<
>

Orioles win biggest game of year and help Red Sox clinch AL East

play
Orioles rally late to top Blue Jays (0:52)

The Orioles' three-run rally is capped off by a Hyun Soo Kim two-run home run in the ninth inning, resulting in a 3-2 victory over Toronto. (0:52)

The Boston Red Sox lose and clinch the AL East. The Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers win, but lose when the Baltimore Orioles win. The New York Mets win ... and then win again when the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants lose. If you've been paying attention, that will make sense.

It was a night of dramatic moments, with a lot happening in a span of 1 hour, 12 minutes. Here's a timeline (all times ET) courtesy of Sarah Langs of ESPN Stats & Info:

1. Orioles can breathe again. The Mariners had already won and the Tigers were going to win, so the Orioles would have fallen into a tie with the Tigers and would be just a game ahead of the Mariners. Instead:

It was a terrific at-bat by Kim, as he fouled off three pitches with two strikes, worked the count to 3-2, and then turned on a 96-mph heater. Besides the importance for the Orioles, the game signifies a growing concern about the Toronto bullpen that is now without Joaquin Benoit. Jason Grilli served up a home run to Mark Trumbo in the eighth to make it 2-1, and then Osuna gave up two runs for the third time in six outings. The Blue Jays will hold on for a wild card, but if they escape that game you have to wonder if the bullpen has the depth and reliability to bring this team to the World Series.

2. The Yankees are still alive! Teixeira is retiring at season's end, so pretty cool that he hit the first walk-off home run of his career -- he'd had the most regular-season home runs without ever hitting a walk-off.

Oh, and the Yankees are still barely alive. They just need to go 4-0, the Orioles need to go 0-4, the Tigers 1-3, the Mariners 2-2 and the Astros 3-0 and we get a five-way tie for the second wild card. Our friend Rany Jazayerli tells us, "Using the binomial theorem and assuming every game is a coin flip, I get the odds of this happening as 3 in 8,192, or about 0.04%."

We can dream!

3. Did Gary Sanchez just win the Rookie of the Year? In that rainy game in Detroit that was eventually called after five innings, Michael Fulmer lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, which means: 1. His 3.06 ERA now matches Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays for the AL lead (Fulmer leads on the fourth decimal, however). 2. He didn't get to 162 to qualify for the ERA title anyway. Winning the ERA crown would have been a boost to Fulmer's résumé, although you would hope three innings wouldn't change a voter's ballot.

4. Mets can clinch Friday. Jay Bruce homered for the second game in a row, Curtis Granderson rapped out four hits, Seth Lugo won again and Jeurys Familia notched his 50th save as the Mets beat the Marlins 5-2. Then the Cardinals lost and then the Giants did too. FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Mets' playoff odds of 99 percent. They're off Thursday, but if the Cardinals and Giants both lose again, they can clinch on Friday with a win and a Giants loss.

Oh, and in instructional league, you might have that Tim Tebow homered on the first he saw in game action.

5. Texas Rangers inch closer to home-field advantage. Down 5-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers, they scored four runs in the eighth, with Carlos Gomez belting a three-run homer.

And get this, also from Ryan Spaeder: With this win going to reliever Jeremy Jeffress, the Rangers tied the 1953 Dodgers with 41 relief wins. The Rangers are 25th in relief. Is this 2016's team of destiny?