Toronto Blue Jays defeat Boston Red Sox, 12-0

Early yesterday morning, sitting in a charter plane about a mile over a small airport in Stafford, Va., Terry Francona noticed his cellphone start working again.

A series of text messages from Theo Epstein filled his inbox. He flipped immediately to the last one.

That’s how the Red Sox manager learned his team had qualified for the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years, the wild-card berth becoming official when the Rangers lost to the Angels in Anaheim, hours afte...