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Rays clinch AL East title for the first time since 2010

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Mets Wednesday night to win the division.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier, second from right, celebrates with teammates, including Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, of Japan, after his two-run walk-off double off Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Shun Yamaguchi during the 10th inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 26, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have defeated the New York Mets, clinching the American League East for the first time in a decade.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have already punched their ticket to the 2020 postseason, but their work isn’t quite done yet.

They have an opportunity to clinch the American League East for the first time in a decade tonight.

Entering Wednesday, the Rays held a 3 1/2 game lead over the New York Yankees in the division and a 1 1/2 game lead for the top seed in the American League with four games remaining.

So, what has to happen for the Rays to go to bed tonight as AL East Champions?

All they need to do is win.

Tampa Bay is taking on the New York Mets at Citi Field, where they lost Tuesday night 5-2. If the Rays lose again tonight, they'll need to count on the New York Yankees losing to the Toronto Blue Jays as well.

The Yankees dominated the Blue Jays Tuesday 12-1, thwarting the Rays' first chance at clinching the division.

The Rays have Tyler Glasnow on the mound tonight. He's 4-1 with a 4.21 ERA on the season. The Mets counter with Michael Wacha, who brings a 1-3 record and a 6.75 ERA into the game.

The 2020 playoffs get underway on Oct. 5, and fans will watch it unfold like never before amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Much was altered this year as the league navigated its way through 2020’s uncertainty, and that includes the playoffs. After an abbreviated 60-game season, 16 teams will be playing October baseball, more than ever before.

The Rays will be on a redemption tour in the new-look playoffs after getting bounced by the Houston Astros in the ALDS in 2019. The team is seeking its first World Series appearance since 2008.

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