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Baseball: Rays and Rangers to meet in tiebreaker

Published September 29, 2013 8:47 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers are pushing this regular season to game No. 163.

On a Sunday, Tampa Bay and Texas both won and wound up even, forcing a tiebreaker for the second AL wild-card spot.

The Rays will play at Texas on Monday night, with the winner visiting Cleveland on Wednesday night in another all-or-nothing matchup.

Rangers rookie Martin Perez starts against reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price. Texas gets a boost, too — All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz will be active after his 50-game penalty from Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug scandal.

It will be baseball's first tiebreaker — officially, this is a regular-season game and the stats count — since Minnesota beat Detroit 6-5 in 12 innings for the 2009 AL Central title.

What was supposed to be the final day of the regular season began with the possibility of a three-way tie for a pair of AL wild-card spots. Instead, Cleveland clinched its first postseason berth since 2007, winning 5-1 at Minnesota to finish at 92-70 and one game ahead of Texas and Tampa Bay as the top wild card.