Rays vs. Rangers in Game 163

Rays vs. Rangers in Game 163
September 30, 2013, 9:00 am
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(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s a one-game playoff. And the winner gets to play in a one-game playoff.

The Rays and Rangers have finished 162 games with the same record, tied for the second American League wild-card berth. To decide who gets to play in the postseason, the two meet Monday night in Texas — technically, it’s a regular-season game, No. 163.

Tampa Bay got into the tie by holding on for a 7-6 win over the Jays on Sunday. On Monday, the Rays send out last season’s Cy Young winner, David Price.

“To get into the postseason, that's been our main goal since the first day of the season, to put ourselves in a position at the end of the year to play postseason baseball, and that's what we've done," Price said, according to mlb.com.

Rather than bemoan lost chances that cost his team the chance to have already clinched a wild card, manager Joe Maddon sounded thrilled to be playing No. 163.

"It's wonderful to be playing another day ... so I'm happy with that,” he said. “… I love it. We all love it here. To be in this position again. Another 90-win season for the Rays is extraordinary. To have walked home tonight would have been really disappointing. I know this is not necessarily the playoffs yet, but it really reeks of that regarding our preparation and how we feel."
 
The Rays finished on a 13-5 run, but lost the first two games of their weekend series with the Jays to fall into the tie.

"Obviously, we had our opportunities," third baseman Evan Longoria said. "But at the same time, we have to be happy that we're playing another game. We get to play one more game than everybody else, and hopefully more. We feel like, at least I do, that we have something to prove there — that we have unfinished business at that ballpark.”