New York Yankees Clinch MLB Postseason Berth with Win vs. Blue Jays

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2017

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Greg Bird #33 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by Chase Headley #12 after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 23, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The New York Yankees are headed back to the postseason after beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. 

MLB noted the achievement via Twitter:

The triumph was buoyed by a three-run home run courtesy of first baseman Greg Bird at the top of the fifth inning and a solo jack from Todd Frazier in the eighth.        

Right-hander Sonny Gray drew the start for the Bronx Bombers and pieced together an efficient outing. 

In six innings, the Yankees' big non-waiver trade deadline acquisition allowed four hits and struck out four batters while allowing just one earned run—a solo homer off the bat of Teoscar Hernandez in the bottom of the third. 

"It's great, but it's just the beginning for this team," right fielder Aaron Judge said, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "We've just got to keep working. We're not done yet."

By virtue of Saturday's result, four American League teams—the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians—have clinched playoff spots. 

That leaves one position up for grabs as the Minnesota Twins attempt to quell charges from the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals for the AL's second wild-card spot. 

Speaking of which, the Yankees are likely to slot into the top wild-card position barring a major collapse from the Red Sox over the final week of the regular season. 

Following a 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday at Great American Ball Park, the Red Sox remained four games clear of the Yankees for first place in the AL East with eight games to play. 

Should the Yankees wind up hosting the AL Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium, they will attempt to avoid falling flat like they did in 2015, when the Astros defeated them 3-0 to secure a spot in the American League Division Series.      

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