The Rays struck early and often in a game that lasted into Wednesday morning. Carl Crawford outran a ground ball in the first inning to reach on an error charged to Yunel Escobar. Evan Longoria then posted a massive two-run homer to left to bring in Crawford; I think I heard the echo on that long ball all the way down here in Tampa. Maybe Braves starter Kamikaze should have paid more attention to the batter instead of throwing to first 10 times trying to pick off Crawford. The game was already two hours behind, dude. The baseball gods officially ruled on the matter, so thanks for that cookie of a pitch and the early lead. Sean Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double that skirted down the third base line to bring in Zobrist and Upton, who had walked and doubled, respectively.[image-1]
Price had control issues for much of of his five innings, allowing a run to score on one of two wild pitches. Whenever he got into serious trouble, though, Price managed to regain his poise and get the outs he needed, including putting out a bases-loaded, no-outs fire in the second with consecutive strikeouts and an easy groundout to first.
In an interesting play, Crawford fell down after rounding third base in the top of the sixth and seemed destined to be the second out. C.C. showed us all why hes worth selling half the team just to keep him by scrambling up and around catcher Brian McCann and sliding around the tag on the infield side of the plate to score.
Tampa Bay sealed the deal in the seventh inning, scoring three runs with two outs as Hank Blalock, Crawford and Longoria came around to score, making it 10-3. Atlanta would get one more run on Chipper Jones' home run in the bottom of the eighth on a day that heard much talk about his potential retirement.
This was a great win, definitely worth the wait. Price still leads the majors in wins and the Rays stay on pace with the New York Yankees in the Al East race. Things are looking up for the Rays, with a solid win and tomorrow's return of Jason Bartlett. Hopefully they can really turn it on and climb back on top. Okay, bring on the coffee.
Word to your mother
[image-2]The Rays announced a mixed bag of additional Friday night concerts with a press release yesterday. Fans can hear Longorias walk-up music live after the June 25 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks as Tantric tears it up at the Trop. Apparently Rob Van Winkle, a.k.a. Vanilla Ice, the man who brought us "Ice Ice Baby," is still alive and in need of money, as he will grace the stage July 9 after the game against the Cleveland Indians. Are those crickets I hear or is everyone busy buying their tickets? Click the link, you know you want to... Los Lobos was also announced to perform after the Rays-Yankees game on July 30.