Make us your home page

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

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

  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.