They could easily have become Texas Toast, watching their recent wild-card run and division-title hopes burn to a crisp with a prolonged losing streak.
Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays popped out just in time with a crucial 8-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night a win that snapped a four-game slide and allowed them to take a bite out of the first-place Yankees AL East lead.
Its hard to overstate the importance of their triumph, given the tightness of the dual races the Rays are currently immersed in. At 71-59 now, theyre four games behind New York (75-55) for the division lead and a half-game behind Baltimore (71-58) for the second wild-card berth.
Simply imagine if they had been swept by Texas sending them north of the border with a five-game losing streak to face the Toronto Blue Jays in a four-game series starting Thursday.
Or picture how dismal the situation would be if they had somehow blown the 6-0 lead they had jumped to after two frames at Rangers Ballpark, before ...