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Wendle's hit in 8th helps Rays ding Phillies' playoff hopes

Joey Wendle had a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning and the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays rallied to hurt Philadelphia’s playoff hopes, beating the Phillies 6-4 on Friday night.

The Rays would clinch the top seed in the American League with Oakland loss later Friday night; the A's were hosting Seattle. Tampa Bay is looking to finish with the AL’s best record for the second time, after topping the league in 2010.

Bryce Harper had a triple and drove in two runs for Philadelphia, which started the day one game behind second-place Miami in the NL East and also trailed in the wide-open wild-card race.

Tampa Bay Rays' Yoshi Tsutsugo, of Japan, right, celebrates with teammates after the Rays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies during a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Yoshi Tsutsdugo had one-out single in the eighth before Adam Morgan (0-1) loaded the bases on consecutive walks to Hunter Renfroe and Brett Phillips.

Héctor Neris replaced Morgan and retired pinch-hitter Brandon Lowe on a pop fly. Wendle followed with a liner to right that gave Tampa Bay a 5-3 advantage.

Nick Anderson (2-1) worked a scoreless eighth and John Curtiss got the final three outs for his second save.

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi takes starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (21) out of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Phillips tied it 4 on a solo shot off Tommy Hunter in the sixth. He put the Rays up 1-0 with a run-scoring single during the second.

Alec Bohm drove in a run with a single before Harper had an RBI triple and scored on shortstop Willy Adames’ errant to throw to third as the Phillies took a 3-1 lead in the third.

Harper made it 4-1 on a fifth-inning single against Charlie Morton.

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena celebrates his double off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Adames ended starter Vince Velasquez’s night with a one-out RBI single in the fifth. Kevin Kiermaier cut the deficit to 4-3 on a fielder’s choice grounder off Hunter.

Morton gave up four runs — all with two outs — and seven hits over five innings. Velasquez allowed three run and six hits in 4 1/3 innings.

ALEC ATTACK

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper lines an RBI triple off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Phillies' Alec Bohm scored on the play. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Bohm went 2 for 4 and has 37 hits this month, and a hit in 16 of his last 18 games. He is hitting .463 (19 of 41) with runners in scoring position.

HONORS

Lowe was named the Rays' Don Zimmer MVP Award winner following a vote by media covering the team. Right-hander Pete Fairbanks was selected as the Rays' top rookie. Kiermaier received the Champion Award for professionalism on and off the field.

Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier scores behind Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp on an RBI single by Brett Phillips off pitcher Vince Velasquez during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Spencer Howard (right shoulder stiffness) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.

Rays: INF Yandy Díaz (right hamstring strain) and 1B Ji-Man Choi (left hamstring strain) both faced live pitching, did defensive work and ran the bases. Their status for the first round of the playoffs has not been determined.

Tampa Bay Rays' Willy Adames celebrates his RBI single off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rays' Joey Wendle scored on the play. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

UP NEXT

Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (4-1) will start on Saturday night against Tampa Bay. The Rays have not announced their starter.

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