Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/27/13
The night belonged to Mariano Rivera the greatest closer of all-time who climbed the mound at Yankee Stadium one last time during his storied career. The packed house in the Bronx chanted his name while the Tampa Bay Rays were smacking around some reliever in the top of the eighth inning. The crowd then exploded when Yankee manager Joe Girardi called for Mo. Like he had so many times during his career Rivera pitched out of the jam retiring the two batters he faced. Again the crowd stood cheered and chanted his name. The night indeed belonged to Mo. But the game belonged to the Rays who took another step toward a wild-card playoff spot with a 4-0 victory to run their winning streak to seven. They maintained their slim one-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the wild-card standings with three games to play. “We feel like we can go all the way” Rays pitcher Joel Peralta said. Alex Cobb continued his impressive late-season run and Evan Longoria drove in more runs against Yankee pitching — three on Thursday and nine during the series — as the Rays swept the Yankees in a three-game series at the Stadium for the first time in franchise history. The win was also the Rays' 90th giving them four straight seasons with at least 90 wins. That's the longest active streak in the major leagues. “This is the time where you hope things start to click whether it's personally or as a team” Longoria said. “Being able to drive some runs in and ultimately win the ball game is all I care about.” Cobb allowed one hit — a first-inning single to Eduardo Nunez — through the first seven innings. He retired 15 straight at one point. “We need these games right now” Cobb said. “Every game is a playoff game right now. The energy is a do or die feel every game. It's definitely nice to put up a quality start.” Cobb pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just three hits but the final two were a double by Curtis Granderson and a single by Lyle Overbay to start the eighth and force Rays manager Joe Maddon to call for Peralta. Peralta protecting the four-run lead slammed the door with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball to center field. “That pretty much was the game right there” Maddon said. Longoria singled home Wil Myers in the fourth inning to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. Delmon Young made it a 2-0 lead with a sixth-inning home run his second since joining the Rays. Longoria made it a four-run game with a two-run single in the eighth off Dellin Betances. Enter Sandman. Rivera got Young to line out to left field and Sam Fuld to bounce back to the mound. He walked off the mound to a thunderous ovation. The Rays stood in front of their dugout and applauded.
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