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Rays' Wild hopes officially end in final week

Yankees' relievers limit damage, clinching final AL berth for A's
September 24, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- Elimination came to the Rays in the final week of the season with a 4-1 loss Monday night to the Yankees at Tropicana Field."We're obviously proud of what we've accomplished this year," third baseman Matt Duffy said. "It is unfortunate, you can go back and look at

ST. PETERSBURG -- Elimination came to the Rays in the final week of the season with a 4-1 loss Monday night to the Yankees at Tropicana Field.
"We're obviously proud of what we've accomplished this year," third baseman Matt Duffy said. "It is unfortunate, you can go back and look at a game here, a game there that we let get away or should have won. The reality is that's baseball. ... With where we stood coming into the season, the expectations that were on us, I think everybody kind of expected us to have as many losses as we have wins now.
"We're not a hidden little secret any more. I think the Red Sox and Yankees and other teams in the league are going to approach us with a little more caution going forward. That's going to make our jobs tougher next year."

Give the Rays credit, they fought hard to give their fans postseason hopes, going 25-8 since Aug. 19 and 38-22 since the All-Star break.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked if anything stuck out about his team during their gutty run to the end.
"Just the overall way they come to the ballpark every day, ready to compete," Cash said. "And the effort that they give to each other."

Oddly enough, the Rays (87-69) won't be going anywhere in October despite being on pace to win 90-plus games. Such is life in the American League East.
"Coming out of spring, everybody said we were going to lose 100 games and we started the season [4-13]," Joey Wendle said. "It would've been easy for this team to start to believe that, and not one person in the clubhouse did. We continued to fight and we put up one of the better second halves in baseball."
Cash likes Wendle for AL ROY Award
Brett Gardner made a potential game-saving catch in the sixth and delivered an RBI single before Giancarlo Stanton knocked him in with a double against Ryan Yarbrough in a two-run fifth. Aaron Judge doubled home another in the seventh to put the Yankees up by three runs.
New York scored first when Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off Hunter Wood in the third. Tommy Pham doubled to open the Rays' fourth and later scored when Brandon Lowe hit into a double play, tying the game at 1.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tampa Bay trailed, 3-1, in the sixth when Lowe batted with two outs and runners at the corners. Facing Player Page for David Robertson, the Rays' rookie hit a 3-2 offering to deep center field. Gardner gave chase, running into the wall to make a run-saving catch and end the inning.

CIUFFO DAY-TO-DAY
Nick Ciuffo started at catcher for the Rays but had to leave after the seventh inning due to a right hand contusion. The rookie's status is day to day.
PHAM ON BASE
Pham extended his on-base streak to 26 games, breaking a tie with C.J. Cron from April 21-May 19 for the longest by a Rays player this season. It is a career long and the longest active streak in the American League.

HE SAID IT
"I don't think it's fair for them to call it a 'bullpen day.' More like a 'closer day.' They all just kind of come in there and have wipeout stuff from the second that [Chad] Green steps on the mound and from then on out [their pitchers] are very special." -- Cash, on the Yankees using all relief pitchers on Monday

UP NEXT
Jake Faria gets the nod on Tuesday when the Rays host the Yankees in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. He is 3-1 with a 3.67 ERA in seven appearances (five starts) at home, compared to 1-2 with a 6.31 ERA in nine appearances on the road. Right-hander Luis Severino will start for the Yankees.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.