The Tampa Bay Rays secured their second consecutive American League East title on Saturday, thanks to a homerun by Mike Zunino and a pair of RBI doubles by Brandon Lowe, to beat the Miami Marlins 7 × 3.
Reliever Pete Fairbanks retired Lewis Brinson on a bases loaded pinch hit for the final out, giving the Rays a chance to celebrate in their own field.
Hours earlier, Tampa Bay’s magic number was reduced to one when the New York Yankees beat Boston 5 × 3. There was a standing ovation from the 23,783 spectators at Tropicana Field when the Yankees’ victory was announced after the top of the sixth inning.
Tampa Bay improved to 96-59 and won its fourth division title since becoming a major league team in the 1998 season.
The club debuted as the Devil Rays at the time and wore jerseys with that name during the Saturday win.
The Rays, who lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games last season, have never won a ‘Fall Classic’ as the first time they attended the great event was in 2008, when they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Philadelphia Phillies. (AFP)