The Cleveland Indians enter the final week of the season with momentum and a soft schedule. However, their rivals for the two wild-card playoff spots both won last night.
Tampa Bay scored a dramatic 5-4 home victory over the Baltimore Orioles on a walk-off home run by James Loney. The game was marred by a gruesome leg injury to Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in the seventh inning.
Like the Indians over the Astros, the Rays dominated the Orioles with a four-game sweep.
Speaking of Houston, the Astros continued their woeful play as the Texas Rangers destroyed them 12-0 at The Ballpark in Arlington. Alex Rios hit for the cycle.
Tampa Bay holds the first wild-card spot, one game ahead of the Indians. Texas is a game behind Cleveland.
To finish the season, Cleveland will play two games against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field starting tonight. The Tribe will finish the regular season with four games at Minnesota.
Texas plays at home for the final six games: two more against Houston and four against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Tampa Bay Rays are on the road for the rest of the season with three games against the New York Yankees and three against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ubaldo Jimenez, the Tribe’s ace, will pitch tonight and on the final day of the season. Texas has the same scenario with its top pitcher, Yu Darvish (13-9). Matt Moore (15-4) will pitch twice for Tampa Bay.
Cleveland’s other starters will be Danny Salazar on Wednesday against the White Sox, and Zach McAllister, Scott Kazmir and Corey Kluber for the first three games against Minnesota.
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