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Despite selling at the trade deadline, the Yankees remain right in the thick of the AL wild-card race. A dramatic victory Thursday night against the Rays (NY 5, TB 4) moved New York to within two games of the second wild-card spot. They haven’t been this close to a playoff spot since April 25.

First baseman Tyler Austin, one of the many rookies who has helped the Yankees pile up wins since the trade deadline, did the honors Thursday with a walk-off opposite-field home run. To the action footage:

The Yankees won Thursday even though their four best relievers (Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard, Adam Warren, Luis Severino) were unavailable due to their recent workloads, and their starter (CC Sabathia) lasted only four innings. Five relievers, four of whom spent time in Triple-A this season, held the Rays to one run in five innings.

usatsi9528739.jpg Tyler Austin and the Yankees won their fifth consecutive game Thursday. USATSI

The victory, combined with the Astros‘ loss to the Indians (CLE 10, HOU 7), moved the Yankees ahead of Houston in the wild-card race. Here are the current wild-card standings:

The Blue Jays are playing the first-place Red Sox at home this coming weekend, so that should be fun. Toronto is only one game back of the BoSox in the AL East. Also, the Orioles and Tigers are playing three games in Detroit. That’s the second wild-card team visiting the team one game back. That’ll be very fun.

While the Blue Jays and Red Sox, and Tigers and Orioles are busy beating up on each other, the Yankees will play host to the last-place Rays. There’s no such thing as an easy victory in this league, but right now the schedule is in New York’s favor. The Bombers have managed to climb back into the race despite trading away some of their top players at the deadline.


Source: CBS Sports / WATCH: Walk-off home run brings Yankees to within two games of wild card spot