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Cardinals, Rays capture wild card berths

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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL wild card with a stunning rally Wednesday night, overcoming a late seven-run deficit and then beating the New York Yankees 8-7 on Evan Longoria's home run in the 12th inning.

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The Rays' win came four minutes after Boston blew a one-run lead in the ninth at Baltimore and lost 4-3. The Red Sox, who held a nine-game lead over the Rays in early September, and Tampa Bay began the final day of the regular season tied for the wild card.

Longoria hit a three-run homer in the eighth that capped a six-run burst. Pinch-hitter Dan Johnson's two-out, two-strike solo homer in the ninth tied it for Tampa Bay.

Longoria won it with a one-out shot barely inside the left-field foul pole.

Tampa Bay will open the playoffs Friday at Texas.

Cardinals 8, Astros 0

Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals completed one of the more remarkable comebacks in baseball history, clinching the NL wild card Wednesday night with an 8-0 win over Houston and a later loss by Atlanta.

The Cardinals got their playoff spot when the Braves fell to Philadelphia 4-3 in 13 innings.

St. Louis trailed Atlanta by 10½ games on Aug. 25. The Cardinals won 23 of their last 31 games.

The Cardinals will open the postseason on Saturday at NL East champion Philadelphia. In the other NL playoff matchup, Arizona visits Milwaukee.

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