ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 05: Raymond, the mascot of the Tampa Bay Rays tries to get the crowd going during the game against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field on September 5, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays assured themselves of at least a tie for an AL wild-card berth, scoring six runs in the first inning and then holding off the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 Sunday.
The Rays began the final day of the regular season tied with Texas for the second wild-card slot. Both teams trailed Cleveland by one game for the top spot.
Cleveland played at Minnesota and the Rangers hosted the Los Angeles Angels.
The Rays used their highest-scoring first inning since 2010 to take control early. Tampa Bay led 7-0 going into the sixth before Toronto rallied. The Blue Jays put the go-ahead run at the plate in the eighth and ninth innings.