MLB notes: Rays-Rangers in playoff for berth

Jason Kipnis #22 and Nick Swisher #33 of the Cleveland Indians celebrate a win of the game against...

Jason Kipnis #22 and Nick Swisher #33 of the Cleveland Indians celebrate a win of the game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:10 AM ET

The Cleveland Indians claimed an American League wild card berth, while the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers extended the season for one more game by finishing in a tie for the second wild card spot on Sunday.

Cleveland capped a 10-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins to close the regular season. That gave the Twins a 92-70 record and ensured they will host the American League wild card playoff game on Wednesday.

Their opponent was still unknown Sunday after wins by the Rays and Rangers kept the two teams deadlocked with 91-71 records and set up a do-or-die tiebreaker in Texas on Monday.

Tampa Bay scored six runs in the first inning and then held on to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6, while the Rangers snapped a 2-2 tie in the sixth on their way to beating the Los Angeles Angels 6-2.

The winner of Monday's Rays-Rangers duel will advance to the one-game, wild card playoff in Cleveland to determine the fourth team for the AL Division Series, which starts on Friday. The Boston Red Sox, Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers have already qualified as division winners.

ALVAREZ NO-HITS TIGERS

Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter, and the Miami Marlins scored in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.

In the bottom of the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton singled, advanced to second on Logan Morrison's hit and to third on a wild pitch. Chris Coghlan walked to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs came up. Luke Putkonen (1-3) then threw a wild pitch to allow Stanton to score from third.

It was the third MLB no-hitter this year and sixth in Marlins history.

The last Marlins pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Anibal Sanchez in 2006.

The Marlins finished the season with the worst record in the National League at 62-100, but they swept this weekend's series with the Tigers, who had little to play for having already clinched the American League Central.

Detroit finished the regular season 93-69.

LOCKE LEFT OFF

Pittsburgh Pirates all-star left-hander Jeff Locke was left off the team's postseason roster.

Locke struggled in the second half of the season, including a 7.25 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Locke was recently shut down for the rest of the season and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday morning that includes the playoffs.

Locke, 25, finished the season 10-7 with a 3.52 ERA in 166 1/3 innings.

Pittsburgh hosts the Cincinnati Reds in a wild card game Tuesday. The winner advances to the National League Divisional Series.

CARDS GET HOME-FIELD

Playing at Busch Stadium has proven to be very beneficial to the St. Louis Cardinals this season -- and they made certain Sunday their home-field advantage would carry over into the National League Division Series.

A 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on the final day of the regular season assured the Cardinals they have the home-field advantage in both the division series and, if they advance, the NL Championship Series.

The Cardinals finished the year with the best NL record at 97-65, one game better than the Braves.

They will host the winner of the wild-card game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates when the NLDS begins Thursday.

"The significance of home-field advantage is just that, it's an advantage," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "We're very proud of that; we're very proud of our record. It's something that we don't take lightly."

CUETO GETS THE NOD

Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto will start Tuesday's wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Pirates because fellow righty Mat Latos has a bone chip in his pitching elbow.

The host Pirates will counter with left-hander Francisco Liriano.

The Reds hope Latos will improve with treatment and be able to pitch in the National League Divisional Series, if they win Tuesday.

Manager Dusty Baker was considering starting Latos in the wild-card game but the right-hander has been bothered by pain in his elbow. He asked if he could pitch in relief but Baker disagreed.

"I don't think we're going to take a chance," Baker said before Sunday's regularseason finale against the Pirates. "We haven't discussed it in-depth. Most pitchers have little bone chips or fragments in their elbows. Sometimes they move around. Sometimes they get back in that slot and stay there. His is a little sore."

With Cueto starting, Latos will probably not be on the Reds' roster for the wild-card game. If the Reds advance, Latos could be added for the divisional series, which starts Thursday in St. Louis.

Baker believes Latos will be ready by then.

BRIEFLY: The Miami Marlins announced in a press conference Sunday that they have promoted Michael Hill to president of baseball operations and Dan Jennings to general manager … Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was forced to leave Sunday’s season finale against the Boston Red Sox after spraining his wrist on a bang-bang run-in with Jacoby Ellsbury at first base … Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill won’t need surgery to repair a nonunion fracture in his left hand, according to the Arizona Republic … Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday to give him some additional rest heading into the postseason.


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