of the inning to knot the score at three, but Chris Iannetta pushed the Angels back in front with a solo homer in the fourth inning. Scoring remained quiet until the bottom of the seventh, when a Lucroy single plated two more and gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead. Jim Henderson came on for the save in the ninth, and did his best to channel departed Brewers closer John Axford, giving up a go-ahead two-run homer to Hank Conger. Ernesto Frieri threw 22 pitches in the ninth, but allowed just a single, locking up the save for Anaheim.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Ivan Nova was brilliant in the Yankees' 2-0 win over the Orioles, allowing three hits in his complete game shutout victory, striking out five and walking one. Matt Garza dominated the Twins in the Rangers' 2-1 win, giving up one run on three hits in seven innings, punching out nine and walking three. Mike Pelfrey nearly matched Garza pitch for pitch, allowing one run on six hits in seven innings, striking out seven without a walk. Sonny Gray carried the A's to a 2-1 win over the Rays, allowing five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless frames, walking one and striking out seven. AJ Burnett pitched the Pirates past the Cardinals 7-1, giving up one run on four hits, striking out six and walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Omar Infante had a good night for the Tigers in their 10-5 win over the Indians, going 2/5 with a pair of homers and five RBI. In the Reds' 8-3 win in Denver, Brandon Phillips went 3/5 with three runs, two RBI, a double, a triple, and a homer. BJ Upton helped the Braves to a 5-4, 11 inning win over the Marlins, going 4/6 with a homer and three RBI. Coco Crisp provided Oakland with all the offense they needed to beat the Rays, going 3/4 with a homer, two RBI, and a stolen base. In Milwaukee's loss to the Angels, Jonathan Lucroy went 3/5 with a run, a double, a stolen base, and four RBI.
Other Games: The Blue Jays beat the Royals 4-2. The Cubs beat the Phillies 4-3 on a late Starlin Castro homer. The Mets smashed the Nationals 11-3. The Red Sox beat the White Sox 7-2. The Mariners topped the Astros 3-1. The Diamondbacks beat the Giants 4-3 in walkoff fashion. The Dodgers rallied late to top the Padres 2-1.
Today's Games: Wei-Yin Chen and Andy Pettitte will duel in the Bronx. James Shields starts for the Royals in Toronto. Danny Salazar and Justin Verlander will face off in Detroit. CJ Wilson and the Angels take on Kyle Lohse and the Brewers. Hisashi Iwakuma gets the nod for the Mariners in Houston. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Padres. Pat Corbin and the Diamondbacks welcome the Giants to Phoenix. Alex Wood and the Braves look to sweep Nate Eovaldi and the Marlins.
National TV: Orioles-Yankees (1 PM, TBS), Nationals-Mets (8 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Indians-Tigers (1 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: CJ Wilson vs Kyle Lohse (Angels at Brewers, 2 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.