Price pitches Rays into playoffs, sends Rangers homeOct 1, 2013 - 7:28 AM Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - David Price and Evan Longoria kept the Tampa Bay Rays' season alive Monday with exceptional performances in Game No. 163.
Price went the distance for the fourth time this year and Longoria belted a deciding two-run homer to give the Rays a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers in a one-game playoff to determine the AL's second wild card winner.
The teams came in with identical 91-71 records after a roller coaster September and were playing for the right to play in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Price (10-8), who came in sporting an ugly 10.26 ERA in four career starts in Arlington, made sure the Rays moved on by limiting the Rangers to two runs on seven hits. The ace struck out four, walked one and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced to finish off his gem.
"My last time against these guys, I beat them as well, so that kind of gets lost in it, just getting that first game out of the way," said Price. "Getting that first win against a team you've never beat, that's huge. Last time on this mound, I beat those guys. We did it again tonight. It's pretty special."
Longoria reached base in four of his five plate appearances, adding a walk, a single and a double to a home run that sent the Rays into the postseason for the fourth time in the past six years.
"It's a whirlwind, like it always is," said Longoria. "We went through so much in the last three days, the ups and downs and the emotions, that it kind of feels like the whole season. We've had a lot of disappointment here, and to be able to celebrate here, it's pretty fitting."
The Rays have an off day Tuesday -- their first in three weeks -- before playing the Indians in a one-game playoff, with the winner set to play the Boston Red Sox in the division series.
The Rangers, looking to reach the postseason for the fourth straight year, opted to start rookie Martin Perez opposite the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. Perez (10-6) settled in after a slow start, but not before allowing three runs on four hits and a pair of walks over 5 1/3 innings.
The Rays will face another rookie Wednesday in Danny Salazar, who started the year in Double-A but has a respectable 3.12 ERA in 10 outings for the Indians.
Cleveland won its final 10 games for the right to host the wild card game, while the Rangers needed a seven-game winning streak just to force Monday's play-in -- the 10th one-game tiebreaker in MLB history.
Texas seemingly received a boost in its lineup with the return of the suspended Nelson Cruz, but the slugger went 0-for-4 and the club never dug itself out of an early hole.
"I'm disappointed. We didn't get it done," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I have no excuses for that."
Perez showed big-game jitters out of the gate. The 22-year-old lefty bought a moment of relief when Desmond Jennings was thrown out trying to stretch his leadoff hit into a double, but a walk and consecutive singles put Perez in a jam.
Delmon Young, a late-season free agent pickup, drove a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Wil Myers, and the Rays padded their lead in the third.
Jennings reached on a walk to open the frame, and after the next two hitters recorded outs, Longoria golfed a first-pitch fastball to right-center that carried over the wall and gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 cushion.
Price erased a walk in the first inning by picking off Elvis Andrus and shook off a leadoff double the next frame. He couldn't escaped the third unscathed as Craig Gentry led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Ian Kinsler's bloop single over the second baseman.
For the second time in the game, however, Price outsmarted a baserunner and caught Kinsler trying to steal second to end the frame.
Despite retiring eight straight and having thrown just 74 pitches, Perez was pulled with one out in the sixth. Longoria greeted Alexi Ogando with a double to right-center, and David DeJesus, pinch-hitting for Sean Rodriguez, followed with a double into the right-field corner to knock in another run.
Ogando left the bases loaded, and the Rangers nearly pulled within a run in the bottom half when Alex Rios sent one deep to left-center. The line drive hit the wall, though, and Rios settled for an RBI double instead of a two-run homer.
Rios was stranded on third, and a Tanner Scheppers' throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed the Rays to tack on an insurance run in the ninth. Sam Fuld was dead-to-rights trying to steal third, but Scheppers threw wildly and into left field as Fuld scored on the costly error.
With his pitch count at 108 entering the ninth, Price stayed in the game. He retired Adrian Beltre on flyout just in front of the left-field wall and induced groundouts from A.J. Pierzynski and Cruz to end the Rangers' season.
Texas eliminated the Rays in the 2010 and 2011 postseasons.
This was the first tiebreaker game since the Twins defeated the Tigers in 2009 to win the AL Central ... The Rays are the first road team to win a tiebreaker since the Mets defeated the Reds in 1999 ... Price has eight career complete games ... Longoria's 32 home runs fell one shy of his career high set in 2009. His seventh homer in the final game of the regular season set an MLB record he previously held with Cardinals legend Stan Musial ... Young became the third player all-time to play in three different tiebreaking games or series, joining Dodgers outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider ... Beltre went 1- for-4 to tie St. Louis' Matt Carpenter for the most hits in the majors this year with 199 ... Cruz was suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal ... Texas hosted the game by taking four of seven previous meetings this year.
- TAMPA BAY: 5
Sep 30 11:17 PM
- Sam Fuld stole third. On the play, Fuld scored on Tanner Scheppers's throwing error. None on with one out and Ben Zobrist at the plate.
Rays 5, Rangers 2 Top 9, 1 OutSep 30 11:08 PM
- Alex Rios doubled to left center scored Elvis Andrus. Runner on second with one out and Adrian Beltre due up.
Rays 4, Rangers 2 Bot 6, 1 OutSep 30 10:07 PM
- Pinch-Hitter David DeJesus doubled to right scored Evan Longoria. Runner on second with two outs and James Loney due up.
Rays 4, Rangers 1 Top 6, 2 OutsSep 30 9:52 PM
- Ian Kinsler singled to right center scored Craig Gentry. Runner on first with one out and Elvis Andrus due up.
Rays 3, Rangers 1 Bot 3, 1 OutSep 30 9:06 PM
- Evan Longoria two-out, two-run Home Run (32) to right center scored Desmond Jennings. Delmon Young due up.
Rays 3, Rangers 0 Top 3, 2 OutsSep 30 8:58 PM
- Delmon Young sacrifice fly to center scored Wil Myers. On the play, Ben Zobrist advances to third. Runners on first and third and with two outs and Sean Rodriguez due up.
Rays 1, Rangers 0 Top 1, 2 OutsSep 30 8:16 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Sep 30 8:08 PM
- Josh Hamilton will miss all season with another knee surgery May 23
- Rays' Kiermaier expected to miss 8-10 weeks with broken hand May 23
- Rays-Marlins Preview May 23
- Angels-Rangers Preview May 23
- Rangers put OF Choo back on DL after only 1 game in return May 23
- Ejections aplenty for Blue Jays lately May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Darvish seems ready for return to Rangers after strong rehab May 22
- Odor to have appeal hearing for 8-game suspension Tuesday May 22
- Hamels fans 11, Rangers down Keuchel, Astros 9-2 for sweep May 22
- Archer hit hard as Rays fall 9-4 to Tigers May 22
- Signs of progress for Stanton in Marlins' 8-2 loss to Nats May 22