The Tampa Bay Rays accomplished yet another preseason goal Wednesday night, clinching the American League East division with an 8-5 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.
This is Tampa Bay's first division title since 2010, and the team's third overall since coming into existence in 1998.
The Rays had not lost the last seven of Tyler Glasnow's starts going into the game, and Glasnow continued that streak by picking up the clinching win with 76 pitches in his six innings. Glasnow only gave up two runs on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.
Randy Arozarena's two-run homer in the 6th inning broke up a 2-2 tie, and provided the dagger to the Mets' hopes of playing spoiler. Brandon Lowe added an insurance two-run homer in the top of the eighth to add an exclamation point.
Later that inning, Willy Adames added an RBI single, which ended an 0-for-27 string for the Rays with runners in scoring position. And Arozarena added another homer, a solo shot, his second of the game, to ice the victory in the top of the ninth.
The game started to look like a carbon copy of Tuesday's game with the Mets, as both teams scored runs in the second inning on solo home runs: the top of the seond by Joey Wendle off Mets' starter Michael Wacha, and with two outs in the bottom of the inning by Andres Gimenez off Glasnow, whose only two runs allowed on the night were on solo home runs.
After picking up a run on a fielder's choice grounder by Brandon Lowe in the top of the third, the Mets tied it once again in the fourth on a solo home run, this one by Dominic Smith, evening the score at 2.
The Mets put a scare into the Rays in the 9th, scoring three runs off Oliver Drake, two of them coming on a two-run homer by Todd Frazier. But Rays' manager Kevin Cash called for Nick Anderson to come in and shut the door on the Mets, which he did by striking out Gimenez to end the game.
Even though the Rays earned their division title win, we thought you'd be glad to read the news that the New York Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 14-1, anyway.
Up next for the Rays is a weekend series, starting Friday, back at Tropicana Field against the Philadelphia Phillies to close out the regular season.
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