The American League wildcard race is down to the final three days with three teams searching for two spots. That's because all three teams held serve on Thursday with top seed Tampa Bay Rays defeating the New York Yankees 4-0, the Cleveland Indians holding off the Minnesota Twins, 6-5, and the Texas Rangers grabbing a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels with a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
With that the Rays hold a 1-game lead on the Indians and the Rangers one game back of the Tribe for that second and final wildcard position.
While the Indians remain in Minnesota and the Rangers continue a 4-game series at home with the Angels, the Rays move on from New York to Toronto to conclude the regular season which ends on Sunday.
Cleveland, which held a 6-1 lead entering the ninth at Target Field on Thursday, saw closer Chris Perez unable to finish off the win, allowing four runs and giving way to Joe Smith, who allowed a walk and hit before getting the last out.
Smith earned the save, even though he put the potential tying and winning runs on before getting the last out. With that, the Indians will not go with Perez in that roll, moving to a closer by committee in their final three games in search of their first post season spot since 2007.
In Friday's game with the Twins, the Indians will have Corey Kluber (10-5) start against Pedro Gonzalez (3-2) as the Twins (66-93) look to close out a disappointing season on a positive note. The Indians (89-70) have clinched their first winning season since 2007 when the Tribe went 90-72 and advanced to the American League Championship Series before losing in seven to the Boston Red Sox.