TORONTO (AP) — The New York Yankees returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence, clinching no worse the a wild card with a 5-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday behind Greg Bird’s three-run homer.
Sonny Gray (10-11) allowed one run and four hits in six innings as the Yankees won for the 11th time in 14 games and at 86-68 matched their season high of 18 games over .500. New York celebrated its 53rd postseason berth in a low-key manner on the field after former-Yankee Rob Refsnyder hit a game-ending groundout off Aroldis Chapman, then sprayed bubbly in the visitors’ clubhouse.
Unless New York overcomes Boston’s four-game lead the AL East, the Yankees would play in the AL wild card game on Oct. 3, most likely against Minnesota. New York lost the wild card matchup to Houston 3-0 at home two years ago and has not won a postseason game since Derek Jeter broke an ankle in the 2012 AL Championship Series opener against Detroit.
Minnesota started the night with a 3 1/2-game lead over Texas for the second wild card and has been eliminated by the Yankees in four of its last five postseason appearances.