MLB Wrap: Red Sox clinch playoff berth

MLB Wrap: Red Sox clinch playoff berth
September 20, 2013, 1:30 am
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John Lackey pitched a complete-game two-hitter on Thursday to help the Red Sox clinch a playoff spot. (AP)

BOSTON -- The Red Sox clubhouse was quiet after the team clinched its first postseason berth since 2009, about as quiet as the Orioles' bats were against John Lackey.

Boston has much bigger goals.

Lackey pitched a two-hit complete game, Stephen Drew hit a two-run homer and the Red Sox beat Baltimore 3-1 on Thursday night to complete an impressive turnaround from last season's last place-finish.

The win ensured Boston at least a wild-card berth and lowered its magic number to one for clinching the AL East. A year ago, under Bobby valentine, the Red Sox finished 69-93 record - their worst since 1965 (see full recap).


Dodgers clinch playoffs
PHOENIX -- The Los Angeles Dodgers soaked everyone in sight with champagne in the clubhouse. Many players raced back out for a celebratory dip in Arizona's Chase Field swimming pool.

From last place to an NL West title in less than three months, they sure let loose.

Burdened by high expectations and a horrible start, the Dodgers relieved their pent-up pressure with a joyful celebration after becoming the first team this year to clinch a playoff spot. Hanley Ramirez homered twice as they rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 on Thursday (see full recap).


Indians win in extras, close in on wild card
CLEVELAND -- Terry Francona knows style points don't matter when a team is chasing a playoff spot.

Even though Thursday night's 2-1 win over Houston took 11 innings and featured several twists and turns, the Cleveland Indians manager wasn't about to be picky.

"We'll take any win any way we can get it," he said.

Matt Carson hit a winning single with two outs and the bases loaded and the Indians closed within a half-game in the AL wild card race. The fact the heroics came from an unlikely source made the victory even more special. Carson has spent most of his 12-year career in the minors, but came through at a crucial moment (see full recap).