Rays defeat Rangers 5-2 to win final AL Wild Card

Game 163 in the books, and the Rays are your final 2013 Postseason team. Tampa Bay defeated Texas 5-2 on Monday night in Arlington, punching their ticket to Cleveland on Wednesday to take on the Indians for the right to play the Red Sox in the ALDS.

The Rays took a lead in the first inning and never looked back. Delmon Young hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Wil Myers, who walked in his first plate appearance. The first inning could have been a big one for the Rays, but Desmond Jennings was thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double. After Jennings was thrown out, Myers walked, and the duo of Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria each singled to load the bases with one out for Young, who hit the sac fly to bring in the game's first run.

Tampa Bay added two more in the third on a two-run homer by Evan Longoria to make it a 3-0 game, and the Rangers answered with one in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Ian Kinsler, who called out Rangers fans earlier on Monday. Each team added another run in the sixth on RBI doubles, with the Rays' run coming courtesy of David DeJesus, while the Rangers' run-scoring double came off the bat of Alex Rios.

The Rays had a chance to blow the game open in the seventh, but a blown call screwed them over. With two outs and men on first and second, Young hit a sinking liner to center. Leonys Martin made a diving attempt on the ball that pretty clearly appeared to be a trap, but the umpires called it a catch for the third out of the inning. The blown call wasn't an issue for David Price, who only allowed one baserunner over the final three innings of the game en route to a complete game victory.

Price was the big star of the night, allowing two runs on seven hits in hits complete game, striking out four and walking one while throwing 118 pitches. He retired 11 of the final 12 hitters he faced in the contest, with Kinsler's eighth inning double being the lone blemish on his late inning record. Evan Longoria also had a great night, going 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. Earlier in the day, Longoria tweeted a picture of a cup with four flavors of yogurt in it, and was hopeful about a four hit night. Only one hit short, Evan.

After all of the talk about Nelson Cruz's return to the club following his 50 game PED suspension, he went 0/4 with a strikeout. Cruz also made the final out of the night, grounding out to Yunel Escobar. Sometimes, these things just tend to work out that way.

The Rays will now move on to Cleveland to take on the Indians. Alex Cobb gets the nod for Tampa Bay, while rookie Danny Salazar will take the hill for the Tribe at 8:07 PM on TBS. Meanwhile, The Rangers' season ends without Postseason baseball for the first time since 2009, and ends with a loss in a one game playoff for the second straight year. 

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.