Believe it — Mariners just moved into a tie for AL’s second wild card

Sep 30, 2021, 6:45 PM | Updated: 10:17 pm

Mariners J.P. Crawford...

J.P. Crawford of the Mariners reacts after hitting a leadoff double against the Red Sox on Sept. 13. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The Mariners in playoff position? You better believe it.

Salk: What sets these M’s apart is they’re playing like a playoff team

Having Thursday off didn’t stop Seattle from climbing in the American League playoff race, as the Mariners (89-70) have moved into a tie for the second wild card with Boston (89-70) after the Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Thursday night.

That wasn’t the only good news the Mariners got Thursday night, as the Yankees (91-68), who are in command of the AL’s first wild card, defeated Toronto 6-2. The loss for the Blue Jays (88-71) puts them one game behind the Mariners in the standings as the first team on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

So what now? To break their long postseason drought just before it hits 20 seasons, the Mariners only need to get through their final three games this weekend with at least one more win than the Red Sox and the same or more wins than the Blue Jays. Should they finish the regular season tied for the second wild card, however, they’ll need to win a one-game playoff before that postseason drought can officially end. Oh, and if the M’s go so far as to win their remaining games and sweep the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, they would guarantee themselves a 163rd game this year.

M’s Tiebreaker Scenarios: What could happen to settle playoff spots

Say, do the Mariners have any history in one-game playoffs? Like, maybe in 1995 or something?

The really good news for the Mariners is that while they are red hot, having won 10 of their last 11 games, the Red Sox are the completely opposite, having lost five of their last six, including two of three against the cellar-dwelling Orioles (52-107). Boston will also be without the benefit of the designated hitter position this weekend when they play three games on the road against against the National League’s Washington Nationals (65-94) starting Friday. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, host Baltimore for three games starting Friday.

The Mariners begin their final series of the regular season at 7:10 p.m. Friday against the Angels at T-Mobile Park. Coverage on 710 ESPN Seattle begins with the pregame show at 6. The last two games of the series are set for 6:10 p.m. Saturday (pregame show at 5) and 12:10 p.m. Sunday (pregame show at 11 a.m., coverage carried on 770 AM).

More Mariners coverage from

• Jerry Dipoto Show: Who is M’s MVP, surge of Kelenic, Haniger’s emotion
• Shannon Drayer: Why this Mariners run is real, how Anderson’s start helped
• Mike Blowers: M’s playing their best baseball as they make a run at playoffs
• ‘The future is now’: Scott Servais on Mariners’ final push for playoffs
• Who is Mariners rookie Matt Brash? What you need to know
• Dave Sims: What stands out about how Mariners have stayed in the race

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Believe it — Mariners just moved into a tie for AL’s second wild card