Season No. 6 of the Juice is almost complete! Stop by in the final days of the regular season for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more.
At least one American League playoff team from the 2012 season won't be returning to the postseason in 2013, and another is on the verge of missing out. The Baltimore Orioles, who were bonafide Cinderellas a year ago, fell 3-2 in 10 innings to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night to eliminate themselves from wild-card contention.
Mark DeRosa's RBI single against Francisco Rodriguez (you know him as K-Rod) put the Jays ahead and Casey Janssen got three outs for his 34th save. DeRosa, ever the pest, also had tied the score with an RBI single in the eighth.
The Yankees, who defeated the O's in the ALDS in 2012, fell 7-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Bronx, giving themselves a tragic number of one. They're on the brink of missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 seasons. Ridiculous for outsiders, but painful if you're the Yankees.
''This is not a good feeling,'' manager Joe Girardi said. ''It hurts.''
Unable to take advantage of Matt Moore's wildness (he walked six and threw three wild pitches), the Yankees stranded 11 runners.
Baltimore has dropped six straight, having fallen behind Cleveland by six games with five to go in the regular season. The Indians snatched victory from defeat, beating the White Sox 5-4 on a two-run homer by Jason Giambi in the bottom of the ninth. The Orioles remember what winning like that is like; they did it a lot in 2012.
It was another one-run defeat for the Orioles, who could not match their success of a year ago in the closest games, when they went 29-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra innings. Ridiculous and not repeatable, but still painful for the Orioles. This season, they're 17-31 in one-run games and 8-7 in extras. Why do these things happen?
''I don't know who you'd have to talk to to get the answer to that one,'' shortstop J.J. Hardy said. ''I don't know. It's just the way things worked out. We still believe we're a good team, and we're going to get better.''
At least the Orioles got good news on star infielder Manny Machado. An MRI revealed no major ligament tears in his leg. He should be good to go for opening day.
More AL wild card moves: The Texas Rangers eked out a 3-2 victory against the Houston Astros to stay a half-game behind Cleveland for the wild card. Adrian Beltre hit a home run for the first time in more than a month to put them ahead in the sixth inning. The Astros lost for the 11th straight time and for the 107th time this season, matching the franchise record set in 2012. They're also 2-16 against the Rangers.
As with the Yankees, the Kansas City Royals suffered a defeat they couldn't afford, falling 4-0 to rookie James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners. The Royals, trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 1985 when they won the World Series, could be eliminated Wednesday. If Cleveland had lost and KC had won, the Royals would have been two games in the loss column out of the wild card with five to play. That's doable. Four out with five to play is almost impossible.
NL wild card: The Pittsburgh Pirates gained some breathing room for a playoff spot and kept pace behind first place, beating the Chicago Cubs 8-2 behind rookie Gerrit Cole and three RBIs from slugger Pedro Alvarez. They lead by a game for wild-card home-field advantage after the Cincinnati Reds fell 4-2 to the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park. Daniel Murphy took Mike Leake deep for a three-run homer.
The Bucs also remain two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central after rookie Michael Wacha nearly pitched a no-hitter for Team Fredbird in a 2-0 victory against the Washington Nationals. Wacha's bid came down to the last out in the ninth.
Tigers 4, Twins 2: The Tigers clinched a playoff spot, but are saving the champagne-popping for when they win the AL Central. Can't count on the White Sox for anything.
Rockies 8, Red Sox 3: Impressive at Fenway Park, right-hander John Lackey is vulnerable away from home. Something to think about come time to name starting pitchers.
Dodgers 2, Giants 1: Brian Wilson makes his post-Giants debut at AT&T Park, getting a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Dodgers. Strange. Stranger than his beard, even.
Braves 3, Brewers 2: Andrelton Simmons? More like Andrelton Sizzlins!
Phillies 2, Marlins 1: It's cute how they keep playing.
Diamondbacks 2, Padres 1 (12 inn): Arizona really knows how to keep playing. They've played more extra innings than any other team in history. They've played 79 of them, three better than the 1969 Twins.
''I guess it's OK,'' manager Jim Leyland said with a shrug. ''We're not celebrating because we haven't done what we want to do.''
• Paul Goldschmidt leads the NL with 34 home runs and 126 RBIs.
• The Braves have won 24 games in their last at-bat, and Simmons is responsible for three of them.
• The Cubs lost for the 50th time at Wrigley Field this season, a team record.