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(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers had to win seven straight games just to keep their playoff hopes alive. [url=http://www.sou
Joined: Aug 24 2016
02:47, Mar 20 2017
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers had to win seven straight games just to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tyler Miller Seattle Sounders Jersey . However, they will need to win another game at home on Monday if they intend on reaching the postseason for a fourth straight year. For the fourth time in the last seven years the regular season will be extended by one game, as the Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays play a one-game tiebreaker to decide the final American League wild card spot. "Tampa Bay is coming into town, now we have to keep our game elevated and do what we have been doing. We dont change anything," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Just continue to play Texas Rangers baseball and hope to sustain it for a long time to come." The winner of Mondays contest at Rangers Ballpark will face Cleveland on Wednesday. Texas, which will be hosting the contest based on its 4-3 mark versus the Rays during the season, comes into this contest, having won 10 of its last 13, including a 7-0 homestand to close the slate. Its quite a contrast from last year when the Rangers lost six of their final eight regular season games to blow their chance at winning an American League West title. The poor finish carried into the postseason, as the Rangers lost the wild card game at home to Baltimore. History seemed to be repeating itself this year, as Washingtons club lost 13 of 17 and cost themselves a shot at a division title and seemingly a postseason spot. It all turned around, though, when the Rangers returned home, as they swept a three-game set from the woeful Houston Astros before forcing the tiebreaker with four straight wins over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. "We never thought back to last year," Texas closer Joe Nathan said. "Thats what you guys are for, to bring up old stuff. The history for us is exactly that: Its history. This is a new team in here, a lot of new faces, so last year never came across anybodys mind." The Rangers could get a boost in their lineup on Monday, as the team has activated outfielder Nelson Cruz, who is done serving his 50-game suspension for his involvement the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic. "It feels special to be back," said Cruz. "It shows they believe in me. I have been working every day to make sure I am ready. I want to play. I want to be a part of this team and help them win championships." Texas will also have its hottest pitcher on the hill in left-hander Martin Perez, who is 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA over his last 10 starts. Overall, he was 10-5 with a 3.55 ERA. "I feel good. Hes one of the reasons why we are getting this opportunity, and its his turn," Washington said. "Hes well rested. We have plenty of guys to back him up. If it gets out of control, we can stop it quickly. We have a lot of confidence in him." This will be Perezs first-ever start versus the Rays. Should he stumble, Washington has stated that righties Alexi Ogando and Matt Garza will be available out of the bullpen. Tampa closed the season just as strong as Texas, but nearly cost itself a shot at the postseason when it lost the first two of its three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. The Rays salvaged the series, and their season, with a victory on Sunday to win for the eighth time in 10 tries and force the tiebreaker. "Were not in the playoffs yet, but weve gotten to this point," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Lets just let the air out and go play." While the Rangers will be throwing a 22-year-old rookie on Monday, the Rays will hand the ball to the American Leagues reigning Cy Young Award winner in David Price. Price, though, has been inconsistent this season, posting a 9-8 mark to go along with a 3.39 ERA. However, he has pitched to a 2.73 ERA over his last four starts. "This is hands down my biggest game of this year," Price said. "Its night and day bigger than Opening Day. Its big. This is the moment that I want to be in. I want to be able to relish this moment and just go out there and have fun." Texas has traditionally given the left-hander problems, as Price is just 1-4 with a 5.98 ERA in eight starts versus the Rangers. Its been even worse in Arlington, where has totaled a 10.26 ERA in four starts. This is the first one-game tiebreaker since 2009 when Minnesota beat Detroit to decide the AL Central. Nelson Valdez Seattle Sounders Jersey . This week, topics cover the World Series champion Red Sox, John Farrell and what to look forward to this off-season. Damion Lowe Jersey . The 26-year-old Regina native teamed up with Denny Morrison and Mathieu Giroux to win gold in 2010. Makowsky also was 13th in the 5,000 metres and 19th in the 1,500m in Vancouver. He also represented Canada at the 2014 Games in Sochi, helping the pursuit team finish fourth and finishing 28th in the 1,500. http://www.soundersmlsshop.com/brad-evans-seattle-sounders-jersey/ . The hard-serving 22-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., became the first Canadian to be ranked in the Top 10 on the ATP World Tour thanks to his runner-up performance at Rogers Cup in Montreal.PHILADELPHIA -- David Wright homered in his return to the Mets lineup, Daniel Murphy had three hits and Daisuke Matsuzaka earned his second straight victory in New Yorks 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 Friday night. Eric Young Jr. singled, doubled and drove in a run for the Mets, who have won four of seven. Darin Ruf doubled and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia, which has lost four of seven. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 14 opportunities. Hawkins got some help when a retreating Juan Lagares made a leaping, one-handed catch in front of the wall in centre to rob Ruf of extra bases leading off the inning. The Mets jumped on Cole Hamels for three runs in the first. After Young led off with a bloop double that bounded off the glove of diving right fielder John Mayberry Jr. and Murphy singled, Wright homered in his first at-bat since being placed on the disabled list Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring. The homer moved Wright past Mike Piazza into second on the clubs career list with 221 homers. Darryl Strawberry is No. 1 with 252. New York added lone runs in the third and fourth on RBI singles by Andrew Brown and Young, respectively,, before the Phillies scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 5-4. Cristian Roldan Seattle Sounders Jersey. . Ruf did the bulk of the damage with a two-run double. Hamels also drove in a run with a groundout to first. But the Mets got an insurance run in the seventh on Josh Satins RBI groundout. Matsuzaka (2-3) pitched six innings, allowing four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Hamels (8-14) lost for the first time since July 26. The left-hander entered Friday 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in the nine starts since his last defeat. But he left after seven subpar innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. NOTES: Wrights homer was his 18th at Citizens Bank Park, matching his total at Atlantas Turner Field for the most in road ballparks. . Besides Wright, the Mets activated Wilfredo Tovar before Fridays game. Tovar hit .263 with four homers and 36 RBIs in 133 games with Double-A Binghamton this season. . Young stole his 40th base of the season and MLB-leading 24th since the All-Star break. . The series continues at Saturday night when New York right-hander Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47 ERA) faces Phillies right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06). 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