Randy Arozarena hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with one out in the sixth inning and added another homer in the ninth and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League East Division title with an 8-5 victory over the host New York Mets Wednesday night.
The Rays (37-20) won their third division title and first since 2010. They took over first place in the division for good on Aug. 22 and are closing in on clinching the top seed in the American League playoffs.
The Rays celebrated on the field with confetti on the field near their dugout on the third base side.
Arozarena snapped a 2-2 tie when he hammered a first-pitch fastball from Michael Wacha (1-4) over the wall in right-center field. Arozarena’s homer occurred after Brandon Lowe lined a single just over the reach of second baseman Robinson Cano’s glove.
He added his second homer when he drove a fastball from Steven Matz down the left-field line and inside the foul pole. It was his seventh homer in 54 at-bats this season.
Joey Wendle also homered as the Rays won for the ninth time in 13 games. Manuel Margot created a run in the third with a bunt single and then scored on a ground ball to first base when he got his hand in just before catcher Wilson Ramos could apply the tag.
Lowe padded the lead with a two-run homer in the eighth off Chasen Shreve. Willy Adames made it 7-2 with an RBI single later in the eighth off Jeruys Familia and that ended Tampa Bay’s 0-for-27 skid with runners in scoring position.
The Mets (25-31) clinched a losing season for the third time in four seasons and their playoff hopes grew even more unlikely. New York is 2 1/2 games behind Milwaukee (27-28) and Philadelphia (28-29).
Tyler Glasnow (5-1) allowed two runs on three hits in six sharp innings to win his fifth straight decision. He struck out eight, walked one, and retired the last eight hitters.
Rookie Andres Gimenez and Dominic Smith homered for the Mets, who lost for the seventh time in 11 games. Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer off Oliver Drake in the ninth and the game ended when Nick Anderson struck out Gimenez.
Wacha allowed four runs on six hits in a season-high six innings. He struck out four and walked two.