The Tampa Bay Rays are headed to Cleveland! After Monday nights 5-2 win over the Rangers, in Texas the Rays will play the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland on Wednesday in the American League Wild Card Game. The Rays won 9 of their final 11 games to make it to the post season for the third time in four seasons.
The Rays bats were hot early getting three hits in the first inning, but Martin Perez held them to only one run because of a base running error by Desmond Jennings. The big news coming out of the Rangers club house was that Nelson Cruz would get the start in the DH spot for the first time since coming off his suspension. Cruz got a standing ovation from the Texas crowd which is a good sign for the right-handed slugger, who will be a free agent.
The Rays got some offense from their big bats in the 3rd including a home run from Evan Longoria who was 3-4 with a walk on the night. Other than that the Rays offense was pretty quiet. The Rangers starter Martin Perez did a very nice job of limiting his mistakes and gave his team a chance to win only allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The Rangers bullpen came in and gave up a few hits and a run in the 6th, including a pinch hit RBI Double by David DeJesus. This moved the game to 4-1 Rays. Giving David Price enough cushion to play with.
David Price didn’t need the insurance as he finished with the complete game win, going 9 innings, sprinkling around 7 hits, and giving up only two runs. This is a huge confidence boost to Price as the Rays head into the playoffs on Wednesday.
As for Ron Washington and the Rangers, he could end up on the hot seat. The ball was in his court, all he had to do was win to get in and he couldn’t do it. Losing down the stretch really hurt his club and forced them into elimination games the last week of the season. The Rangers finish the season 91-72 while the Rays will head on to Cleveland to start their journey towards a possible World Series Title.