With the Yankees attempting a rally to overcome a 3-2 deficit, third-base umpire Tim Timmons took the unusual step of dismissing the Camden Yards grounds crew from the field. Said grounds crew had been gathered at and around the tarp, waiting for a potential storm to pass through the area. Yet Timmons was having none of it, and motioned at the group to head off the field before the game could continue.
Here's a look at the unusual turn of events:
No explanation was made available after the game, but our best guess is that Timmons felt the grounds crew's presence was distracting to the players, who might be fearful that a rain delay would interrupt the late gasps of a close game. It did not.
Rather, the Yankees completed their comeback, scoring a pair of runs on a Brett Gardner single to put themselves up by a 4-3 margin. Closer Aroldis Chapman then checked in and recorded his 27th save of the season by notching a perfect ninth. (You can check out the complete box score and play log here.) For those wondering, the grounds crew did put the tarp on the infield after the game's conclusion, as documented by The Athletic's Lindsey Adler:
The Yankees entered the night with an 81-64 record, putting them in a three-way tie with the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays for the two American League wild card spots. Each of those teams won on Wednesday, meaning they'll enter Thursday in the same situation.
The Blue Jays knocked off the Tampa Bay Rays by a 6-3 margin behind a 13-strikeout performance by Robbie Ray and a five-RBI night from Bo Bichette; meanwhile, the Red Sox blew out the Seattle Mariners in extra innings, scoring six runs in the 10th inning to win by a 9-4 final.