With the American League East championship already in hand, the Tampa Bay Rays outlasted the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in 12 innings Sunday to head into the playoffs on a winning note.
Manager Joe Maddon's team learned it had clinched the division title in the ninth inning when New York lost at Boston 8-4. The Yankees and Tampa Bay began the day tied, with both teams already assured of playoff spots.
To win the division, New York needed to finish ahead of the Rays, who held the tiebreaker after winning the season series.
Tampa Bay will start the playoffs at home Wednesday against AL West champion Texas. The Yankees are the wild card and open Wednesday at AL Central champion Minnesota.
WELCOME HOME THE RAYS
TheRays will return to the Tampa area tonight fresh off clinching the AL East and fans are invited at the St. Pete/Clearwater Airport to greet the team upon their return from Kansas City.
The event will take place around 10 p.m. in the baggage claim area of the airport. Raymond, the Rays Street team, DJ Fresh and Rays emcee Rusty Kath will be on hand. There will also be Aquafina stations set up throughout the baggage claim area for fans, courtesy of Pepsi.
Parking is limited and will be free to the public in the main airport lot only.