There will be a Game 163. The Rays beat the Blue Jays 7-6 in Toronto and the Rangers beat the Angels 6-2 in Arlington on Sunday, deadlocking both teams at 91-71 and necessitating a one game playoff for the right to face the 92-70 Indians in the Wild Card Playoff game. Cleveland beat Minnesota 5-1 on Sunday and will host the winner of the Rays-Rangers matchup on Wednesday.
It looked like a win for the Rays would be easy to achieve on Sunday after they jumped out to a 6-0 first inning lead, eventually adding a seventh run before the Blue Jays put a run on the board. But Toronto chipped away with three in the sixth, one in the seventh, and two in the eighth to close within a run of Tampa Bay. The Jays put the tying run on base in the ninth, but couldn't move him past first base as Fernando Rodney closed the door to record his 37th save of the year.
In Arlington, it was a different story. The Angels jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the fifth after a two-run single by Craig Gentry. A Josh Hamilton RBI single tied the game at two in the sixth, but Texas once again jumped ahead, this time scoring after a Geovany Soto RBI double. The Rangers tacked on another run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to secure the win and ensure that the Rays would have to win one more game to earn their Postseason berth.
Meanwhile in Minnesota, the Indians didn't flinch. In defeating the Twins 5-1, a game in which they never trailed after a first inning two-run homer, they extended their winning streak to ten games, ending the season on a high note. As the AL's top Wild Card, they'll host the winner of the Rays-Rangers game on Wednesday night at Progessive Field. The 2013 playoff nod is Cleveland's first since 2007, when Eric Wedge led the Tribe to an AL Central title with a 96-66 record. Players like CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, and Grady Sizemore were all integral parts of that Indians team, and the only member of that 2007 team to still be with the team is Asdrubal Cabrera, who was a 21-year old rookie second baseman at the time.
The game between the Rangers and Rays will take place at 8:07 PM on Monday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. David Price will take the hill for the Rays in possibly his last start with Tampa Bay, while the Rangers will counter with rookie Martin Perez. The winner will move on to Cleveland Wednesday night, and the Tribe is starting 23-year old uber rookie Danny Salazar.
Just when you think you were out, they pull you back in. Get ready for some fun tomorrow, folks.