As September draws to a close, MLB playoff races are only getting more intense.
With just eight days remaining on the schedule, only four of the 10 potential playoff teams have clinched a berth in the postseason. That means it's time to get ready for madness in the next week.
Let's take a look at all of Wednesday's happenings and an updated look at the nail-biting playoff races.
*All times p.m., ET
New York Yankees 8, Minnesota Twins 2: F
CC Sabathia was predictably dominant against a Twins lineup that resembles more of a Triple-A squad than anything else. The big lefty went eight strong innings, allowing just six hits and one walk, as he gave up two runs and struck out 10. It was his 14th win of the season.
On the offensive side, Ichiro continues to rake as he added another two hits. Robinson Cano tallied two doubles, and youngster Chris Dickerson smacked his second homer of the season. The Yanks put up a six-spot in the third and never looked back.
Yankees: 90-65 (first in AL East)
Twins: 65-91 (fourth in AL Central)
Toronto 2, Baltimore 12: F
Edwin Encarnacion's 42nd home run of the season was nowhere near enough offense to help Carlos Villanueva, who gave up six runs in just 4.2 innings.
The Blue Jays actually led heading into the bottom of the fifth, but then the O's offense woke up in a big way, scoring 11 runs over the next four innings. They knocked out a ridiculous seven home runs in the process to keep pace with the Yankees
Blue Jays: 68-87 (fifth in AL East)
Orioles: 89-67 (second in AL East, first in AL wild card)
Kansas City 4, Detroit 5: F
Rick Porcello lasted just four innings, but the Tigers got an RBI groundout from Jhonny Peralta in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the win.
Joaquin Benoit got the win in relief, while Alex Avila proved the power, knocking out a home run and driving in two.
Royals: 70-85 (third in AL Central)
Tigers: 83-72 (first in AL Central)
Tampa Bay 4, Boston 2: F
Two huge home runs from Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco propelled the Rays to a three-run fifth inning and a big 4-2 win as they try to keep pace in both the AL East and wild-card race.
Alex Cobb pitched five three-hit innings to earn his 10th win, while Fernando Rodney continued his masterful season with yet another shutout inning and his 45th save.
Rays: 85-70 (third in AL East, fourth in AL wild card)
Red Sox: 69-87 (fourth in AL East)
Oakland 9, Texas 3: F
Rangers starter Martin Perez lasted just 0.2 innings, as the A's roughed him up for five quick runs on six hits.
Oakland finished the night with 16 hits on the night to close out a huge win and continue to narrow the gap on the Rangers in the West.
Athletics: 88-67 (second in AL West, second in AL wild card)
Rangers: 91-64 (first in AL West)
Cleveland 6, Chicago White Sox 4: F
With the Tigers winning, the White Sox needed a victory to stay atop the AL Central. They didn't get it.
Hector Santiago's poor night on the mound put the Sox in a hole they just couldn't overcome, and they now find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff race.
Indians: 65-91 (fifth in AL Central)
White Sox: 82-73 (second in AL Central)
L.A. Angels 4, Seattle 3: F
It took all nine innings, but the Angels were able to grab a massive win over the Mariners on Wednesday. Ernesto Frieri earned the win in the final innings due to Torii Hunter's game-winning single.
Hunter also tied the game in the seventh with a single to shallow center field, scoring Peter Bourjos.
Mariners: 72-83 (fourth in AL West)
Angels: 86-69 (third in AL West, second in AL wild card)
L.A. Dodgers 8, San Diego 2: F
The Dodgers scored six runs in the first four innings and never looked back as Aaron Harang pitched 5.1 scoreless innings on his way to his 10th win of the season.
Nick Punto had three hits while Matt Kemp chipped in four to go along with two runs scored and four RBI.
L.A.'s playoff hopes are still slim, but it got a much-needed victory on Wednesday night.
Dodgers: 80-75 (second in NL West, tied for third in NL wild card)
Padres: 74-81 (fourth in NL West)
Washington 8, Philadelphia 4: F
The Nationals inched even closer to winning the NL East as they smacked three home runs and John Lannan pitched 5.1 solid innings for his fourth win.
Washington jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to home runs from Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki, and while Philadelphia clawed back into it, the Nationals closed things out with a three-run ninth.
Nationals: 94-61 (first in NL East)
Phillies: 78-77 (third in NL East, tied for fifth in NL wild card)
Miami 0, Atlanta 3: F
A first-inning solo shot from Martin Prado was all Paul Maholm needed as he cruised for 6.2 scoreless innings en route to his 13th win of the season.
Maholm gave up just five hits, walking zero and striking out six, while the normally solid bullpen of Atlanta finished the job for the shutout.
Marlins: 66-89 (fifth in NL East)
Braves: 90-65 (second in NL East, first in NL wild card)
Milwaukee 8, Cincinnati 1: F
Surprise, surprise. Ryan Braun racked up two more hits and clobbered his 41st home run of the season as the Brew Crew rolled to an easy victory.
Shaun Marcum was terrific in limiting the powerful Cincy lineup, and the Brewers continue to close the gap on the St. Louis Cardinals in the wild-card race.
Brewers: 80-75 (third in NL Central, tied for third in NL wild card)
Reds: 93-62 (won NL Central)
St. Louis 0, Houston 2: Final
The Astros played their final home game as a part of the National League, and they certainly made it count.
Bud Norris threw 7.1 innings of two-hit, shutout ball and struck out seven, and Jose Altuve hit his sixth homer of the season as the Cardinals suffered an excruciating loss.
St. Louis' lead in the wild-card drops to three-and-a-half games.
Cardinals: 84-72 (second in NL Central, second in NL wild card)
Astros: 51-105 (sixth in NL Central)
San Francisco 6, Arizona 0: Final
Matt Cain threw seven shutout innings to earn his 16th win of the 2012 season Wednesday night. Arizona was able to muster seven hits, but six Giants runs denied them the victory.
Buster Posey continued his NL MVP run with his 100th RBI of the season in the third inning.
Diamondbacks: 78-77 (third in NL West, tied for third in NL wild card)
Giants: 90-65 (won NL West)
On Deck for Thursday
*All times p.m., ET
Milwaukee at Cincinnati, 12:35
Kansas City at Detroit, 1:05
Oakland at Texas, 2:05
Seattle at L.A. Angels, 3:35
Arizona at San Francisco, 3:45
Washington at Philadelphia, 7:05
New York at Toronto, 7:07
Miami at Atlanta, 7:10
Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox, 8:10
L.A. Dodgers at San Diego, 10:05
American League Standings
|Tampa Bay Rays||85||70||.548||5.0|
|Chicago White Sox||82||73||.532||1.0|
|AL Wild Card||W||L||PCT||GB|
|Tampa Bay Rays||85||70||.548||3.0|
|Chicago White Sox||82||73||.532||6.0|
National League Standings
*NL West and NL Central titles have already been decided
|NL Wild Card||W||L||PCT||GB|
|St. Louis Cardinals||84||72||.538||-|
|L.A. Dodgers ||80||75||.516||3.5|
|Milwaukee Brewers ||80||75||.516||3.5|
|Arizona Diamondbacks ||78||77||.503||5.5|
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