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It’s on: Game 163 between the Rangers and Rays set for tomorrow

Sep 29, 2013, 6:35 PM EDT

Kevin Pillar AP

The Rangers and Rays entered today’s action — the final day of regular season action — tied for the second AL Wild Card spot and remained so at the end of the day. While the Indians secured themselves top billing in the AL Wild Card play-in game, the Rangers and Rays will have to play a 163rd game against each other to decide who gets the privilege of matching up against the Tribe in the Wild Card play-in game on Wednesday.

The Rays scored six times in the first inning against the Blue Jays in what looked like an easy victory, but the Jays stormed back late to make things interesting. Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Jays scored three times against Rays starter Matt Moore. They added on in the seventh against Jake McGee and two in the eighth against Joel Peralta and closer Fernando Rodney to bring the game to 7-6. Rodney, however, was able to record the four-out save to keep the Rays’ post-season hopes alive.

Meanwhile, the Rangers wrapped up a four-game sweep of the Angels, winning their seventh consecutive game to force that Game 163. Starter Yu Darvish was solid, allowing only a home run to Mike Trout in five and two-thirds innings of work. With two outs in the sixth, lefty Neal Cotts entered the game and allowed an inherited runner to score, charged to Darvish, to tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom half of the inning, Geovany Soto hit an RBI double to put the Rangers up 3-2, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They would score again in the seventh and twice in the eighth to go up 6-2. Joe Nathan pitched a comfortable ninth to keep the Rangers one win away from the post-season.

Tomorrow, at 8:07 PM Eastern, the Rangers will host the Rays. Lefty Martin Perez will oppose Rays lefty David Price. The winner will face Indians starter Danny Salazar on Wednesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner of the AL Wild Card game will play the AL East-leading Red Sox on Friday.

  1. raysfan1 - Sep 29, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Here’s hoping Price has his best stuff going tomorrow and the batters give him good run support.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Of the 3 Teams last standing in the Wild Card race, the Rays had by far the toughest schedule as they play in the AL East. Only 1 team in the AL East finished below .500. The Indians played in the AL Central which featured the Twins (66 and 96) and the White Sox (63 and 99). The Rangers played in a Division that had 3 teams with losing records including Anaheim (74 and 88), Seattle (71 and 91) and Houston (51 and 111).

    On the last weekend, the Jays made it tough for the Rays while the Twins and Angels rolled over and played dead.

    There were 44,551 fans watching the Jays play it tough against the Rays. Despite having all their top hitters injured and falling behind early, they did not quit and made the game very close. 55 out of the 99 Ray fans worldwide nearly had seizures.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      Hey! There’s at least 100 of us! Now, pass me some more Tegretol.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        My miscount. Sorry.

      • jwbiii - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        One of them was probably in the bathroom when you were counting that section.

    • jonnybee - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      hehehe – LOL – funny I didn’t need any anti-seizure medicine (but I did record a mild murmur) :)

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        Only 55 of them were in danger of seizures.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:41 AM

        I would be worried more about cardiac events in St Pete due to the percentage of the population that is geriatric, but most of them moved there from NY and are thus Yankees fans. (Just kidding…sort of)

    • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      It was toque giveaway day at Rogers Centre! Of course, you had a big crowd. :-)

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        33,000 the day before and about 20,000 toques. The math does not add up.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

        I’m teasing…

        I want one of those toques, by the way.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:40 PM

        I do not know how to get one.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        Why, ebay, of course! :-)

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Toronto-Blue-Jays-Promo-Toque-Sept-29-vs-Rays-Knitted-Cap-Winter-Hat-NEW-/221291334458?pt=US_Baseball_Fan_Shop&hash=item3385fdcb3a

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:55 AM

        pass

      • indaburg - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        You sure? I can knit you one.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        LOL! I do have one that my mother knit many years ago. I am also looking at an ad that claims that I can get a free one if I buy a box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

      • Shayna - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        Burgie mine, I appreciate your exhilaration as your team achieves post-seasonness but no Rays fan is any position to make attendance jokes. Let alone against the Jays fans who turned out over 2.5 million strong despite a sadly disappointing season.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        I frequently poke fun of the Rays attendance woes myself. Seriously, it was just a joke. I watch a lot of Jays games and I am aware as well as envious of how well the fans support the team in spite of the poor record.

    • cur68 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      You should try texting with one of those Rays Fans during that game. I’m trying to quietly root for my boys and she’s about to plotz. Dating within the division is tough going.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

        Well now you can share her enthusiasm. Go Rays Go!

