Blue Jays-Orioles postponed by rain, will play DH Wednesday
BALTIMORE (AP) The Toronto Blue Jays will have to keep the champagne on ice for at least one more day.
Toronto had a shot at clinching its first AL East title in 22 years Tuesday night before its game against the Baltimore Orioles was postponed by rain.
The makeup will be part of a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m. ET.
Toronto entered play Tuesday with a magic number of two to capture its sixth division title - the first since 1993. Any combination of victories by the Blue Jays or losses by the Yankees totaling two will ensure a title for Toronto, as New York is the lone remaining team with a mathematical chance of overtaking the Jays in the division.
Although the Blue Jays have already qualified for the playoffs, they would prefer to enter the postseason as division champions - which would be cause for their second champagne celebration this month.
Asked Tuesday how he felt about being on the brink of winning the AL East, manager John Gibbons said, ''I don't know if I feel differently, but I know what's going on.''
The Blue Jays began play Tuesday with an AL-best 91-65 record, one game better than Kansas City. The team that finishes with the best record secures home-field advantage through the World Series.
''Yeah, we'd love to do that. I think that would be very important,'' Gibbons said.
Toronto's starting pitchers for Wednesday will be Marcus Stroman (3-0, 1.89 ERA) and R.A. Dickey (11-11, 4.00). Miguel Gonzalez (9-11, 4.85) and Kevin Gausman (3-7, 4.49) are slated to pitch for the Orioles.
Baltimore, the defending AL East champion, was formally eliminated from playoff contention Monday night when Houston beat Seattle.
Although the Orioles have little incentive to win, manager Buck Showalter said he will send out his best players. After facing the Blue Jays through Thursday, Baltimore closes the season with three games against New York.
''It's extremely disappointing,'' Showalter said of his team's elimination. ''But we've got six games left, and there are teams counting on us to put our best foot forward every night. These games mean a lot to other teams, which makes them mean a lot to us.''
Showalter offered a figurative tip of the cap to the Blue Jays, who stockpiled talent before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Toronto was 50-50 on July 26 but has gone 42-15 since.
''They should be very proud of the work they've done this year,'' Showalter said. ''They made some good acquisitions, good trades, good free agent signings. They added some really key, good pieces. Just like we did last year and tried to do this year.''