Rays 7-5 win over Orioles worth the wait

Stock photo
Zobrist dug out a one-out triple in the Rays' last regulation inning of offense to set up the tying run; Kotchman singled him home to tie it up and send it to extras.


Zobrist led off the 11th frame with a double and eventually scored his game-winning fourth run of the night on Longoria 's base hit; Kotchman scored Longo on a double—his fourth consecutive hit—for some extra cushion.


Rays manager Joe Maddon brought in unofficial-closer Kyle Farnsworth to seal the deal. The Farnz kept his cool and picked up his 14th save in 15 opportunities.


Rays starting pitcher David Price took away a no-decision after an okay showing, allowing four runs on eight hits through six innings pitched. He allowed only one walk while fanning six Baltimore batters.


Reliever Juan Cruz came away with the eventual win, improving to 4-0 on the year.


At the end of the long day, this story was one of battling back when absolutely necessary. The night after an abysmal showing at the plate, Rays batters got it done whenever they needed to in a high-powered duel with the American League's cellar-dweller (mind you, the Rays are only a few games up on the Orioles in this tight A.L. East division).


The rays remain four games behind A.L.-leading Boston, who beat the pants off the Toronto Blue Jays 16-4.


With the win, Tampa Bay pulled even in the Baltimore series, setting up Sunday's rubber match. Wade Davis (4-5, 4.71 ERA) is expected to start against Baltimore's Brian Matusz (1-0, 2.45). The deciding outing in this series is scheduled for a 1:45 p.m. start.


Extras:


With his fifth-inning, two-base hit, Johnny Damon tied Al Kaline and Bill Buckner for 54th all-time in doubles. With two more doubles, he'll become the 11th player all-time to hit 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers and 2,500 hits.


All 10 previous players to do so are in the Hall of Fame.


Just sayin'.

click to enlarge Stock photo - Tampa Bay Rays/Skip Milos
Tampa Bay Rays/Skip Milos
Stock photo

For the second night in a row, the Tampa bay Rays played the waiting game in Baltimore.

The Rays had a poor showing the evening prior in a rain-delayed 5-0 loss to the Orioles. But, after the West Coast sweep of the L.A. Angels of Anaheim, the Rays once again made it worth the wait to stay up, coming away with an 11-inning, 7-5 road win in Baltimore.

Having been limited to three hits the night before, Tampa Bay exploded at the plate with seven runs on 15 hits in the three-hour and 48-minute battle with the black birds.

Heroically hacking away at Orioles pitchers was Evan Longoria, going 3-for-5 at the plate and driving in a run with each of his hits. Ben Zobrist and Casey Kotchman—each 4-for-6 on the night—also swung the bat well, combining to drive in the other three earned runs of the evening (Zobrist scored on a throwing error following Kotchman's base hit in the seventh inning).

Saturday night told the tale of the boys from the Bay area battling back in Baltimore. Coming out with an early one-run lead, the Rays put up two more in the top of the fifth inning, notching four hits and sending seven men to the plate.

Baltimore matched that in that bottom half of the frame to pull within one.

A two-run homer by Mark Reynolds in the sixth inning gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead.

Tampa bay tied it up in the seventh when Zobrist scored on Kotchman's RBI single.

Baltimore answered by sending seven men to the plate in the bottom of the eighth but only managed a single run; Rays reliever Joel Peralta walked in the go-ahead tally.

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