Rays shut out Indians to take AL wild card game

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria celebrates with designated hitter Delmon Young after...

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria celebrates with designated hitter Delmon Young after scoring against the Cleveland Indians during the American League wild card game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Oct. 2, 2013. (DAVID RICHARD/USA Today)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:19 AM ET

CLEVELAND - When the Tampa Bay Rays left home Sept. 23 for their final six-game road trip of the year to New York and Toronto, they expected to be home in a week, ready to host the American League wild card game.

But life, as they say, is what happens when you’re making other plans.

The Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians got hot and the Rays ran into a little trouble in Toronto and all of a sudden, that six-day road trip had grown and the road to the playoffs had become treacherous.

It was at about that point that manager Joe Maddon made an admission.

“I packed for Boston,” he said. “We don’t do anything the easy way.”

And now, after surviving a play-in game in Texas on Monday and then Wednesday’s wild card game against the Indians, that’s where this road trip will end: Boston, where Tampa Bay will begin its best-of-five AL Division Series against the Red Sox on Friday.

They earned that right by grinding out a 4-0 victory, snapping Cleveland’s 10-game winning streak in the process of ending the Indians’ season, behind the bend-but-don’t-break pitching of Alex Cobb.


Photos