Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Rays Vs. White Sox: Tampa Bay fighting for Wild Card

Tampa is fighting for its life in the Wild Card race, while the Sox are just a game off the Tigers in the AL Central.

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Rays beat White Sox 10-4, but fail to gain on WC

The Tampa Bay Rays have won nine of their last ten games, but remain on the outside of the playoff race after a 10-4 win over the Chicago White Sox. Matt Moore threw 5⅓ innings of one hit ball for his 11th win of the year. Chris Sale took the loss for the White Sox, giving up five runs in only 3⅓ innings of work. Sale did manage to strike out seven. Chris Archer earned a rare three inning save.

Matt Joyce hit two home runs for the Rays, and Jeff Keppinger and Chris Gimenez each contributed one home run a piece. Orlando Hudson hit a grand slam in the ninth for the White Sox in the eight inning, but the game was no longer in doubt by that point.

The Rays, despite the win, failed to gain any ground on the Athletics for the final wildcard spot. Tampa will look to finish off the White Sox series with a win on Sunday. First pitch is set for 2:10 p.m. ET.

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Rays look to keep hopes alive

The Tampa Bay Rays are one of five American League teams still mathematically alive for one of the two Wild Card spots. They can eliminate one of those teams with one more win over the Chicago White Sox.

The Rays (86-70) and White Sox (82-74) meet Friday night after Evan Longoria's ninth-inning homer gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 win in Thursday night's opener of the pivotal 4-game set in Chicago. Each team has six games remaining.

Tampa Bay is 2 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second and final playoff spot, as are the Anaheim Angels. Baltimore is the top seed, a game ahead of Oakland. Chicago, after leading the AL Central most of the season, finds itself on the outside looking in, 2 games behind the Detroit Tigers. Chicago's elimination number for the Wild Card is down to 1.

The third-place Rays are still alive for the AL East crown, as well, just 4 games back of the division-leading New York Yankees, though it'd take near-perfect play and a Yankees collapse for that to happen. The Wild Card is still very much in play for Tampa Bay, even if they are one of four teams fighting for a spot during the season's final week.

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Evan Longoria homers in ninth in 3-2 Rays victory.

In game one of a four game series between two playoff hopefuls, the Rays came out victorious thanks to a ninth inning solo home run from Evan Longoria that broke a 2-2 tie and led to a 3-2 win for the Rays.

The Rays began the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth from Carlos Pena that drove in Ben Zobrist, but that lead didn't last for long. James Shields hit Dayan Viciedo with a pitch in the bottom of the frame while the bases were loaded, but was able to get out of the jam and avoid further damage.

A Luke Scott solo home run in the top of the fifth inning gave the Rays the lead once again, but Paul Konerko tied the game for the White Sox when he hit a grounded into a double play that scored Alejandro De Aza.

The scoring stopped there, though, as neither team was able to score for the next three innings until Evan Longoria hit a solo shot off Brett Myers in the top of the ninth. With a one run lead, Fernando Rodney came in to the game and got each of the first two batters out before allowing a single to Kevin Youkilis. However, he sealed the game and earned the save with a strikeout of Adam Dunn.

The win keeps the AL East title four games out of reach and keeps the Rays just two games behind the Oakland A's for the final wild card spot.

Game two of the four game series will take place at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday night.

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