Yankees to face Red Sox in MLB playoffs

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The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have scored dramatic late inning wins to bring the Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season to an enthralling end on Sunday, setting up a wildcard showdown between the long-time rivals.

The final day of a 162-game, six-month marathon began with four teams - the Yankees, Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners - all in contention for two American League wildcards and when the dust settled it was two of baseball's most storied clubs still standing.

The Yankees left it about as late as they possibly could to clinch their place as Aaron Judge swatted a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth for a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's been a crazy, wild year," said New York manager Aaron Boone after the Yankees reached the postseason for the 23rd time in 27 years.

"Fitting that it would come down to the last day to get in.

"We're ready to take our shot."

It was also a nailbiter in the US capital, where Boston were trailing the Washington Nationals 5-1 after five innings then rallied for six unanswered runs.

The Red Sox will now host the Yankees in the wildcard game on Tuesday at Fenway Park with the winner moving on to the Divisional Series against the AL East champion Rays.

Toronto and Seattle went into the day needing a win combined with a New York or Boston loss to force a tiebreaker and extend their seasons.

The Blue Jays did what they had to do, hammering the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 while the Mariners' season finished with a disappointing 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Over in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, MLB's two top teams, started play with top spot in the West up for grabs.

Both Los Angeles and San Francisco would finish the campaign with impressive wins - the Giants beating the San Diego Padres 11-4 while the Dodgers thumped Milwaukee 10-3.

But top spot goes to the Giants with a record of 106-55 while the Dodgers (105-56) settled for a NL wildcard and a Wednesday meeting with the St. Louis Cardinals.

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