Orioles Rays Baseball

Tampa Bay Rays starter Drew Rasmussen pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Drew Rasmussen's perfect game bid was more than just a sublime individual performance.

The right-hander's stellar showing lifted Tampa Bay to what might have been its most important win of the season.

The Rays beat Baltimore 4-1 on Sunday, moving to 1 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles for the final wild card in the American League. Tampa Bay also took the season series with Baltimore 10-9.

That's important because ties for postseason spots will no longer be broken by one-game playoffs. Instead, head-to-head record during the season is the top tiebreaker.

Here's a look at what kind of shape the postseason contenders are in when it comes to that tiebreaker. (The Yankees, Astros and Dodgers are excluded because of their huge leads in their divisions.)

The following American League season series between playoff contenders are either complete, or the winner is certain:

Blue Jays over Red Sox

Blue Jays over White Sox

Guardians over Blue Jays

Mariners over Blue Jays

Mariners over Orioles

Rays over Orioles

Rays over Mariners

Red Sox over Guardians

Red Sox over Mariners

Twins over Blue Jays

Twins over Mariners

Twins over Orioles

Twins over Rays

White Sox over Rays

White Sox over Red Sox

The following AL season series winners are still uncertain:

Guardians and Mariners tied 0-0

Guardians lead Orioles 2-1

Guardians lead Rays 2-1

Guardians lead Twins 6-5

Guardians lead White Sox 8-5

Orioles lead Blue Jays 4-2

Orioles lead Red Sox 5-4

Orioles lead White Sox 3-1

Rays lead Blue Jays 6-4

Rays lead Red Sox 8-2

Red Sox and Twins tied 2-2

Twins lead White Sox 6-4

White Sox lead Mariners 2-1

The following National League season series are either complete, or the winner is certain:

Braves and Brewers tied

Cardinals over Giants

Giants over Brewers

Mets over Cardinals

Mets over Giants

Mets over Phillies

Padres over Braves

Padres over Brewers

Padres over Mets

Phillies over Brewers

Phillies over Cardinals

Phillies over Padres

The following NL season series winners are still uncertain:

Braves lead Cardinals 3-1

Braves lead Giants 3-1

Braves and Phillies tied 6-6

Cardinals lead Brewers 8-7

Cardinals lead Padres 3-0

Giants lead Phillies 2-1

Mets lead Braves 8-4

Mets lead Brewers 2-1

Padres lead Giants 8-5

SWAN SONG

Albert Pujols isn't going quietly into retirement. He homered twice Sunday to help St. Louis beat Milwaukee and extend its lead over the Brewers in the NL Central to 1 1/2 games.

Pujols is up to 689 homers. He has said this will be his final season, and he has got a shot to catch Alex Rodriguez (696) for fourth on the career list.

TRIVIA TIME

Name the only Tampa Bay pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

LINE OF THE WEEK

Rasmussen allowed a leadoff double in the ninth inning by Jorge Mateo after retiring the first 24 hitters he faced. He ended up allowing just that one hit in 8 1/3 innings, striking out seven.

COMEBACK OF THE WEEK

The Los Angeles Angels scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to tie it, then beat Minnesota 5-3 on a two-run homer by Taylor Ward in the 11th inning Saturday night.

The Angels had just a 3.9% chance of winning in the bottom of the eighth, according to Baseball Savant. At that point, they had two out and nobody on and trailed 3-0. Then Shohei Ohtani started the comeback with a solo homer.

Magneuris Sierra tied it in the ninth on a wild play with two on and two out. Left fielder Nick Gordon's diving attempt on Sierra's flyball came up empty, and both runners scored. Sierra was thrown out trying for a game-winning inside-the-park homer, but Los Angeles eventually prevailed anyway.

TRIVIA ANSWER

Matt Garza no-hit the Detroit Tigers on July 26, 2010.

Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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