The Price Was Right In Texas As Rays Down Rangers
The Tampa Bay Rays claimed the second Wild Card berth upstaging the Texas Rangers 5-2 in a contest dominated by Rays ace lefty David Price. The 28-year old pitched a gutsy complete game victory leading his troops to victory and setting up a one game playoff with the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Price established his inside fastball early which allowed him to keep Rangers hitters off balance as the game progressed into the later innings. The lanky lefty scattered 7 hits for 2 runs while fanning 4 and walking 1 for the complete game win. Price hasn’t had a typical David Price season but returned to form when it mattered most.
Rays manager Joe Maddon stuck with his ace when it appeared Joel Peralta was warmed and ready to replace Price to start the 8th inning. Maddon had a change of heart, went with his gut and left Price on the bump for not only the 8th but the 9th inning and the rest is history. The Rays have now appeared in the post season 4 out of the last 6 seasons.
The Rays offensive attack was led by third baseman Evan Longoria who was a triple away from the cycle going 3 for 4 with 2 runs batted in when the Rays needed it most. Longoria was the only Rays player with multiple hits in the contest. The Rays will now focus their attention on the surging Indians on Wednesday in a winner take all game. Alex Cobb is slated to get the ball opposite rookie Danny Salazar for Cleveland in the wild card game.
Cobb was 11-3 with a 2.76 earned run average for the Rays this season which includes a 5-1 record in his last 10 starts. The 23-year old Salazar was 6-5 with a 2.71 earned run average for the tribe posting a 2-3 record in his last 10 appearances. The winner will get a date with the league leading Boston Red Sox.
Buckle your seatbelts it should be a fun ride on Wednesday especially with grizzled veterans Joe Maddon and Terry Francona calling the shots from the dugout for all the marbles.