October 1, 2012 in Sports

Yanks keep race tight

Associated Press
 
Magic numbers

A.L. East: Number is 4 for Baltimore or New York to clinch the division.

A.L. Central: Number is 1 for Detroit to clinch.

A.L. East: Number is 2 for Texas to clinch.

A.L. wild card: The East Division runnerup will take one spot; Number is 1 for Oakland to clinch a playoff berth, eliminating Angels and Rays.

N.L. East: Number is 1 for Washington to clinch.

N.L. wild card: St. Louis has a number of 2 to eliminate Los Angeles. Atlanta or Washington will take the first spot.

After holding onto the A.L. East lead for more than 3 1/2 months, the Yankees appeared set to fall out of first place on Sunday. Then they rallied from a four-run deficit and headed home still tied with Baltimore.

“Tonight was a season-defining game for us,” New York’s Nick Swisher said after a 9-6 win at the Toronto Blue Jays. “We could have gone down big like that and just packed it in, but that’s not this team’s M.O. That’s not how we approach it.”

Eduardo Nunez drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly. Eric Chavez homered for the Yankees (92-67), who completed a 4-3 trip and headed home for a season-closing series against Boston. The Orioles (92-67) beat the Red Sox 6-3 and traveled to Florida for their final series, at Tampa Bay.

“Every game feels like it’s a playoff game right now,” Russell Martin said. “That’s our attitude.”

New York has overcome four-run deficits to win twice in a nine-game span for the second time this season, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees and Baltimore clinched playoff spots when the Angels lost to the Rangers in the second game of their doubleheader.

With both the division title and the A.L.’s best record still up for grabs, the Yankees aren’t relishing the prospect of playing the last-place Red Sox, who have lost 90 games for the first time since 1966.

“They would like nothing better than to spoil our season,” Martin said.

Clearing the bases

Manager Dusty Baker is going to rejoin Cincinnati in St. Louis after missing 11 games because of a mini-stroke, and he will manage the team during the final series of the regular season. … Texas Rangers reliever Mike Adams is out for the rest of the regular season and questionable for the playoffs because of a condition that causes numbness and tingling in the fingers.

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