With Tampa Bay Rays facing Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field and Seattle Mariners hosting the Chicago White Sox later at T-Mobile Park, Mariners came in Monday two games ahead of Toronto (already reduced to one) and one game ahead of the Rays (already reduced to half game) for first place as a wild card in the American League, with the Blue Jays now sitting a half game behind the Rays after Monday’s two wins against the Baltimore Orioles.
Including this Monday, the Blue Jays and Orioles play 10 more times down the stretch. After this four-game series in Baltimore, Toronto hosts Baltimore on September 16-18, then returns to Camden Yards to close out the regular season on October 3-5:
In between, the Blue Jays also face the Rays nine more times, meaning 19 of Toronto’s last 30 games are against their direct wild-card competitors. Everyone matters. Kevin Gausman, starter for the Blue Jays who beat the Orioles on Monday in game one, commented on the matter:
From the first play of the game, you could tell that the whole stadium was very excited about this. It was strange to hear the singing of the ‘O’ [durante el himno nacional] and realize that now they are cheering me on. But it was really cool. The Baltimore faithful let me hear it, good and bad. This is a special place for me, and I’ve always loved pitching here. It’s just a matter of time with this team. Right now would be the perfect time to kick it off. So I hope it’s right now.”
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MLB: The battle for Wild Card in the American League is more closed; there is only one game between the three