Facing the likelihood of their second dark October in as many years, these are desperate times for the Yankees, and so the bullpen phone rang demanding the services of David Robertson. The gamble -- having Robertson on the mound for a third straight game -- did not pay off, resulting in a blown save and a 3-2 Orioles victory on Sunday at Camden Yards.
Kelly Johnson, who also has played this season with the Yankees and Red Sox, drove a walk-off hit into the gap in right-center in the bottom of the ninth, sending Steve Pearce home for a 3-2 win over the Yanks on Sunday night, cutting the O's magic number to three.
The Baltimore Orioles are the closest to clinching. The Oakland A's looked like they might be in serious postseason trouble after Friday's series-opening loss to the Mariners, but two wins in a row in Seattle have them back in good shape. The Detroit Tigers have to be feeling good about their recent play, too.
The A's added Jon Lester at the July 31 Trade Deadline because he is a proven big-game pitcher, something that Oakland was missing. And he provided a perfect example of what he brings to the table in Sunday's 4-0 win in Seattle.
The Giants are assured of a rematch with the Dodgers, which is scheduled for Sept. 22-24. But because of their less-than-ideal performance in this weekend's showdown, which concluded Sunday with Los Angeles' 4-2 triumph, the Giants don't know what significance their return engagement will bear.
The Angels' offense simply overheated. After bashing their way to a season-high 10-game winning streak, the Angels came crashing down to earth during Sunday's 6-1 loss to Houston, mustering just three hits as the temperature hovered in the mid-90s.
If balloting for National League MVP should come down to Clayton Kershaw and Buster Posey, the Dodgers' ace got a leg-kick up on the Giants' big bopper Sunday.
The Orioles paid tribute to Derek Jeter's career in a pregame ceremony on Sunday evening at Camden Yards, and Jeter reflected on competing against the O's and his time playing for Buck Showalter in New York.
Lefty Jon Lester navigated his way through consistent turbulence with ace-like savvy, and the A's gave him solo home runs from Sam Fuld and Brandon Moss to help put away the Mariners, 4-0, on Sunday and claim this pivotal three-game set at Safeco Field.
Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, working in 96-degree heat at Angel Stadium against the team with the best record in baseball, stopped the Angels cold Sunday afternoon. Keuchel, who took a no-hitter into the seventh, allowed three hits in seven-plus innings for a 6-1 victory that ended the Angels' 10-game winning streak.
The D-backs clinched their three-game series against the Padres with a 8-6 win at Chase Field on Sunday.
Clayton Kershaw became MLB's first 19-game winner this year in a 4-2 Dodgers victory Sunday. Matt Kemp's clutch two-run homer in the sixth inning secured the series rubber game that restored the Dodgers' National League West lead to three games and trimmed the magic number for clinching the division to 11.
After surrendering four runs and blowing the Phillies' three-run lead in the ninth of Sunday's 5-4 loss, Jonathan Papelbon kept his gaze on the fans above the Phillies' dugout as he began to walk off the field. Midway through his trek from the mound to the dugout, he made a not-so-subtle gesture that sent an already fired-up Citizens Bank Park crowd into a frenzy.
Relieving Jason Vargas in a tight spot, Aaron Crow gave up a go-ahead grand slam as the Royals fell to the Red Sox, 8-4, on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
While the Tigers have momentum in the American League Central once again, they face lingering questions about whether they have their catcher. A week after Alex Avila returned from concussion symptoms, he left Sunday's 6-4 win over the Indians with what the team classified as lightheadedness.
Left-hander Mike Minor, who entered the game with six straight quality starts, couldn't stop the bleeding during a six-run fifth inning for the Rangers, who handed the Braves a 10-3 loss at Globe Life Park on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Davis, who is serving a 25-game suspension for using Adderall without a therapeutic use exemption, will go down to the Orioles' spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., soon to continue working out.