Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays, bullpen bounce back, beat Yankees

NEW YORK — The chips and salsa manager Joe Maddon munched on when he made his unusual foray into the Rays clubhouse after Saturday's tough loss were outstanding, some of New York's finest.

But the brief chats he had with relievers Jake McGee and Joel Peralta, whose tag-team seventh-inning implosion cost them the game, were better, Maddon assuring both he still had the utmost confidence in them and would eagerly use them in the next critical moment.

Which, as it turned out, took place Sunday, as the Rays again had a two-run lead in the seventh and, though the matchups dictated they be used in reverse order, Maddon put McGee and Peralta in pretty much the same situation.

And this time it worked out perfectly, the Rays hanging on for an important 3-1 bounce-back win over the Yankees and heading home at 39-37 to face the sizzling Blue Jays, with Tampa Bay last in the American League East but only five games off the lead.

"I've had some very good and interesting chips and salsa moments throughout my life," Maddon said, "but that really ranks up there — top 10."

Maddon is an extreme loyalist to his players, and he showed confidence in James Loney as well, allowing the lefty swinger to face lefty specialist Boone Logan in their most promising opportunity in the seventh. And Loney also delivered, a two-out, two-strike single — just beyond the reach of shortstop Jayson Nix — with the bases loaded that scored the two runs that made the difference.

"Huge," Maddon said.

Maddon admitted he briefly considered pinch-hitting righty Sean Rodriguez but found comfort in how calm Loney remains in two-strike counts and in his willingness to drive in runs with singles instead of trying to do too much. Of course, Loney's .354 average against lefties (compared to .277 vs. righties) didn't hurt, though Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn't seem to notice.

"That lefty-righty thing is a little blown up sometimes I feel," Loney said.

Rookie Chris Archer was the beneficiary of the rally as he got the win for his solid six innings, the key to his improved showing a slight quickening of his tempo.

"It was kind of like this: My mind was working slow, but I was keeping the pace of the game pretty fast," Archer said. "It's weird, my dad texted me before the game, 'Work fast but stay under control.' And then (catcher Jose) Molina after the second inning said pretty much the same thing. … It was just cool for multiple sources to see that and for me to do that and be successful."

But with Saturday's loss their ninth when leading from the seventh inning on, there's no doubt the bullpen work — with Fernando Rodney zipping through an impressive ninth as well — was the biggest accomplishment of the day.

Maddon said it was important to make sure McGee and Peralta knew how he felt, and how confident he was they would handle the next such moment.

"It was good to sit down with the boys, and it was almost incredibly coincidental and awesome at the same time they were able to get back into the game (Sunday), basically the same set of circumstances, and be successful," Maddon said.

Peralta said the talk was reassuring, that "he came here and told me he believes in me. And he actually gave me some advice — slow down a little bit, breathe on the mound. And that's what I did."

McGee felt much the same, that "it definitely helps" to talk it out with the boss.

Plus, McGee said, "They were pretty good chips and salsa."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

Rays, bullpen bounce back, beat Yankees 06/23/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 10:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  3. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'

    Blogs

    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.