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Big Ben and third place

The happiest person in the ballpark after the Devil Rays win on Wedensday had to be SS Ben Zobrist. It's been a tough week for Zobrist, losing his starting shortstop job to Brendan Harris and having an uncharecteristically poor game in the field on Sunday. And there he was Wednesday, pinch-running in the 10th inning, when he flat out trips going around third.

But Zobrist got a break when pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit a just slow enough grounder to shortstop and Zobrist alertly broke on contact and slid in ahead of the throw to score the winning run.

"I would have felt terrible,'' Zobrist said. "That was the first time, and you guys got to see it.''

Manager Joe Maddon's take: "The sniper got him coming around third and he just went down.''

The Rays improved to 12-15 and moved into third place in the AL East, the latest into a season they've been that high in the standings since 2004.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:31am]


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