Baseball / MLB

Rays back in playoffs as wild card


Last year, 90 wins wasn’t enough for the Tampa Bay Rays.

This year, 96 proved to be the number the Rays needed to reach the postseason.

Tampa Bay returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, clinching an AL wild card berth with a 6-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night behind Tommy Pham’s two-run homer and Tyler Glasnow’s 4⅓ hitless innings.

“This organization has created a very winning culture, and there’s been a little bit of a drought,” fifth-year manager Kevin Cash said. “We get to hang another banner, we want to hang some more. Really happy to be a part of it.”

Tampa Bay will play Oakland in the wild-card game on Wednesday night, and the Rays will start Charlie Morton. Both teams were 96-64 going into the final two games, with home field still underdetermined. The Athletics won the season series 4-3 and hold the tiebreaker.

The low-budget Rays have their most wins since 2010 and can tie or surpass the team record of 97 set in 2008, when they won their only AL pennant and lost to Philadelphia in the World Series.

Austin Meadows also homered for Tampa Bay, hitting his 33rd this season off Ryan Dull in the ninth.

Making his fourth appearance since returning from the injured list after missing 107 games because of a strained forearm, Glasnow threw 66 pitches, including 35 strikes, a 14-pitch increase from his previous outing. The right-hander struck out four and walked two.

Twins 6, Royals 2 (6 ½)

In Kansas City, Minnesota became the record fourth team in the major leagues to win 100 games this season, beating the Royals behind two-run homers from Miguel Sano and Ryan LaMarre in a game shortened to 6½ innings because of rain.

Jose Berrios (14-8) struck out nine, allowing two runs and six hits in his first complete game this season.

Nationals 8, Indians 2

In Washington, Cleveland will miss out on the postseason for the first time since 2015, eliminated from the AL wild-card race in a loss to the playoff-bound Nationals.

Mets 4, Braves 2

In New York, Pete Alonso belted his 52nd homer to match Aaron Judge’s rookie record as the Mets topped Atlanta.

Alonso connected in the first inning against Dallas Keuchel, narrowly clearing the wall in left field for a solo shot that tied Judge’s mark from his breakout season with the New York Yankees in 2017.

In Other Games

Rockies 11, Brewers 7

Cubs 8, Cardinals 2

Astros 4, Angels 0

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1

Pirates 6, Reds 5

Yankees 14, Rangers 7

Phillies 5, Marlins 4 (15)

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3

Mariners 4, Athletics 3

Dodgers 9, Giants 2

Tigers at White Sox — ppd.