Marlins, Rangers, Blue Jays and Arizona seal MLB playoff spots
The Miami Marlins and Texas Rangers clinched Major League Baseball playoff berths with triumphs on Saturday while Arizona and Toronto also secured post-season spots.
Josh Bell drove in three runs to spark Miami to a 7-3 victory at Pittsburgh that ensured the Marlins a National League wildcard playoff berth, only their second trip to the post-season since winning the 2003 World Series.
Also on the penultimate day of the six-month season, the Rangers jumped ahead by five runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 6-1 victory at Seattle to clinch an American League playoff berth and ensure a place for the Toronto Blue Jays also.
When the Cincinnati Reds lost 15-6 at St. Louis, that allowed the Arizona Diamondbacks to clinch a NL playoff spot as well.
In all, five playoff berths were on offer on Saturday, with Houston needing a later victory at Arizona to claim the last available AL spot.
In the National League, Atlanta, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Dodgers already had secured division titles and Philadelphia had claimed a wildcard playoff berth.
In the American League, Baltimore and Minnesota already had clinched division titles and Tampa Bay had sealed a wildcard playoff spot.
The Marlins, with one of MLB's smallest season payrolls, booked their wildcard position by improving to 84-76.
Miami's Jorge Soler, who won World series titles with the Chicago Cubs in 2016 and 2021 with Atlanta, drove in a run on a fielder's choice and Bell followed with a run-scoring sacrifice fly out in the sixth inning to give the Marlins a 4-2 lead.
Bell added a two-run double in the eighth inning for a 6-2 edge.
Pittsburgh's Bryan Reynolds answered by driving in a run on a single in the eighth but Jazz Chisholm doubled and scored in the ninth on a single by Brian De La Cruz for the final margin.
At St. Louis, Lars Nootbaar hit a three-run homer and Jordan Walker, Ivan Herrera and Jose Fermin added two-run doubles for the Cardinals on their way to an 11-0 lead and Cincinnati never recovered, ensuring Arizona's place in the post-season.
At Seattle, Texas seized a 4-0 lead in the third inning, scoring one run on a Nathaniel Lowe single, two more on a Jonah Heim single and another on a Leody Tavares single.
The Rangers added runs on a bases-loaded walk and a Marcus Semien double while Seattle avoided a shutout on a Eugenio Suarez homer.
Seattle's loss ensured Toronto's playoff place after the Blue Jays lost at home 7-5 to Tampa Bay earlier.
Tampa Bay's Taylor Wells hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the 10th inning to drive in two go-ahead runs and Junior Caminero added a run-scoring single to give the Rays the triumph.
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