New York clinched a postseason spot Saturday, beating the Phillies 5-3 to secure the top National League wild card and set off a bubbly celebration that spilled from the visitors’ clubhouse onto the field in Philadelphia.
“We never gave up,” said third baseman Jose Reyes, back in the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. “We never doubted the talent we had in here.”
The only other time the Mets made the postseason in consecutive years was 1999-2000. New York won the N.L. East last season and went all the way to the World Series before losing to Kansas City.
Two games under .500 on Aug. 19, the Mets have gone a major league-best 27-12 during the last six weeks to vault over four teams in the N.L. wild-card race.
“This year was much tougher,” pitcher Bartolo Colon said through a translator. “We had a lot of people injured and it was hard to get here to play just this one game we’re going to play.”
The defending N.L. champions will host San Francisco or St. Louis on Wednesday night, with the winner advancing to face the Chicago Cubs.
The Giants stayed one game ahead of St. Louis for the second N.L. wild-card spot after beating the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0.
The Cardinals held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 in St. Louis.
Blue Jays move up
Ezequiel Carrera hit a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to give Toronto the lead after the Red Sox tied it in the eighth on a balk, and the Blue Jays beat Boston 4-3 to move into a tie with Baltimore for the top spot in the A.L. wild-card race.
The Blue Jays and Orioles each have 88 wins with one game to play, and Toronto owns the tie-breaker. Detroit and Seattle are also still in the hunt.
In New York, the Yankees rallied in the seventh from a three-run deficit to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.
Detroit damaged its playoff hopes as Atlanta rookie Aaron Blair struck out a career-high 10 to lead the Braves in a 5-3 win over the Tigers.
Detroit fell a game and a half behind Toronto and Baltimore for the second A.L. wild card.
Ortiz bids farewell
Hockey great Bobby Orr, NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett and the entire current Boston Celtics roster joined David Ortiz on the field at Fenway Park to help celebrate Big Papi on his way into retirement.
The ceremony before Boston’s game also featured former patients at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, who Ortiz helped through his work for the Jimmy Fund. Boston Marathon bombing victims also joined the sports stars on the field to thank Ortiz for his defiant and inspirational speech following the 2013 finish line attacks.
The basketball players all wore Celtics jerseys with Ortiz’s No. 34. Many of them asked the Red Sox designated hitter to sign their shirts, and several posed for selfies with him.
Ortiz has said he will retire at the end of the season, and the Red Sox planned celebrations for the final weekend series at Fenway. Friday night’s ceremony included beneficiaries of the David Ortiz Children’s Fund; Sunday is expected to feature Ortiz’s former teammates.