Rays rally for 4-1 win to end rough roadtrip
The Rays appeared headed down the same path again Sunday, especially when they had the bases loaded with no outs in the seventh inning and not nothing.
But six outs from what would have been their eighth loss on the 10-game West Coast odyssey and 12th in 15 games, the Rays did something about it, rallying for a 4-1 win.
James Loney got one big hit, doubling in the tying run. And then Sean Rodriguez, who made the brutal baserunning mistake Friday, got another, a pinch-hit single that, with help from Seattle centerfielder Abraham Almonte, scored two.
Joel Peralta, after putting two on, got them though the eighth, striking out dangerous Raul Ibanez for the final out. They added an insurance run in the ninth and Fernando Rodney finished from there.
Jake McGee got the win in relief of Matt Moore, who worked 6 1/3 innings in his second start since coming off the DL, allowing one run on five hits and three walks (one intentional).
With the win, the Rays improved to 78-64. Though they moved to within 7 1/2 games of the American League East leading Red Sox, whom the host in a three-game series starting Tuesday at the Trop, the more important development is they moved two games ahead of the Indians and Orioles, who both lost, for the second wild-card spot, and stayed 2 1/2 ahead of the Yankees and 3 1/2 of the Royals. The Rays are three behind Texas for the first wild card.
Before the game, there was a lot of talk from from the Rays about remaining confident, maintaining faith and realizing that as bad as it was going they still were in - relatively - good position as far as making the playoffs.
"I know we’re better than this,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "I know we’ve got better results in us. You just have to stay process oriented. We’ve got to keep trying to do the right things, which our guys have been. The work’s been great, the prep’s been good, the results haven’t been there right now, but they’ll come back to us. As long as we keep believing in ourselves and what we’re doing it will come back to us. I believe that.’
About that seventh inning? They loaded the bases on two walks and a single, but pinch-hitter Delmon Young grounded into a pitcher to home to first double play, and then Ben Zobrist flied out.
The rally in the eighth started when Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch and Luke Scott walked. Loney doubled to right, scoring Longoria. Rodriguez was next with a single to center, the second run scoring when Abraham Almonte fumbled the ball.
The Rays have their last off-day of the season on Monday.