|Playoff Chase: TB, Texas in wild-card tiebreaker|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 29 September 2013 23:43|
CRUZIN': The Rangers won their seventh in a row Sunday and the Rays also won, forcing the one-game playoff. Rookie Martin Perez starts against Tampa Bay star David Price. Texas gets a boost - All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz will be active after serving his 50-game penalty from Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Cruz is 9 for 21 with three HRs against Price. This counts as a regular season game, too, meaning the stats could affect some fantasy leaguers.
INDIANS IN: Cleveland claimed its first playoff spot since 2007, beating Minnesota for its 10th win in a row. The Indians averted a three-way tie for the AL wild card, finishing a game ahead of Tampa Bay and Texas. On Wednesday night, rookie Danny Salazar starts the winner-take-all matchup. ``From ownership to baseball ops to the clubhouse guys, to be able to stand here and say the Indians are going to the playoffs, I'm so proud of everybody,'' first-year manager Terry Francona said.
HE'S OUT: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp will miss the postseason because of swelling in a bone in his sprained left ankle. Kemp has been sidelined a lot with the injury, and hit .270 with six home runs and 33 RBIs. ``Without saying it in a bad way, we played all year long without Matt. We went 42-8 without Matt,'' manager Don Mattingly said.
FAMILIAR FOES: Cincinnati is at Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game Tuesday night. It's a pairing that often occurs in October - the Pirates and Reds met in the playoffs in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979 and 1990. Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto is 8-2 career at PNC Park; Pirates starter Francisco Liriano is 16-8 this year, but 0-3 in four outings vs. the Reds.
BATTERS UP: The AL Central champion Tigers open the best-of-five division series on Friday at Oakland. Detroit's hitters didn't make much of a dent in their final game of the regular season - the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter against them Sunday.