Rookie Josh Fleming spun six scoreless innings as the Tampa Bay Rays put an end to Philadelphia's playoff hopes Sunday, finishing their three-game sweep of the Phillies with a 5-0 victory in St. Petersburg, Fla.
In a career-long start, Fleming (5-0) recorded five strikeouts and allowed four hits and a walk. Relievers Oliver Drake, Aaron Loup and Ryan Sherriff each tossed a scoreless frame in the six-hit shutout for Tampa Bay, which finished the regular season by winning nine of its last 11 games.
Kevan Smith came off the bench to go 2-for-4 with a double, run and an RBI, while Mike Brosseau produced two hits, including a triple, and drove in a run and scored. Nate Lowe had two hits and a run.
The Rays finished 40-20 -- the best 60-game stretch in club history -- and posted a franchise-high .667 winning percentage in the truncated season, shattering their previous best of .599 in 2008.
The No. 1-seed Rays will meet their American League East rival Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday when the AL Wild Card playoffs open.
In a must-win situation for Philadelphia (28-32), right-hander Aaron Nola (5-5) turned in a poor start by working just 3 2/3 innings and allowing six hits and three runs in his second-shortest stint this season. Bryce Harper produced two hits.
On a day when the Phillies needed help -- they would have earned a wild-card berth by winning and having Milwaukee and San Francisco lose -- the club could not help itself, losing for the seventh time in eight games.
The Rays got a run in the second using three hits -- the most unlikely coming from Smith. The No. 3 catcher pinch hit for Brett Phillips, who left with a leg injury, and Smith rapped a two-strike single to left to score Joey Wendle.
Nola struck out the first two batters in the third, but a bases-empty walk got the home side rolling. Lowe, Wendle and Hunter Renfroe each produced consecutive singles, with the latter two driving in runs to make it 3-0.
In the sixth, Brosseau hit a ball to right, and right fielder Phil Gosselin pulled up and tried to fake out baserunner Smith as if the ball were catchable, but a high hop over Gosselin rolled to the wall for a triple and a 4-0 lead. Brosseau scored on a wild pitch during a strikeout.
--Field Level Media