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Texas Rangers Let AL West Title Slip Away To Astros, Forced Into Wild Card at Tampa Bay

The Texas Rangers let the AL West title slip away with three losses in Seattle, forced to play the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card round.

The Texas Rangers will have to do it the hard way.

The Rangers (90-72) lost their regular-season finale to the Seattle Mariners 1-0 Sunday afternoon to finish tied with the Houston Astros atop the American League West.

The Astros, however, won the AL West title by virtue of the regular-season tiebreaker advantage after taking the season series against the Rangers. The Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday to finish 90-72, same as the Rangers.

The Rangers finished as the second of three Wild Card seeds and will face the Tampa Bay Rays (99-63) in a best-of-three series at Tropicana Field beginning Tuesday. The Rays finished with the top Wild Card seed.

The Blue Jays (89-73) are the third Wild Card seed and play a best-of-three series at the AL Central champion Minnesota Twins. The Rays-Rangers series winner advances to the ALDS to play the AL East champion Baltimore Orioles, who have the AL's best record at 101-61. The Twins-Blue Jays winner advances to play the Astros.

The Rangers offense was stymied on Sunday by Mariners' starter George Kirby, who held Texas scoreless on three hits over six innings.

The Mariners took a 1-0 lead on a bases-loaded groundout in the fourth inning. 

Dane Dunning, pitching on three-days rest, allowed one run on three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Martin Perez took over in the fourth with the bases loaded and one out. He pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

But the Rangers offense was held to four hits and struck out 11 times. Evan Carter singled to lead off the ninth, but Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Mitch Garver were retired to end the game.

You can follow Stefan Stevenson on Twitter @StefanVersusTex.

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