The Tampa Bay Rays clinched a playoff spot Tuesday night, riding eight shutout innings from ace David Price to a 5-0 victory over the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
Price (19-6) handcuffed the Orioles on six hits while striking out eight and not walking a batter to send the Rays into the postseason for the second time in three years.
Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford belted solo home runs to back the 25-year-old left-hander, who improved to 4-0 in September and 4-0 lifetime against Baltimore.
Rafael Soriano finished up in the ninth for his 45th save to set off a celebration before the crowd of 17,891.
Tampa Bay maintained its half-game edge over the New York Yankees in the American League East. The Yankees also clinched a playoff berth Tuesday with a 6-1 win at Toronto.
B.J. Upton had a run-scoring single and Dan Johnson added an RBI double off Orioles starter Brad Bergesen (8-11), who allowed five runs on six hits in five innings.
Price’s gem came less than 24 hours after he posted on his Twitter account that Monday’s crowd of 12,000-plus for a potential clincher was “embarrassing.” He tweeted an apology later that night.