David Price goes the distance as Rays top Rangers, advance to Wild Card game

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Game 163 is in the books and the Rays are still alive.

David Price went the distance in tonight’s tiebreaker game against the Rangers to secure a 5-2 victory. The Rays will advance to the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday against the Indians in Cleveland.

Price hurled 118 pitches in the complete game victory. The southpaw didn’t have his best stuff, inducing just four swinging strikes on the night, but he issued only one walk and had two key pickoffs in the first three innings of the ballgame. While he struggled with his command early on, he retired 11 out of the final 12 batters he faced. Evan Longoria did most of the heavy lifting for the offense, going 3-for-4 with an opposite-field two-run homer, a walk, and two runs scored. And fortunately, the blown call in the seventh inning didn’t end up having an impact on the result of the game.

The Rays will send Alex Cobb to the mound in Wednesday’s Wild Card game while the Indians are going with rookie Danny Salazar. The winner of the game will advance to face the Red Sox in the ALDS on Friday.

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Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.