September 25, 2020

Surging Rays top Yankees, remain tied with Red Sox

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays are loose and raring to go, ready to work overtime — if necessary — to win the AL wild card.

“Whatever it takes,” designated hitter Johnny Damon said. “It’s been a fun ride and hopefully it continues.”

The Rays’ improbable bid for a third playoff berth in four years comes down to the final day of the regular season after Tuesday night’s 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees left them tied for the wild card with Boston. The reeling Red Sox held off the Baltimore Orioles 8-7.

If the teams remain tied after Wednesday night’s season finales, they will meet in a one-game playoff at Tropicana Field on Thursday afternoon.

“We have to focus on ourselves … play our game and not worry about the other side of it,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That will eventually take care of itself.”

Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist homered, the bullpen shut down the Yankees after starter Jeremy Hellickson pitched six strong innings, and the Rays kept the score close by turning the third triple play in franchise history.

Throw in Joyce, whose three-run homer wiped out a 3-2 deficit in the seventh — playing on an injured foot — and that the Rays were without Casey Kotchman after the first baseman experienced tightness in his chest and was taken to a hospital for tests, and no wonder Tampa Bay feels it has no limits.

 

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