Blue Jays clinch play­offs The Cana­dian Press

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS -

Vladimir Guer­rero Jr., home­red and ace Hyun-Jin Ryu threw seven shutout in­nings as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yan­kees 4-1 on Thurs­day night to wrap up their first post-sea­son berth in four years.

Toronto sur­vived a ner­vous eighth in­ning as New York scratched out a run off re­liever An­thony Bass, who was pulled af­ter load­ing the bases with his third walk of the frame.

Rafael Do­lis came on and got pinch-hit­ter Gary Sanchez to fly out on a ball that Ran­dal Grichuk caught against the wall in left-cen­tre field for the third out.

Do­lis re­turned for the ninth and when he fanned Aaron Hicks for his third strike­out of the in­ning, the party was on at Buf­falo’s Sahlen Field.

The Blue Jays cel­e­brated near their dugout, with many play­ers putting on T-shirts that read “Re­spect Toronto.”

“We keep be­liev­ing in our­selves,” said man­ager Char­lie Mon­toyo. “It’s awe­some. I’m so proud of this group. I’m the hap­pi­est guy right now.”

The Blue Jays (30-27) were in con­trol of their play­off des­tiny af­ter en­ter­ing play with a magic num­ber of one. The two teams that had a chance of catch­ing Toronto — the Los Angeles An­gels and Seat­tle Mariners — were idle.

Reg­u­lar-sea­son play con­tin­ues through Sun­day and the play­offs will be­gin Tues­day. All first-round se­ries will be be­stof-three matchups.

It’s pos­si­ble that the Blue Jays could still move up in the seed­ing or­der, but they are good bets to stay in the No. 8 po­si­tion. If the sea­son ended Thurs­day night, Toronto would meet the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays.

Un­der Ma­jor League Base­ball’s ex­panded play­off struc­ture, 16 teams will reach the play­offs. Divi­sion win­ners will be seeded Nos. 1-3 in each league, sec­ond-place teams will be seeded fourth through sixth, and two third-place wild-card teams will get the sev­enth and eighth seeds.

AP PHOTO ADRIAN KRAUS

Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guer­rero Jr. scores as New York Yan­kees catcher Kyle Hi­gash­ioka reaches to make a tag, on a dou­ble by Ale­jan­dro Kirk dur­ing the sixth in­ning of a base­ball game in Buf­falo, N.Y., Thurs­day.

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