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Big League Stew

Rays’ Evan Longoria hits record-breaking home run in Game 163

Big League Stew

Stop him if you've heard this before: Evan Longoria had a big game in the last game of the regular season.

Continuing a career-long trend, Longoria hit a key two-run home run to help the Tampa Bay Rays win 5-2 on Monday night against the Texas Rangers in Game 163, a winner-take-all, wild-card tiebreaker. Longoria came in with six career home runs in the last game of the regular season, tying Stan Musial — how about him for company? — for the all-time lead.

Longoria's seventh career dinger in Game 162 (or 163) gave the Rays a three-run lead against left-hander Martin Perez in the third inning. Longoria went 3 for 4 with a walk in four trips, including a double in the sixth that set up Tampa Bay's fourth run.

Tampa Bay won with a trip to Cleveland on the line for the wild card game Wednesday — another one-game playoff.

With the regular season at its end and Tampa Bay's fate still on the line, Longoria was getting the last word. But then, he usually does.

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In five regular season-ending games (he didn't play in the Rays' last game of 2010), Longoria is 11 for 19 with 10 RBIs in addition to the home-run success.

Most famously, Longoria hit a game-ending, regular season-ending home run against the Yankees in 2011 that put the Rays in the playoffs:

Longoria also hit three home runs in Game 162 a season ago, though the Rays were out of contention by then.

Don't forget to save room for the playoffs!
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