Rays hold off Toronto charge to stay aliveSep 30, 2013 - 1:07 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays are assured of playing at least one more day in 2013.
Matt Moore pitched into the sixth inning and the Rays scored six times in the opening frame before holding on for a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the regular season finale.
The Rays (91-71) finished the season in a deadlock with Texas for the second wild card spot, one game behind the Indians. The Rays will play the Rangers in Arlington for a tiebreaker contest Monday with the winner to play in Cleveland Wednesday night for another one-game playoff. The victor of that contest will draw the AL East champion Boston Red Sox in the AL Division Series.
The Rangers forced the tiebreaker later Sunday afternoon after they beat the Angels, while Cleveland locked up a home game for the wild card round after a victory at Minnesota.
"We're not in the playoffs yet, but we've gotten to this point," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Let's just let the air out and go play."
The Rays won eight of their final 10 contests.
The Blue Jays (74-88), who couldn't finish off the three-game sweep, wasted a pair of golden opportunities with the bases full in the late innings. Pinch-hitter Adam Lind grounded into a double play to end the seventh. Fernando Rodney fanned Moises Sierra to cap the eighth, after the Blue Jays scored twice in the inning to trim the margin to a run.
Rodney gave up a single to Lind to start the bottom of the ninth, but retired the next three batters to earn his 37th save.
Moore (17-4) allowed six hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings.
The Rays sent nine men to the plate in the first inning and they knocked Todd Redmond (4-3) out of the game after he recorded just two outs. Jose Lobaton had a two-run double in the uprising in the first. Evan Longoria added an RBI double, while James Loney, Delmon Young and Yunel Escobar had RBI base hits.
Myers doubled in Escobar in the fourth for a 7-0 lead, but the Blue Jays used eight pitchers and were able to get back in the game by scoring three times in the sixth, once in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Mark DeRosa doubled in a run in the sixth and he scored on J.P. Arencibia's sacrifice fly.
Brett Lawrie doubled in a run in the seventh when Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected after arguing with home plate umpire Paul Schreiber. Lind, though, capped the inning when his grounder up the middle was gobbled up by Escobar, who raced to second before firing to first where Loney made a spectacular stretch to cap the frame.
Jose Reyes singled in a run in the bottom of the eighth, and Anthony Gose added an RBI single to right, but after Lawrie walked, Rodney put out the fire.
"I really enjoyed the way we finished up these last three days," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We played some really good baseball."
The Blue Jays ended 40-41 at home. It's the first time since 2004 they have not finished with a winning record at Rogers Centre ... Moore finished 10-1 on the road in 16 starts.
- TAMPA BAY: 7
Sep 29 4:30 PM
- Anthony Gose single to right scored Kevin Pillar with two out. On the play, Jose Reyes advances to third. Runners on first and third and Brett Lawrie due up.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 6 Bot 8, 2 OutsSep 29 4:08 PM
- Jose Reyes single to left scored Ryan Langerhans with two out. On the play, Kevin Pillar advances to second. Runners on first and second and Anthony Gose due up.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 5 Bot 8, 2 OutsSep 29 4:06 PM
- Brett Lawrie double to left scored Jose Reyes with one out. On the play, Anthony Gose advances to third. Runners on second and third and Moises Sierra due up.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 4 Bot 7, 1 OutSep 29 3:37 PM
- J.P. Arencibia sacrifice fly out to right scored Mark DeRosa with two out. Runner on first and Ryan Goins due up.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 3 Bot 6, 2 OutsSep 29 3:18 PM
- Mark DeRosa double to center scored Brett Lawrie and Moises Sierra with one out. Runner on second and Ryan Langerhans due up.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 2 Bot 6, 1 OutSep 29 3:12 PM
- Wil Myers double to left scored Yunel Escobar with two out. Runner on second and James Loney due up.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 0 Top 4, 2 OutsSep 29 2:29 PM
- Yunel Escobar single to center scored Jose Lobaton with two out. On the play, Yunel Escobar tagged out at second, center to catcher to short, to end the inning.
Rays 6, Blue Jays 0 Mid 1Sep 29 1:27 PM
- Jose Lobaton double to center scored Delmon Young and Matt Joyce with two out. Runner on second and Yunel Escobar due up.
Rays 5, Blue Jays 0 Top 1, 2 OutsSep 29 1:24 PM
- Delmon Young single to center scored Evan Longoria with two out. Runner on first and Matt Joyce due up.
Rays 3, Blue Jays 0 Top 1, 2 OutsSep 29 1:18 PM
- Evan Longoria double to right scored James Loney with one out. Runner on second and Ben Zobrist due up.
Rays 2, Blue Jays 0 Top 1, 1 OutSep 29 1:14 PM
- James Loney single to right scored Wil Myers with one out. Runner on first and Evan Longoria due up.
Rays 1, Blue Jays 0 Top 1, 1 OutSep 29 1:13 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Sep 29 1:07 PM
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