The Rays came into tonight’s game with a magic number of two. They left tonight with a magic number of zero, as their convincing win over Toronto, coupled with Cleveland’s loss to Washington, gave them their first postseason berth since 2013.
This is the lineup that pulled it off:
Focus on the now. https://t.co/GMtNyzwkNh #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/bv14DSfVkI— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 27, 2019
Tyler Glasnow continued to impress since his return, cruising through the front part of the game, working 4.1 shutout innings and giving up no hits and two walks versus four strikeouts. After getting stretched to 65 pitches and five up-downs, he should be just about stretched out for the playoffs.
.@TGlasnow didn't have to work his tail off to come back, but he did.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 28, 2019
All he's done is get 21 strikeouts in 12 1/3 IP. pic.twitter.com/efjdksr0zm
Meanwhile in Washington, the Nats took an early 2-0 lead against the Indians.
Back in St. Pete, the Rays got on the board in the third. Joey Wendle started the rally with a single to right. One out later, Tommy Pham hit one on a rope that cleared the wall in left.
Wham, bam, give us the early lead, Pham. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/MjStnujS8U— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 28, 2019
in the fourth, Nate Lowe drew a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Willy Adames drove him home with a single to center.
.@willya02 gives Nate Lowe a ride home‼️ #RaysUp 3#LetsGoBlueJays 0— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 28, 2019
Catch @RaysBaseball on FOX Sports Sun l FOX Sports Go. pic.twitter.com/cWH0Y2415V
Back to Washington, and the Indians briefly tied the game at two.
In St. Pete, after Glasnow got Reece McGuire to ground out on his 65th pitch of the night to start the fifth, Kevin Cash made the call for Colin Poche. Poche did give up a ground rule double to left from Teoscar Hernandez almost immediately to break up the no-hitter, but he settled in nicely to get a couple flyouts to end the frame.
From the “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before” file, Cavan Biggio punched a bunt double out past the shortstop position in the sixth inning.
Cavan Biggio with a demonstration of how to "hit" it where they ain't. pic.twitter.com/mJmNcC7LoK— Nick Ashbourne (@NickAshbourne) September 28, 2019
Poche came back to get Grichuk on a pop out, and struck out Rowdy Tellez looking. For the day, he worked 1.2 innings scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.
In Washington, the Nats took control of the game in the bottom of the sixth, putting up a five-spot to give them a 7-2 edge.
Update No.2: Washington increases their lead on Cleveland to 7-2 in the 7th.#RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/xd5AgCbbNJ— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 28, 2019
The Rays mounted another challenge in the seventh but were unable to tack on any insurance runs. A double by KK and a single and error from Willy Adames put runners on second and third. Joey Wendle couldn’t get the job done, striking out on three pitches. An Austin Meadows walk then loaded the bases for Tommy Pham. Pham got a pitch to hit, but grounded it sharply to third to start a 5-4-3 double play.
Chaz Roe came on to face Vlad Jr. and gave up a hard single. It would be his only hitter of the night, as Cash’s quick hook brought in Oliver Drake. Kevin Cash was not fooling around with this one.
Drake did induced McGuire to hit into a force play, but left one out over the plate to Teoscar Hernandez, whose fly ball to right scraped the back side of the wall in right on its way out. 3-2 Rays
The Rays did get some insurance in the eighth. A Travis d’Arnaud duck snort and a Nate Lowe ground rule double up the right field line put runners on second and third. Then with the infield in, Garcia grounded sharply through the shift.
.@AvisailGarcia's 72nd RBI of the season is a 1️⃣!#RaysUp 5#LetsGoBlueJays 2— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 28, 2019
Catch @RaysBaseball on FOX Sports Sun l FOX Sports Go. pic.twitter.com/hzcN12y4k9
4-2 Rays. They got a second insurance run on a strikeout/passed ball with Willy Adames reaching and Nate Lowe scoring.
In Washington, the Nats salted this one away.
Gerardo Parra (8) off RHP Dan Otero (9) - 103.8 mph, 24 degrees (399 ft Home Run)— MLBBarrelAlert (@MLBBarrelAlert) September 28, 2019
82.3 mph Changeup#Indians @ #Nationals (B8) pic.twitter.com/zuTNjZtJtF
For the Rays, Oliver Drake came back out to work the eighth and had a clean inning. For the day: 2 innings, a hit, a run, and 4 strikeouts.
Austin Meadows hit his 33rd homer of the year in the ninth to make it 6-2.
Austin Meadows (33 HR) is trying to lock this thing up! #RaysUp 6#LetsGoBlueJays 2— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 28, 2019
BOTTOM OF THE 9️⃣th is coming up. pic.twitter.com/wF7W2glMXb
Emilio Pagan locked down the save with a clean ninth.
We're getting wild!#RaysUp | #StayHungry pic.twitter.com/MgfXd07aAe— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 28, 2019
The #Rays have clinched a playoff spot. Tampa Bay is headed to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Rays’ fifth time reaching the playoffs in franchise history. They’ll play the A’s in the AL Wild Card.— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) September 28, 2019
The record is 96-64. Bottles will be popped tonight in Toronto. pic.twitter.com/hYRYBUUaCd
Now to scoreboard watch the Oakland game.