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Updated: September 29, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Wild Card for Indians; Rangers, Rays need tiebreaker
TORONTO, Ontario (Canada) / MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota / ARLINGTON, Texas (USA) - The Wild Card in the American League is still not settled after completion of the regular season. Well, half of it.

On Sunday, on the final day of the regular season, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers were the three remaining teams battling for two remaining spots in the postseason.

Tampa Bay was the first team that came into action and went on to win 7-6 at Toronto Blue Jays, despite being outhit 12-9. The Rays rallied for six runs in the first inning, but then added only one more run in the remainder of the game, while the Blue Jays scored six runs from the sixth inning on. But the Rays held onto the lead and won to get closer to Cleveland.

The Indians were the next team to finish their game and they also won, beating Minnesota Twins 5-1. Winning pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez struckout 13 batters in 6 2/3 inning. With the win, Cleveland became unreachable for the Rays and Rangers and therefore captured the first Wild Card.

...Giancarlo Stanton...
...winning run...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Rays now had to wait for the finish of the Rangers-game to know where to travel to. The Rangers went on to win 6-2 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on ten hits, including two homeruns. With that, the Rangers end the season with the same record as Tampa Bay, 91-71. And so, after having played 162 regular season-games, the Rays and Rangers now have to play a tiebreaker, which is scheduled for Monday-evening in Texas. With that, a few after having completed their own game in the afternoon, the Rays traveled to the airport in Toronto for the 3 1/2 evening-flight to Texas. The winner of Monday's tiebreaker will meet the Cleveland Indians in the American League Wild Card Play-Off on Wednesday.

The Division Series open on Thursday and Friday.

The season of Miami Marlins ended with a No-Hitter for pitcher Henderson Alvarez. The 23-year old Venezuelan held Detroit Tigers hitless and scoreless for nine innings, but in the meantime, the Marlins also didn't score themselves.

But the game ended good for Alvarez. In the home of the ninth, with one out, Giancarlo Stanton singled and advanced when Logan Morrison also singled. The two then advanced on a wild pitch by Luke Putkonen, who had come on in relief in the beginning of the inning. A grounder then followed, with the runners holding, and then the bases got loaded when Chris Coghlan walked. Hereafter, Greg Dobbs entered the game as pinch-hitter for Koyie Hill. Behind him, in the on-deck circle, was Alvarez, who would be the next hitter. When Miami wouldn't score a run, he would have returned to the mound in the tenth inning to continue his No-Hitter. But with Dobbs in the batter's box, the game ended when Putkonen threw the ball past his catcher for a wild pitch. Stanton was able to score from third base and so, the Marlins won 1-0 and Alvarez, looking on from the on-deck circle, had his No-Hitter, the fifth in the history of the Marlins.

In 2011, Stanton was one of the Major Leaguers, who took part in the European Big League Tour of Rick van den Hurk.

(September 29)

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