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 rally in ninth to beat Orioles

BALTIMORE — The once-comfortable lead was withering away, the closer was squirming around and the crowd was getting restless.

The Rays had seen this happen before, a few too many times already this season. But this time, they enjoyed the view because they were on the other side.

Down four runs after the opening frame, then stymied through the middle innings, the Rays did the ninth-inning rallying Saturday, scoring six times to leave the Orioles and closer Jim Johnson stunned with a 10-6 win.

"We've played that record way too many times already this season. It was nice to have it play in our favor," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

"It's very big. Psychologically, it's good for us. It's happened to us recently, and I know what it feels like on the other side. There can be bumps and bruises and cuts and slashes, and stitches may be required. It's good to be able to beat them under those circumstances because this guy is that good."

The key to the Rays comeback was a one-out bases-loaded double by Matt Joyce — part of his career-high-matching five-RBI afternoon — that put them ahead 7-6. But they wouldn't have been in position to win the game without the contributions of Alex Torres, the Thursday callup who worked four scoreless and hitless relief innings on a day when struggling starter Roberto Hernandez was pulled in the third.

"Alex Torres was totally the star of the game," Maddon said. "Of course, we did the nice things in the last inning, but it does not happen without what Alex did."

The players anointed Joyce and Torres co-players of the game, and in absence of the Captain Morgan lamp that gets lit during victory celebrations at home, Joyce allowed Torres the honors Saturday — using the remote to turn on a clubhouse TV.

"That was awesome," Torres said.

When Torres came in to pitch the fifth, the Rays down 6-4, Joel Peralta told bullpen coach Stan Boroski that if Torres gave them three good innings, they would win.

"He gave us four really good innings — and we did win the game," Peralta said. "That was awesome."

Though the Rays (22-20) had already decided by Saturday morning to give Jake Odorizzi the Monday start in Toronto, Torres showed what he had been doing so well at Triple A and what he could do for them.

"When you have the kind of confidence I have right now, everything's going to be good," Torres said. "I can throw my pitches in any count. I'm just feeling great with my stuff right now."

Joyce wasn't feeling particularly confident after his first at-bat, coming into the dugout after pulling a ball hard to the right side into the usual overshift for a groundout and telling Maddon he was going to try to hit the ball to leftfield.

Maddon told him no, to "be you, stay who you are, keep doing what you're doing, hit the ball hard. They'll find holes."

Good coaching. Joyce hit a two-run homer — to right — in his next at-bat, then doubled in a run in the fifth. In the ninth, after Kelly Johnson homered to get them within 6-5, Joyce came up with the bases loaded and lined a ball just over second baseman Ryan Flaherty's reach — "Just high enough," Joyce said — to put the Rays ahead and chase Johnson, who blew his second straight save after converting 35 straight in regular-season play and helped end the Orioles' streak of 109 straight wins when leading after seven (seven shy of the record set by the Yankees in 1998-99). Ben Zobrist added a two-run double and Luke Scott a bases-loaded walk to make sure.

"Things really haven't gone our way in later innings the first couple months," Joyce said. "So for us to turn it around and do it to another team who has a really good bullpen and one of the best closers in the game, man, it's awesome.

"That's a real testament to the guys on this team and not giving up."

Rays rally in ninth to beat Orioles

05/18/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.