The Tampa Bay Rays played The Texas Rangers on October 4, 2011. The Rays ended their AL wild-card streak, losing 4-3.
The Tampa Bay Rays play the Texas Rangers for Game 2 in Texas! Final score: 6-8 (Texas)
The Rays beat the New York Yankees to clinch a playoff spot in the 2011 playoffs!
By Darek Sharp
Evan Longoria's solo homer in the top of the ninth inning broke a 2-2 tie and sent the Rays to their eighth win in a row, 3-2 at the White Sox Thursday night.
Fernando Rodney struck out slugger Adam Dunn on a 3-2 changeup with Dunn serving as the possible winning run.
"It did have a little bit of a postseason feel. This is what it's all about," Longoria told Sun Sports after the game.
The victory capped an all-around great day which saw two teams ahead of the Rays in the Wild Card standings both lose. Oakland fell to Texas so the A's now lead Tampa Bay by just two games for the second Wild Card, and the Angels' losing 9-4 to Seattle means the Rays and Angels are tied.
Baltimore, which was idle, leads Tampa Bay by three -- with three games remaining for each team before they play each other for another three to close the regular season.
Tampa Bay also got a solo homer from Luke Scott, a blast that put the Rays up 2-1 in the fourth inning. Chicago would tie it in the bottom half but only managed one run after loading the bases with none out against James Shields.
Joel Peralta got the win while Brett Myers, who served up the Longoria homer, was tagged with the defeat.
The eight consecutive wins are a season best for the Rays.
Both of Chicago's runs served as nice escape jobs for Shields, who walked two as he loaded the bases in the fourth. Shields went 6 1/3 innings, walking four and striking out six. Jake Peavy pitched 7 1/3 innings in the no-decision.
Rodney's save was his 46th of the year. Peralta allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth but then the Rays took advantage of some sloppy play by the struggling Sox, who now trail Detroit by two games in the Central. Pinch-hitter DeWayne Wise failed to lay down a bunt and eventually struck out. Then when Alexei Ramirez flew out to center, pinch runner Jordan Danks was called for the third out because, after going with the pitch, he didn't retouch second base on the way back to first.
Chicago tried to create its own Dan Johnson pinch-hit magic, calling on the ex-Ray hero to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Johnson lined the ball hard but Matt Joyce made a running catch.
Carlos Pena drove in Tampa Bay's other run with a sac fly that made it 1-0 in the top of the fourth.