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Indians win, Rangers win, Rays lose as AL Wild Card intrigue grows

Sep 28, 2013, 6:35 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

The Indians won their ninth consecutive game this afternoon against the Twins, moving into the first of two AL Wild Card slots. They have now won 19 of 24 games since September 3, doing anything and everything necessary to secure themselves the opportunity to advance from the Wild Card play-in game.

Starter Scott Kazmir was solid, striking out 11 over six innings. He allowed just one run on six hits and two walks. The Indians provided more than enough offense, scoring twice on Carlos Santana‘s two-run home run in the fourth, and three in the fifth on a two-run triple by Michael Bourn and an RBI single from Yan Gomes. Mark Rzepczynski, Cody Allen, and Joe Smith combined for three shutout innings to wrap up the 5-1 victory, which pushes the Tribe to 91-71.

The Rays, who entered this afternoon’s game tied with the Indians and a game ahead of the Rangers, lost to the Blue Jays 7-2. Archer got into some trouble in the third inning and manager Joe Maddon wasn’t willing to take risks. Archer allowed three consecutive singles to start off the frame, the last of which tied the game at 1-1. After Archer struck out Moises Sierra, Maddon brought in reliever Alex Torres, who exited the inning without any further damage. But the Jays were ready to pile on, scoring twice in the fourth on an Adam Lind two-run single, and four times in the fifth on two two-run home runs by Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar. Jays starter J.A. Happ was solid, holding the Rays to one run in seven and one-third innings of work. The Rays attempted a rally in the ninth, scoring once, but lost 7-2 to drop a game behind the Indians.

Looking to pick up ground, the Rangers battled it out against Angels starter Garrett Richards. Every batter in the lineup logged a hit as the Rangers staked themselves to a 5-1 lead after two innings thanks to a four-spot in the second on some poorly-executed baseball by the Angels. Rangers starter Derek Holland nearly coughed up the lead in the fifth as the Angels brought it to 5-4, but reliever Joakim Soria came in to put out the fire and get the final out of the inning. The Rangers got two back in the next inning on two RBI singles and from there, the bullpen was able to hold the Angels at bay. The 7-4 victory moves the Rangers into a 90-71 tie with the Rays for the second Wild Card slot.

The standings:

  • AL WC 1: Indians (91-70)
  • AL WC2: Rays (90-71) and Rangers (90-71), 1 GB

It all comes down to tomorrow’s action. If the Indians lose and the Rays and Rangers win, we could have a three-way tie. Tomorrow’s scheduled starting pitching match-ups:

  1. markjames23 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    The Indians have guaranteed themselves a game 163. This is the most exciting season since 2007. Go Tribe!

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    As a fan of none of these teams, I vote for a 3-way tie.

  3. rbj1 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Three way tie! Three way tie! Three way tie!

  4. jrs45 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Roll Tribe!

  5. icanspeel - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    3 way tie would be fitting since they could battle it out between each other to see who really deserves the spot

  6. proudlycanadian - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    I said that The Jays would play hard against the Rays despite all their injuries. Lind is probably gone for the season as he was clearly in pain (bad back) after his 2 run single. Rajai Davis might be able to return for the last game following his time off for parental leave. Tomorrow, Moore pitches for The Rays against journeyman rookie Todd Redmond. Redmond was born St Pete and despite some pleas from home town friends will be pitching for both the win and a spot on next year’s team.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      In today’s game, the Jays had 12 hits and 3 walks totaling15 base runners. They also struck out 15 times. The Jays only struck out 5 Rays. Conclusion: Strikeouts are over rated.

    • r8rnuck - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      you did!

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      I hope the Jays do everything possible to knock the Rays out.

      They’re the team I fear the most in the playoffs.

      And if Tito’s Indians manage to knock the Sox out during the playoffs, it would actually put a bit of a smile on my face. Tito deserves some revenge.

      • jimranes - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

        Hmmmm…the Red Sox beat the Tribe 6 out of 7 times this year. I think the Sox would love to play Cleveland!

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:07 AM

        No, no…I’d be happy to face Cleveland…I’m just saying that IF the Sox had to lose to someone in the playoffs, I’d be mildly okay with it if Tito Francona knocked us out.

        I still love the guy for ’04 and ’07. He’s good people.

    • nbjays - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      I warned ‘Burgie that the combination of the Rays always being the thorn in the side of the Jays, and my wanting TB to win a wild card spot, would all but ensure a Toronto sweep. I have thus been rooting for the Jays, so that they might lose a game, but the baseball gods are capricious creatures, it seems.

  7. blue21c - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    GO TRIBE!!!!!!!

  8. janessa31888 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Way to go, Tribe!!! Crazy year. There were times I thought it was all over and the team could never recover(especially after the disastrous series against the Tigers) but they kept on bouncing back. Great job, Terry!

  9. dkphilly1122 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    As a fan of none of these three teams, I gotta pull for Cleveland winning the wildcard game and moving on. It would be nice to see the Tribe get back on top again. Win it for Old man Giambi before he hits 50……. But seriously a three way tie wouldn’t suck either as long as Cleveland ends up winning it.

  10. missingdiz - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Pretty wild to go on a tear like this even though your closer is melting down. Maybe closers, like strike-outs, are over-rated. I hope so, because our (Cards) closer has lost his magic too.

    • janessa31888 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      They start to struggle when you take their weed away

  11. bendover09 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    I wonder who the umpires will be favoring tomorrow.. forget the teams watch them blow the mistakes/calls & let their favorite in.

  12. unclemosesgreen - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Excellent summary CrashBill – thx

  13. j0esixpack - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    A Framcona Farrell managing matchup would be great

  14. dlhouse18 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    *sigh* Three ways…Been there. Done that.

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