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Originally published September 29, 2013 at 7:44 PM | Page modified October 1, 2013 at 12:26 AM

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Rangers, Rays both win to force playoff

Tampa Bay and Texas both won Sunday and wound up even, forcing a tiebreaker for the second AL wild-card spot.

The Associated Press

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The Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers are pushing this regular season to game No. 163.

Tampa Bay and Texas both won Sunday and wound up even, forcing a tiebreaker for the second AL wild-card spot.

The Rays will play at Texas on Monday night, with the winner visiting Cleveland on Wednesday night in another all-or-nothing matchup.

Rangers rookie Martin Perez starts against reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price. Texas gets a boost, too — All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz will be active after his 50-game penalty from Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug scandal.

“He’s served his suspension,” Rays star Evan Longoria said. “It is what it is. Justice has been served.”

Cleveland clinched its first postseason berth since 2007, winning 5-1 at Minnesota to finish at 92-70 and one game ahead of Texas and Tampa Bay as the top wild card.

The NL playoff scene is settled. Johnny Cueto starts for Cincinnati against Francisco Liriano and the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in the NL wild-card playoff.

Notes

Miguel Cabrera (.348) became the first player in more than two decades to win three straight AL batting titles, and Michael Cuddyer (.331) brought the NL crown to mile-high Coors Field for the eighth time in 21 years.

Cabrera’s 44 home runs were second to the 53 by Baltimore’s Chris Davis, and Cabrera finished second in runs batted in, one behind Davis’ 138.

Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez and Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt tied for the NL home run lead with 36. Goldschmidt’s 125 RBI topped the NL.

Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury stole 52 bases and led the AL for the third time. The New York Mets’ Eric Young Jr. swiped two bases Sunday and was first in the NL with 46.

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the big leagues in earned-run average at 1.83, the lowest since Atlanta’s Greg Maddux was at 1.63 in 1995. Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez led the AL for the first time at 2.57.

Texas’ Yu Darvish had 277 strikeouts, the most in the majors since Randy Johnson’s 290 for Arizona in 2004.

• The Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing the postseason without center fielder Matt Kemp because of swelling in a bone in his sprained left ankle.

• Right-hander Mat Latos has a bone chip that’s causing pain in his elbow and he will be unavailable for Cincinnati’s playoff game in Pittsburgh.

Alex Rodriguez gets to start arguing his case Monday. In a hearing room before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, lawyers for the New York Yankees third baseman will argue why the 211-game drug suspension should be overturned.

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