Blue Jays closer to clinch, home-field after rainout

Toronto can seal East with win in twin bill, now 1.5 up on KC for best AL record

Blue Jays closer to clinch, home-field after rainout

BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays will have to wait at least one more day to clinch the American League East, and to resume their quest for home-field advantage throughout the postseason, after their game vs. the Orioles on Tuesday night was postponed because of rain.

The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday. The first game is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET with the nightcap starting approximately 30 minutes after the final out.

Despite the rainout, Toronto's magic number to clinch the division was whittled to one after the Yankees' 10-4 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday. An AL East title assures the Blue Jays of home-field advantage in the AL Division Series.

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They also have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Royals, who lost, 4-2, to the White Sox on Tuesday, for the best record in the American League, which would clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Blue Jays own the tiebreaker over Kansas City, which means they would secure home-field advantage if the two teams finish with the same record. Because the American League won the All-Star Game, it secured home-field advantage in the World Series.

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Right-hander Marcus Stroman, who was scheduled to start Tuesday night, will instead get the call in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Shortly after the game was officially postponed, he went on the field to play catch with bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will start Game 2 of the doubleheader. As a result of the postponed game, Toronto will need to find another starter for the final game of the regular season on Sunday, but that's not expected to be a major concern because the division likely will be locked up by then.

The Blue Jays could opt to make the final game a day for the bullpen, while long relievers such as Jeff Francis and Chad Jenkins might receive some consideration to start. Another scenario is that Stroman or Dickey could start on three days' rest and have a brief outing as a final tuneup for the postseason.

Toronto manager John Gibbons also previously mentioned left-hander Mark Buehrle as a candidate to start Sunday. Buehrle is scheduled to start Friday in Tampa Bay, but he remains 8 2/3 innings shy of reaching the 200-inning plateau for the 15th consecutive year. If he falls an inning or two shy of that, Gibbons said he'd consider bringing back Buehrle on Sunday to reach the milestone.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.