After 161 games, it all comes down to one game for the Rays. A 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday put them in a tough position. Tampa Bay is now tied with the Rangers for the second American League Wild Card spot, one game behind the Indians as a result of the Tribe's win over Minnesota on Saturday.
If the Rays win what could be a make-or-break game on Sunday in Toronto against the Blue Jays, they can't yet be eliminated from postseason contention. A three-way AL Wild Card tie at the end of play on Sunday would require two tiebreaker games, the first of which would take place between the Rays and Indians in Cleveland on Monday. The loser of that game would head to Arlington to play the Rangers on Tuesday to determine who would oppose Monday's winner in Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game.
If the Rangers and Indians lose on Sunday and the Rays win, finishing the day in a tie with Cleveland, no tiebreaker would be necessary; Tampa Bay would host Cleveland for the Wild Card Game. If all three contenders play to the same result on Sunday, the Rays and Rangers would play a one-game tiebreaker in Arlington, based on Texas' four wins in the seven-game season series between the two clubs.
The stakes will be high, then, when the Rays start left-hander Matt Moore on Sunday. Manager Joe Maddon reiterated on Saturday that this is the pitcher the Rays want in such a pivotal game.
"I know Matt struggled a bit the other day with his command. But you also know that Matt can go out there and throw a gem tomorrow also," Maddon said. "That's just who he is. We set it up intentionally to be this way."
The left-hander was effectively wild on Tuesday night against the Yankees for his 16th win, allowing no runs on three hits, six walks and a career-high three wild pitches in five innings.
The Blue Jays and right-hander Todd Redmond, a native of Florida, will try to help stop the Rays -- the team he watched growing up -- from making the postseason.
"I'm going to go out there and treat it like every other start," said Redmond, "It's the last game of the year, and we have a chance to win the game. And that's how I'm going to treat it."
"We've been playing good baseball all month," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We haven't been winning a lot of games necessarily, but we've been playing some good games. It's a good way to finish it -- we'd like to come back and get one more win tomorrow, and that's what it's all about. We'd rather be in their position, no doubt about that, but we'll come out tomorrow and hopefully Redmond has a good one. It's good for baseball, I know that."
Having an effective season since joining the rotation in July, Redmond (4-2, 3.77 ERA) has allowed more than three runs only once in his 13 starts.
In his previous outing against the Orioles, Redmond allowed two runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings for the no-decision. He's 2-0 in September with a 2.63 ERA.
"You go out there, you want to go out there and throw strikes, get ahead of hitters, and treat this like any other start," Redmond said. "Just like my last start in Baltimore. I'm still trying to earn a spot for next year, trying to impress. Go out there and throw strikes, and try to get people out."
Rays: Team playing solid in the field
• Despite the three errors the Rays committed Friday night, they have committed just 59 errors on the season, ranking them second in the Major Leagues behind the Orioles.
Friday night's game marked the first time this season the Rays committed more than two errors in a game. By contrast, the 2012 Rays committed three or more errors nine times.
• Evan Longoria has hit six career home runs in "Game 162s" (or final games of the regular season) in his career, which ties him with St. Louis great Stan Musial for the most in Major League history. Longoria hit three home runs in last year's finale and two in 2011.
Blue Jays: Oliver set to retire
• After 20 seasons, more than 1,900 innings and two previous times thinking his big league career was over, Blue Jays reliever Darren Oliver has decided to hang it up.
"Yeah, I really am," Oliver said. "I wish I could play baseball forever, but unfortunately, you know we can't. It's got to come to an end eventually."
The left-hander is looking forward to the opportunity to spend time with his kids and watch them grow.
"When you're playing baseball, you don't get to see them that much," Oliver said. "Actually, they're a little bit older now, so I got my hands full. But I still do the best I can."
• Moore is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against Toronto this season.
• Adam Lind made his return to the Blue Jays lineup on Saturday vs. the Rays, batting third as the team's DH. Lind had missed the previous two games with a lingering back ailment. He finished the game going 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.