The Seattle Mariners no longer hold the MLB’s longest streak of failing to go to the postseason. After Friday night’s 2-1 win over the Oakland A’s at home, they will be heading to the playoffs, clinching a Wild Card spot after 21 years of waiting and waiting and waiting. And it couldn’t have come in much more dramatic fashion, either, as Cal Raleigh homered in the bottom of the ninth to walk it off and ensure his team were headed to their first playoff run since the days of Ichiro were young in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s Logan Gilbert started and went eight strong innings while giving up just three hits and a single earned run.
The Mariners still have plenty to play for despite locking themselves in, as they are two behind Toronto for the first WC berth and a half-game up on Tampa for the final spot. Elsewhere, the Atlanta Braves took the first game of a three-game set with the New York Mets that could determine the victor of the NL East this season, knocking off the visitors 5-2 thanks to three solo home runs off Jacob deGrom. Max Fried picked up the win on the mound after five innings of work before the bullpen shut the door, bringing the Braves level with the Mets with two games left in the series and five games overall. In other news, the Tampa Bay Rays also clinched a Wild Card spot while the Houston Astros assured themselves of home field in the AL. Albert Pujols, meanwhile, hit his 701st homer, too, as the St. Louis Cardinals won 2-1 at home against Pittsburgh.