ST. PETERSBURG -- Despite not reaching the World Series, this decade was full of successful moments for the Rays. Over the last 10 years, Tampa Bay won 90 or more games six times, made the postseason four times and won one American League East Division title.
With that success came many memorable games across the decade. Let’s take a look at the Rays’ top 10 games since 2010.
1. Game 162
Sept. 28, 2011
Aside from Game 7 of the AL Championship Series in 2008, this is probably the best moment in franchise history, and one of the best days in the history of the sport. The Rays entered the last game of the regular season tied with the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card race. While Boston lost to Baltimore, the real craziness was happening at Tropicana Field.
Trailing 7-0 to the Yankees in the 8th inning, the Rays stormed back in epic fashion. Evan Longoria hit a three-run home run to cut the deficit to 7-6 in a six-run frame, before Dan Johnson hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to even the score. Then, three innings later, Longoria hit a walk-off homer to hand the Rays their second consecutive postseason berth.
2. No-no Garza
Jul. 26, 2010
Matt Garza delivered one of the best, if not the best, pitching performance in franchise history, completing the Rays’ first and only no-hitter. Garza struck out six, walked one and needed 120 pitches to no-hit the Tigers at Tropicana Field.
3. Game 163
Sept. 30, 2013
The Rays beat the Blue Jays on the last day of the regular season, earning them a chance to play the Rangers in a tiebreaker game for the AL Wild Card spot. David Price took care of the rest, twirling a complete game while allowing just two earned runs to send Tampa Bay back to the postseason.
4. Beast of the East
Oct. 3, 2010
The Rays didn’t have to win the game to do the trick -- the Yankees had lost earlier in the day -- but Tampa Bay went ahead and scored two runs in the ninth to tie the game, before topping the Royals, 3-2, in 12 innings to clinch their second division title (their only one of the decade).
5. Win or Go Home
Oct. 2, 2019
The Rays are no strangers to making noise in the postseason as a Wild Card team, but in 2019, Tampa Bay had to win the one-game playoff against an equally-talented A’s team. Yandy Díaz hit two home runs off Sean Manaea, including a leadoff blast, while Charlie Morton and the Rays’ bullpen quieted 54,000 fans at the Oakland Coliseum. The party carried over to the visiting clubhouse, where Tampa Bay made sure to have fun before battling the Astros in the ALDS.
6. Price Wins No. 20
Sept. 30, 2012
Price capped off his Cy Young Award season by beating the White Sox, 6-2, giving him his 20th win of the season and becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to reach the milestone. At the time, he also became the youngest AL pitcher to win 20 games since 2004.
7. Snell Passes Price
Sept. 23, 2018
Blake Snell finished off the best single season by any Rays pitcher with his 21st win of the season, which passed Price’s 20-win mark from 2012. Snell pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays and joined Price as the franchise’s second AL Cy Young Award winner a month later.
8. Cuba Rays
Mar. 22, 2016
This game didn’t count in the standings, but it was a historic moment for the Rays, the United States and Cuba. U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro were on hand as the Rays played an exhibition game against the Cuban National Team in Havana, beating them 4-1.
9. Free Baseball
Sep. 20, 2013 & June 27, 2019
There were a lot of tired baseball players in both of these games. The Rays played 18 innings at Tropicana Field against the Orioles in 2013 before finally walking it off on a David DeJesus RBI single. At the time, it was the longest game in franchise history, but the Rays found a way to tie it in 2019. The Rays used 22 players over 18 innings to beat the Twins, 5-2, in the longest game in Target Field history.
10. Return to the Playoffs
Sept. 27, 2019
After a successful start to the decade, the Rays went five seasons without reaching the postseason. But that drought came to an end in 2019 as Tampa Bay beat Toronto, 6-2, to clinch its first playoff berth since ‘13. Tommy Pham started it off with an early two-run homer, and Emilio Pagán closed it out with a scoreless ninth. The celebration in the visitor’s clubhouse was as lengthy as the five-year drought.