Wild card watch: While Blue Jays play Twins, Yankees face Red Sox

Here's what you need to know from Thursday in the AL wild card race, where Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got hurt and the Jays dropped the opener in Minny, losing ground on the idle Yanks & BoSox, meanwhile the M's swept the A's to creep one game back of T.O.

Toronto Blue Jays fans will want to get multiple screens going on Friday night.

As the Blue Jays try to snap a two-game losing streak in Minnesota against the Twins, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will open a critical three-game series at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox hold the first American League wild card spot, sitting two games ahead of the Yankees. New York is one game up on the Blue Jays in the race for the final playoff spot.

The Seattle Mariners also remain in the hunt, trailing New York by two games. The Oakland A's are on the fringes of contention with the Yankees four games ahead of them.

Here's a look at the four games affecting the American League wild-card race on Friday:

New York Yankees (86-67) at Boston Red Sox (88-65), 7:10 p.m.

The Red Sox can take a big step toward locking up home-field advantage for the wild-card game with a series win against the Yankees.

Boston is 49-29 at home this season, so playing a sudden-death game at Fenway certainly gives the Red Sox a big edge.

The Yankees are coming off a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers.

Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole (15-8, 3.03 ERA), who is battling Blue Jays lefty Robbie Ray for the Cy Young Award, starts for New York.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (10-8, 3.58 ERA) starts for the Red Sox, who have won seven in a row.

Toronto Blue Jays (85-68) at Minnesota Twins (68-85), 8:10 p.m., Sportsnet, SN Now

The Twins beat the Blue Jays 7-2 in the opener of the four-game series on Thursday, preventing Toronto from pulling into a tie with the Yankees.

What's more, the Blue Jays lost hot-hitting Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (hand) and reliever Thomas Hatch (hamstring) to injury.

The starting rotation, so good in the Jays' late-season surge, has faltered slightly during a 1-3 week.

Former Twin Jose Berrios (12-8, 3.45 ERA) makes his second straight start against his old team for Toronto. He allowed three runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 5-3 win over the Twins at Rogers Centre on Sept. 19.

Righty Bailey Ober (2-3, 4.34 ERA) starts for Minnesota. He was roughed up for four runs on four hits in four innings in a 6-2 loss in Toronto on Sept. 18.

Seattle Mariners (84-69) at Los Angeles Angels (73-80), 9:38 p.m.

The Mariners got back into the wild card race with a four-game sweep of the A's this week.

Winners of six of seven on their current 10-game road trip, the Mariners send righty Logan Gilbert (6-5, 4.74 ERA) to the mound against the Angels. Gilbert is coming off a gem, having allowed one run on three hits in seven innings in a win over the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 19.

The Angels are 3-7 in their past 10. Lefty Jose Suarez (7-8, 3.67 ERA) starts for Los Angeles.

Houston Astros (91-62) at Oakland A's (82-71), 9:40 p.m.

The slumping A's face an Astros team on the verge of clinching the American League West with Houston's magic number at three.

Houston starts six-time all-star Zack Greinke (11-6, 4.11 ERA) in the series opener.

The A's go with righty Frankie Montas (12-9, 3.57 ERA), who gave up no runs and just one hit in seven innings in his last start on Sept. 19 against the Los Angeles Angels.

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