Play­off field set on sea­son’s fi­nal day

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Ben Walker

Bal­ti­more will play at Toronto on Tues­day and San Fran­cisco will head to Citi Field on Wed­nes­day to face the Mets in the two one-game wild card matchups.

So much for any Game No. 162 chaos in base­ball: The San Fran­cisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Bal­ti­more Ori­oles grabbed the last three play­off spots Sun­day, and the Oc­to­ber matchups are set.

Neat and clean, no need for all sorts of tiebreak­ers. Too bad — that kind of fi­nal-day scram­ble might’ve been fun for fans.

In­stead, they could sit back, sa­vor Vin Scully’s farewell call and pre­pare for the post­sea­son. It opens Tues­day night when the Ori­oles visit Toronto in the AL wild-card game.

“All we asked for is an op­por­tu­nity, and right now, we have an op­por­tu­nity,” Bal­ti­more cen­ter fielder Adam Jones said af­ter a 5-2 win over the New York Yan­kees. “So, let’s cel­e­brate and en­joy this and get back to work.”

No of­fi­cial word yet on the start­ing pitch­ers at Rogers Cen­tre. Fig­ures to be Chris Till­man for the O’s against Mar­cus Stro­man.

On Wed­nes­day night, aces duel as Madi­son Bum­gar­ner starts for the Giants vs. Noah Syn­der­gaard and the New York Mets at Citi Field in the NL wild-card game.

“We found a way to get back to where we need to be,” Bum­gar­ner said af­ter his team’s 7-1 win fin­ished off a sweep of the Dodgers. “If we play like we have been the last three days, we’ll be tough to beat.”

On Thurs­day, the best-of­five AL Divi­sion Se­ries be­gins: David Or­tiz and Bos­ton at Cleve­land, and the wild-card win­ner at Texas.

“I guess I wish Or­tiz would con­sider re­tir­ing early,” said In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona, who pre­vi­ously guided Big Papi with the Red Sox, “but I don’t see that hap­pen­ing.”

On Fri­day night, Clay­ton Ker­shaw starts Game 1 for the Los An­ge­les Dodgers at Wash­ing­ton, and the NL wild-card win­ner plays the best-in-the-ma­jors Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Go­ing into Game 162, Detroit and St. Louis also had a chance to reach the post­sea­son. That raised the pos­si­bil­ity of multi-team, multi-city tiebreak­ers go­ing into early next week.

The Tigers were in the mid­dle of that mix. They hoped to win at At­lanta and have ei­ther the Ori­oles or Blue Jays lose — then, they would’ve needed to win a makeup game at home Mon­day against Detroit to force a tiebreaker for an AL wild-card spot.

“I would not have en­joyed the travel,” Tigers man­ager Brad Aus­mus said, “but I would have rel­ished trav­el­ing.”

That kind of drama never de­vel­oped as the teams hold­ing leads took care of busi­ness.

KATHY KMONICEK — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ori­oles pitcher Tommy Hunter is doused in the visi­tors’ club­house af­ter the Ori­oles beat the Yan­kees, 5-2, to earn a spot in the play­offs, Sun­day in New York.

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