The Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees entered Tuesday with a chance to clinch a berth in MLB's postseason. All three wrapped up spots in the playoffs with wins, one in dramatic fashion.
Jay Bruce clinched the NL Central title for the Reds with his second career walk-off as they knocked off the Houston Astros 3-2. It's the Reds first division title and playoff berth since 1995. The Reds' 14 straight seasons missing the playoffs was the fifth-longest active drought in MLB.
Walk-Off HR To Clinch Postseason Berth
Bruce is the fifth player all-time to hit a walk-off HR to clinch a postseason berth and the first since Steve Finley for the 2004 Los Angeles Dodgers. It is the Reds 22nd win in their last at-bat this season, tied for second in the majors.
CC Sabathia had his third game allowing three hits or fewer while pitching at least eight innings this month. He is the first Yankees pitcher to have three starts of that kind in a month since Jimmy Key in April 1993.
The Rays also clinched a playoff spot with a 5-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles in front of 17,981 at Tropicana Field. Using the attendance figures on ESPN.com, the Rays average attendance this season of 22,913 would be the third-lowest by a playoff team since 2001.
Price won his 19th game with eight scoreless innings. He is second in the AL in wins to Sabathia's 21 and is the only pitcher in the league to rank in the top three in wins and ERA, which lowered to 2.73.
Most Starts with 8 IP, 1 R or Fewer
Single Season, Last 25 Seasons
Hernandez gave up one run over eight innings in the Seattle Mariners 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers. It was the 13th time this season Hernandez has gone at least eight innings while giving up one run or fewer. That's the most by a starting pitcher in a single season since Roger Clemens in 1997. Clemens went on to win the Cy Young that year.
According to ESPN's player rankings, Hernandez has the lead among AL starting pitchers over Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester. Price ranks fourth while Sabathia is sixth. Time will tell who will take home the hardware.