The Tampa Bay Rays certainly know how to make Game 162 interesting.

A big lead was whittled to one run before closer Fernando Rodney finally closed the door on the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday.

The Rays thus kept their season alive with a 7-6 victory at the Rogers Centre.


They led 6-0 after the first inning and 7-0 going into the sixth inning before things got much more uncertain.

They now head to Texas Monday night for a tiebreaker game with the Rangers who again beat the Angels Sunday to determine the American League’s second wild-card team. Both Tampa Bay and Texas finished the regular season at 91-71.

David Price (9-8 3.39 ERA) will start the game for the Rays and Martin Perez (10-5 3.55) takes the hill for the Rangers.

Cleveland (92-70) finished a sweep of Minnesota for its 10th straight win Sunday and thus will host the winner of Monday’s game in another winner-take-all bout on Wednesday night.

In typical Rays fashion Sunday’s game had a little of everything.

Manager Joe Maddon was tossed in the seventh inning by home plate umpire Paul Schrieber for questioning Schrieber’s strike zone.

Joel Peralta brought in with one out and runners on second and third and the Rays leading by three runs walked Moises Sierra to load the bases. Maddon walked to the mound and waited for Schrieber to come out and break up the meeting.

That’s when Maddon unloaded on Schreiber and was ejected.

Peralta then got Mark DeRosa to ground the ball to Yunel Escobar. The Rays shortstop beat Sierra to the bag and threw to first base where James Loney stretched so far to catch the ball he ended up on his stomach. Loney managed to keep his foot on the bag to complete the double play.