A six-run first inning gave way to a harrowing finish, but the Rays held on for a 7-6 victory at Toronto Sunday.
The win assured Tampa Bay of having its season continued past Sunday.
Toronto trailed 7-0 until scoring three runs in the sixth, and the Jays had the bases loaded after making it 7-6 on two hits against Fernando Rodney in the eighth. But he escaped further damage by striking out Moses Sierra on an 0-2 changeup.
Even in the ninth the Jays would not go away getting a leadoff hit by Adam Lind. Ryan Goins hit a hard line drive but left fielder David DeJesus got a good jump and snared the ball about five feet off the ground for the final out.
Joe Maddon was ejected in the seventh inning in an obvious attempt to fire up his team. It was 7-4 at the time but Joel Peralta was struggling. After Maddon got tossed Peralta's next pitch was a double play ball.
The Rays had six hits in the first. Wil Myers doubled with one out and James Loney brought him home. Evan Longoria made it 2-0 with a double, Delmon Young's single on a 3-2 pitch with two hits extended the lead to 3-0 and Toronto pulled starter Todd Redmond.
Jose Lobaton greeted Neil Wagner with a two-run double for 5-0, and Yunel Escobar completed the big inning with an RBI single.
A Myers double came in handy, making it 7-0 in the fourth.
The victory means Tampa Bay's season will extend either to a tiebreaking game Monday, or directly to the Wild Card playoff Wednesday pending the results of Cleveland and Texas in their games. More to come as those results come in....