Aaron Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Troy Tulowitzki singled to break an eighth-inning tie, helping the Toronto Blue Jays clinch the AL's top wild-card berth Sunday with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox in David Ortiz's final regular season game.
Toronto clinched a spot in the post-season when Detroit lost to Atlanta 1-0 earlier Sunday evening. With their win in Boston, the Blue Jays earned the right to host the Baltimore Orioles in a one-game playoff on Tuesday.
The Red Sox, who lost five of their last six games, will start their AL Division Series against the Indians on Thursday in Cleveland.
Pitching with Jose Fernandez's initials on his hat in tribute to the Marlins pitcher who died last week, Sanchez held Boston hitless until Hanley Ramirez's disputed home run with two outs in the seventh. The ball sailed over the foul pole above the Green Monster; Sanchez argued it was foul, but the replay upheld the original call.
Xander Bogaerts followed with a single – the only other hit allowed by Sanchez, who lowered his ERA to 3.00 and clinched the AL title. In all, Sanchez (15-2) allowed one run, walking two, striking out six and hitting a batter.
The Blue Jays took the lead back in the eighth against Brad Ziegler (2-4) when Tulowitzki singled with runners on first and third. Toronto's other run came on Devon Travis' solo homer in the fifth.
Robert Osuna, who pitched two innings on Saturday night, picking up both a blown save and a win, got the last three outs for his 36th save. Boston put runners on first and second with two out in the ninth, but Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out to third base to end the game and the Blue Jays began a muted celebration on the field.
David Price allowed one run and four hits, walking three and striking out four in five innings in his final tuneup before starting Game 2 of the ALDS for Boston.
The loss did little to spoil the celebration for Ortiz, who went hit-less in four at-bats, hitting a nubber in front of the plate with one out in the ninth.
The team announced it will retire his No. 34 sometime next year in a pregame ceremony that featured former Red Sox stars like Carl Yastrzemski and teammates from Ortiz's three World Series championship clubs.
The Red Sox draped a Dominican flag over the Green Monster, played the Dominican national anthem and invited Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.