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ARLINGTON, Texas — For Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays, this was a fitting way to get back into the playoffs.
They earned their postseason berth in the final game of the regular season for the second time in three years, needing an extra game to do so this time.
And their 5-2 victory in the AL wild-card tiebreaker Monday night came against the Texas Rangers, the team that knocked the Rays out the playoffs their last two trips.
“It feels really good to be able to leave here celebrating instead of with our heads down,” said Longoria, who had a two-run homer Monday.
“It sure feels good to get them after so many times they’ve knocked us out,” Ben Zobrist said.
David Price (10-8), the reigning AL Cy Young winner, threw his fourth complete game this season. He struck out four and walked one, and even picked off two runners while allowing seven hits, striking out four and walking one. He threw 81 of 118 pitches for strikes.
The Rays face another must-win situation Wednesday night at Cleveland in the AL wild-card game, Tampa’s third game in three cities in a four-day stretch.
The winner faces Boston in the division series.
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