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        You were rooting for them? As I was having an aneurysm? I feel so betrayed.

  3. throughthewickets - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Thank god that Josh Hamilton’s God has a sense of humor. The Rangers simply dominated.

    The Rays have better strip clubs and a manager that looks like Spencer Tracy in “It’s a Mad, Mad World”.

    The Rangers, on the other hand, have talent.

    • miketreedy - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Both Hamilton & CJ Wilson showed once again this series why the Rangers are so much better off without either one of them.

      • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Yes!!!! CJ complaining about the balls and conspiracy. Josh tipping his hat to the crowd after his last strikeout yesterday. Two extremely narcissistic players and I’m glad they are both gone.

  4. Caught Looking - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    “…the AL East-leading Red Sox?”

    I’m pretty sure they locked up the division.

    • beefytrout - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      they’re still leading it.

  5. chill1184 - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Whos ready for all sorts of crazy stuff tomorrow?

    • Old Gator - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      Me! Me! Me!

      Please baseball gods, don’t let it be a blowout.

    • deepstblu - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      The Rays ended this season like Five O’Clock Charlie from M*A*S*H coming in for a landing, and the Rangers were almost as shaky. Crazy stuff could, indeed, be in our short-term future.

  6. Old Gator - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Indy and Raysfan1, nothin’ personal (and no seahorse in the race) but I love that this game is happening because I love baseball – I even love designatedhitterball when there’s nothing else on that night – and anything that gives me an extra helping of baseball (or designatedhitterball if there’s nothing else on that night) is a node of what Plato, with his nonpareil, unmatchable, sublime, spectacular gift for understatement, called “the good.”

    • jcmeyer10 - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Amen. I was once on the fence about this second Wild Card but it seems to have it’s intended effect of making the Wild Card more of a punishment. We get at least one more single elimination game which are always awesome.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      No offense taken, OG. I’m greedy and want to win it all, but am realistic enough to not complain about what has, after all, been another very good season.

    • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      You have to try harder to offend me, OG. If I had no horse in the race, I’d want this extra night of baseball too. The Rays couldn’t seal the deal, and now they’re stuck playing an old nemesis, the Rangers, who have eliminated them from post-season contention in 2010 and 2011. Had they won ONE more game during the year, they could have averted this scenario.

  7. proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Now that the regular season is over, I have a question regarding next season’s draft. Houston is #1, Miami is #2, CWS are #3 (they almost tied Miami), Minnesota and the Cubs are tied, the Mariners are #6, the Phillies are #7 and the Jays, Mets, Brewers and Rockies are all tied. By the way, as the Jays have #11 since they did not sign their pick last season, one of those 4 teams will be picking # 12. I am wondering how ties are broken. If it is strength of schedule, I suspect that the Jays had the toughest schedule of the 4 tied teams.

    • Reflex - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      I believe its in the basis of “furthest from Canada” actually. ;) So Colorado would get that pick?

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        So the Rockies get #12 under your theory. I can live with that.

      • happytwinsfan - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        no no no. the tie breaker is closest to canada. dontcha know?

  8. miketreedy - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    The Rangers have ended the Rays season 2 out of the last 3 years. Tomorrow it will be 3 out the last 4 season.

  9. thesmedman - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Might have saved Wash. Guess there might be joy in Arlington after all.

    Still not convinced Daniels remains in his current title, “self evaluation” be damned. The way the Rangers were run this year was not efficient and should not be repeated.

  10. happytwinsfan - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    our local sportscasters breathlessly reported to us that, unlike the pursuits of drunkentwinsfan, the injuns post game celebration was non alcoholic. how exactly like them.

    boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom dah dah dan’t dah!! whoever survives the rays rangers playoff, imagining themselves to be emerging into the bright warm sun of the preseason, will be SCALPED !!!

  11. sdelmonte - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    A play in game for a play in game.

    Why can’t just use tiebreakers this once?

    • jwbiii - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      Because watching a baseball game is more entertaining than watching Selig flip a coin.

      • sdelmonte - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:20 AM

        No, not a coin flip. Just a tiebreaker system like in other sports.

  12. artisan3m - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Doesn’t matter whose played who, which is the toughest division, or who had the hardest schedule in September. Its a one game season ~ today ~ and that’s all that matters. I suspect Cruz will DH. Even a rusty Nellie is light years ahead of Murphy and Rios is doing a great job in Right. Gentry, Martin, and Rios is a helluvan outfield ~ speed, gloves, arms, and decent bats. Now if Moreland and Kinsler get in the game, the Rangers have a chance. They will need their “A” game to beat the Rays.

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