1:07 PM ET, September 28, 2013
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Rays lose to Blue Jays, drop into tie for second AL wild-card spot
TORONTO -- The Tampa Bay Rays have left themselves with a pretty big Game 162.
Tampa Bay dropped into a tie with Texas for the second AL wild-card berth, losing to Toronto 7-2 on Saturday. Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar hit two-run home runs for the Blue Jays, and J.A. Happ won for the first time in four starts.
Cleveland (91-70) opened a one-game lead over the Rays and Rangers (both 90-71) for the wild card by stretching its winning streak to nine with a victory at Minnesota.
3-Way Tiebreaker Rules
The question on everyone's mind with the final day of MLB's regular season looming is: What happens if the Indians, Rays and Rangers finish tied in the wild card standings? The league announced its system for breaking that tie Friday, and in short, it looks like this:
• The Rays would play the Indians in Cleveland on Monday
• The winner of that game gets the first wild-card spot while the loser plays the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday
• The winner of that game gets the second wild-card spot
• If the Rays lose the first game and win the second, they'd have the homefield advantage in the wild-card game Wednesday as they won the season series against Indians 4-2.
"I'm excited for tomorrow," Rays slugger Evan Longoria said. "We like to make it interesting, that's for sure."
Tampa Bay won the wild card in 2011 when Longoria's 12th-inning homer beat the New York Yankees 8-7, capping a seven-run comeback. Boston's loss at Baltimore that night put the Rays into the postseason.
"We've been here before, we've been in these moments," manager Joe Maddon said. "We never do things seemingly easily so let's just play tomorrow and see what happens."
The Rays lost their second straight following a seven-game winning streak. There's still a chance of a two- or three-way tie, which would necessitate one or more tiebreaker games. Maddon isn't fretting over numerous possible outcomes.
"The only scenario is whatever helps us win tomorrow," Maddon said. "That's the only scenario that matters. And then, you just react to everything else."
Adam Lind had two hits and three RBIs, and Brett Lawrie reached base four times as the Blue Jays continued to make life tough for the Rays, who start left-hander Matt Moore (16-4) on Sunday against Blue Jays rookie right-hander Todd Redmond (4-2).
"I'm totally confident in our guys," Maddon said. "I really believe that you're going to see the best side of Matt Moore tomorrow."
Moore is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against Toronto this season and has lost just once to the Blue Jays in six career meetings.
"It's a big game, big opportunity," Moore said. "I'm looking to throw up zeros any way I can."
Redmond was born in St. Petersburg, where his parents once were Rays season-ticket holders.
"We have a chance to knock them out," Redmond said. "That's baseball. Hopefully we can pull it off."
Maddon insisted his bullpen is in good shape even after Saturday's starter, Chris Archer, lasted just 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who allowed one run and five hits, is 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in his last six starts.
Happ (5-7) pitched a season-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits to win for the first time since Sept. 7 at Minnesota.
"It feels really good," Happ said. "I've been working and battling and feeling like I was close. I feel like finally the last several starts I've kind of been putting it together. It feels good to end on a good note."
Lind's RBI single tied it in the third as the Blue Jays started the inning with three straight singles off Archer, who left after striking out Sierra. Alex Torres (4-2) came on and stranded runners at second and third.
Lind made it 3-1 with a two-out, two-run single down the third base line off Torres in the fourth, and the Blue Jays pulled away with a four-run fifth.
The Rays lost consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 10-11 against Boston. ... Lawrie went 2-for-3 and walked twice. ... Lind returned to the lineup at DH after missing two games with a sore back. He was replaced by pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki in the fifth. ... Rays SS Yunel Escobar (left ankle) started for the first time since Tuesday. ... Blue Jays assistant GM Jay Sartori is leaving the team next month for a job with Apple Inc.
TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 28: J.A. Happ #48 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during MLB game action...(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Tampa Bay leads 11-8 (as of Sat 9/28)|
|Mon 5/6||TOR 8, @TB 7||Recap|
|Tue 5/7||TOR 6, @TB 4||Recap|
|Wed 5/8||@TB 10, TOR 4||Recap|
|Thu 5/9||@TB 5, TOR 4||Recap|
|Mon 5/20||@TOR 7, TB 5||Recap|
|Tue 5/21||TB 4, @TOR 3||Recap|
|Wed 5/22||@TOR 4, TB 3||Recap|
|Mon 6/24||@TB 4, TOR 1||Recap|
|Tue 6/25||@TB 5, TOR 1||Recap|
|Wed 6/26||TOR 3, @TB 0||Recap|
|Fri 7/19||TB 8, @TOR 5||Recap|
|Sat 7/20||TB 4, @TOR 3||Recap|
|Sun 7/21||TB 4, @TOR 3||Recap|
|Fri 8/16||@TB 5, TOR 4||Recap|
|Sat 8/17||TOR 6, @TB 2||Recap|
|Sun 8/18||@TB 2, TOR 1||Recap|
|Fri 9/27||@TOR 6, TB 3||Recap|
|» Sat 9/28||@TOR 7, TB 2||Box Score|
|Sun 9/29||TB 7, @TOR 6||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Rays | Blue Jays|
|1st||W Myers singled to left, B Zobrist scored.||1||0|
|3rd||A Lind singled to right, J Reyes scored, B Lawrie to second.||1||1|
|4th||A Lind singled to left, R Langerhans and K Pillar scored, B Lawrie to third.||1||3|
|5th||R Goins homered to right (371 feet), A Gose scored.||1||5|
|5th||K Pillar homered to left (385 feet), R Langerhans scored.||1||7|
|9th||D Young grounded out to shortstop, W Myers scored.||2||7|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON|
|Attendance||33,232 (67.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||64 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper|
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