Tampa Bay Rays Become First AL Team to Clinch Postseason Berth

The defending American League champions punched their tickets to the postseason and should lock up the AL East soon enough.

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The defending American League champions are headed back to the postseason.

The Rays became the first AL team to punch its ticket to the playoffs as they beat the Blue Jays, 7-1, on Wednesday night. It secures the franchise’s third consecutive playoff appearance, the longest streak in Rays history.

Tampa Bay jumped ahead early on Toronto, scoring six runs in the third inning against Ross Stripling and Tayler Saucedo. After Yandy Díaz put the Rays on the board with a sacrifice fly, Austin Meadows broke the game open with a three-run homer. Two more runs came across on an infield single by Taylor Walls

Since first making the postseason in 2008, Tampa Bay has advanced to the playoffs in seven out of 14 years. The Rays have won the AL pennant twice: first in 2008 and again last season.

The Rays entered Wednesday with a six-game lead over the Red Sox for the AL East lead. A division title would be their second in a row and third all-time. Tampa Bay is 41-22 since the All-Star break.

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