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Seattle’s postseason hopes were all but extinguished when it went 19-18 over the past five weeks but the tiny flame that still burns makes the Mariners‘ final three-game road series Bill Mazeroski Jersey , which begins Friday against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park, even more important.The Mariners will send right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (2-3, 5.65 ERA) to the mound for the series opener while Texas will counter with right-hander Ariel Jurado (3-5, 7.01).Seattle travels north from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after a 9-0 victory over defending World Series champion Houston on Wednesday that allowed the Mariners to take two of three games from the Astros.Article continues below ...The nine-run winning margin was the biggest of the season for Seattle, a squad that has specialized in close wins and still has a run differential of minus-38 despite being 16 games over .500.They are 7 1/2 games behind Oakland for the final wild card spot with 10 games to play. Seattle went 7-2 in Houston this season.“We’ve played well here all year,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Our guys enjoy coming in here, they swing the bats well here. I think a few of our guys get energized here for whatever reason. One of our goals was to play better against them, and we certainly have. It’s nice coming in here and beating them, no doubt.”The Mariners (84-68) have clinched a winning season, and 2018 is only the third time in franchise history that Seattle was never under .500 for the entire campaign. The Mariners were exactly .500 three times this year (at 1-1, 3-3 and 4-4) but never fell under the break-even line. The only other seasons Seattle has been .500 or better every day of the season were 1996 and 2001.Texas heads into its final home series of the season after being swept by Tampa Bay earlier in the week Dave Parker Jersey , including Wednesday afternoon’s 9-3 rout. At least Texas found home plate in the series finale — it was shut out the first two games of the set and was outscored 16-3 over the three games with the Rays.The Rangers are 64-88, have lost 16 of their last 22 games, and are headed for their second straight losing campaign. Texas admitted early in the season that it was in a rebuilding mode and would use younger players throughout the second half of the year to hone their skills for the future.“We will try to get some of the younger guys in the lineup and continue to find at-bats for those guys,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “I still believe, thinking about the vision of moving forward, every at-bat, every pitch, every play for some of these young guys are going to be valuable going forward for this team next year. Every experience is valuable experience.”Multiple sources are reporting that the Rangers are contemplating replacing Banister after the season, even though he is under contract for 2019. The Rangers exercised the option they held on him for next season shortly after the 2017 season ended. Those same reports also said that no final decision about changing managers has been made.Ramirez will make his ninth start of the season Friday, his seventh since being activated from the disabled list Aug. 12 after a right teres major strain. He had a no-decision in his most recent start, a 6-5 Mariners victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.Ramirez is making his 17th career appearance (eight starts) against the Rangers and is 0-2 with one save and 6.42 ERA versus Texas.The 22-year-old Jurado will make his 11th appearance and eighth start of the season after following an “opener” in each of his last three outings Josh Harrison Jersey , going 1-1, with an 8.31 ERA in those appearances. He last worked in the Rangers’ 6-3 win Saturday at San Diego, entering in the second inning and picking up the win via four innings of three-run, seven-hit pitching.Jurado has gone 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA over his first four games (three starts), three of them starts, at Globe Life Park. He has never faced the Mariners. NEW YORK (AP) — Fans have been waiting for another one of these rumbles: baseball’s most-bitter rivals set to tangle again, this time as 100-win heavyweights in the playoffs.Munson vs. Fisk, Pedro vs. Popeye , A-Rod vs. Varitek and earlier this year Brock Holt vs. Tyler Austin .The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees back at each other in the postseason for the first time in 14 years.“We’re a team that can play with anybody, and we’re not afraid to go in there,” Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks said after a 7-2 wild-card win over Oakland sent New York to a best-of-five AL Division Series that starts Friday in Fenway Park.Yankees fans were chanting “We want Boston!” during the late innings. The Red Sox tweeted “We want New York” after the final out in the Bronx.“I think they’re ready and relish the opportunity to go up against the game’s best this year Gregory Polanco Jersey ,” Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone said of his players.That is the same Aaron Boone whose 11th-inning homer in Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series beat the Red Sox. A year later Boston overcame the Yankees and became the first major league team to bounce back from a 3-0 postseason deficit. The Red Sox went on to win their first World Series since 1918, but Boone’s drive off Tim Wakefield has not been forgotten or forgiven.Boston was 10-9 against the Yankees this year and set a club record with 108 wins under new manager Alex Cora, boosted by MVP candidate Mookie Betts, slugger J.D. Martinez and ace Chris Sale. New York finished eight games back and became the first team since the 2001 Athletics to reach triple digits in wins and fail to finish first — New York also set the major league mark for home runs, powered by the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.These teams also have a history of hitting each other.Back on April 11, Austin charged the mound at Fenway after Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly threw at him twice, hitting Austin in the side with the second pitch. Boston players were livid Austin slid spikes-first into shortstop Brock Holt earlier in the game. A bench-clearing brawl led to suspensions and fines, but Auston won’t be around for a rematch — he was dealt to Minnesota in July.“It’s Yankees-Red Sox. That’s what everybody wants. That’s what they got,” Red Sox star pitcher David Price said then.Just another in a long history of bad blood between rivals a little more than 200 miles apart.Boston player-manager Joe Cronin and New York outfielder Jake Powell fought on the field and beneath the Yankee Stadium stands in 1938, and Jimmy Piersall of the Red Sox and Billy Martin of the Yankees brawled beneath Fenway Park’s stands in 1952.A fight broke out in 1967 at Yankee Stadium after New York’s Thad Tillotson hit Joe Foy with a pitch and Boston’s Jim Lonborg hit Tillotson — who after the scrap hit Dick Howser with a pitch.In 1973, Thurman Munson crashed into catcher Carlton Fisk at Fenway after Gene Michael missed a bunt Jung-ho Kang Jersey , and the All-Stars fought. Then at Yankee Stadium in 1976, New York’s Lou Piniella charged into Fisk at the plate , and Boston pitcher Bill Lee was body-slammed during the fighting and wound up with a broken collarbone.A notorious brawl took place during Game 3 of the 2003 AL Championship series, when Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez threw 72-year-old Don Zimmer to the ground.Zimmer, a former Boston manager and then a Yankees coach, ran across the infield and lunged at Martinez during the fighting.Then the following July, Boston’s Bronson Arroyo hit New York’s Alex Rodriguez with a pitch, A-Rod stared at the pitch as he walked toward first, catcher Jason Varitek got between them and pushed the AL MVP, leading to dugouts and bullpens emptying.That October the rivals met again in the 2004 ALCS. The Yankees took a 3-0 lead and were one inning from reaching the World Series when Mariano Rivera walked Kevin Millar and pinch-runner Dave Roberts — now the Los Angeles Dodgers manager — stole second. Bill Mueller hit a tying single and the Red Sox won 6-4 in 12 innings when David Ortiz hit a game-ending, two-run homer at 1:22 a.m.Boston won 5-4 the next day on Ortiz’s RBI single in the 14th inning Francisco Cervelli Jersey , won Game 6 in New York 4-2 behind Curt Schilling and his bloody sock, then blew out the Yankees 10-3 in the finale.“All empires fall sooner or later,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said.Boston swept St. Louis in the World Series, swept Colorado four years later and beat the Cardinals in a six-game series in 2013. Over that same span, the Yankees have won just one title, in 2009.Fast forward to this week, with the teams ready to meet again.“It’s going to be intense,” New York pitcher CC Sabathia said.
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