BOSTON — The Rays got the result they seemingly wanted, heading to Cleveland for the best-of-three Wild Card Series that opens Friday.
That became official Tuesday night as the Rays lost a rain-shortened game to the Red Sox, 6-0, and the Mariners scored a 7-6 walkoff 10-inning win over the Tigers.
That locked the Mariners (88-72, pending their second game Tuesday) into the second spot in the three-team American League wild-card field and a trip to Toronto, and the Rays (86-72) into third heading into the final day of the regular season.
“There’s more stuff that’s defined (now),” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “(We) know that we’re going to play a very good Cleveland team.”
While Tuesday’s five-inning loss was the Rays’ season high-matching fourth straight, they were more down over the loss of lefty reliever Colin Poche, who strained his right oblique during the fifth inning and is done for the year.
“He’s crushed. We’re all crushed for him,” Cash said. “He’s such a big part of our bullpen. And to happen the way it happened, it’s unfortunate.”
The Rays went 2-4 this season against the Guardians, scoring just 18 runs, going 1-2 in a late-July series at Tropicana Field and again last week in Cleveland.
“It’s definitely going to be tough,” catcher Christian Bethancourt said. “They’ve got pitching. Pretty much all their nine hitters in the lineup, they can put the ball in play. They can run. They…