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)

Rare triple play helps Tampa Bay Rays beat New York Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG — Believe it or not, third baseman Evan Longoria called his shot before the Rays turned a momentum-swinging triple play in the sixth inning.

The Yankees had taken a 3-2 lead against rookie right-hander Jeremy Hellickson and appeared close to taking over the game. After a Nick Swisher RBI double, Rays manager Joe Maddon decided to walk Jorge Posada to load the bases with no outs for catcher Russell Martin, thinking double play.

Longoria was thinking more, pointing out the possibilities in the last thing said in a meeting with teammates on the mound.

"I told (second baseman Ben Zobrist), 'If it's hit close to the base, I'm just going to step on it and let's try to turn a triple play,' " Longoria said.

Said Zobrist: "And that's exactly what happened. It was crazy. A great call."

Martin, who had homered earlier, hit a hard grounder to Longoria's right. He was looking changeup and got one but rolled it over. "I just hit it in the wrong spot," Martin said.

Longoria corralled it, stepped on third and made a great throw to Zobrist, who turned and got it to fill-in first baseman Sean Rodriguez to beat Martin's head-first slide.

Longoria said though Martin "doesn't run terribly for a catcher," in the Yankees lineup he's the one player "you have a chance" to turn a triple play on.

"I was trying to get down the line as fast as I could," Martin said. "I'm just not fast enough."

It was the third triple play the Rays have turned in club history and first since September 2006. And it was arguably the most important, with the Yankees threatening to mount a big rally in a must-win game for the Rays.

"That was a big break for them," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Even the always stoic Hellickson showed some emotion. "I was real excited," he said. "It went from being a four- to five-run inning to one run."

Maddon could tell the energy fill the dugout, which was "pretty animated" and "any possible handshake that they had, they took it out of their back pocket and utilized." One inning later, Matt Joyce hit a three-run homer to give the Rays the lead for good.

Said Maddon: "The triple play was very, very fortuitous."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Rare triple play helps Tampa Bay Rays beat New York Yankees 09/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning re-signs Cory Conacher to two-year deal


    Cory Conacher said he wanted another shot in the NHL, and hoped it would be with the Lightning.

  2. Lightning's Mathieu Joseph on the rise at development camp


    BRANDON — The last 12 months have been quite the ride for Mathieu Joseph.

    Mathieu Joseph checks Carolina's Jake Bean during a preseason game in September in Tampa.
  3. What’s wrong with Blake Snell’s fastball?


    Blake Snell's MLB tenure to this point has been inconsistent, to say the least. As a rookie in 2016, he posted a 3.54 ERA, but his Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell will start tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. His performance will depend on his four-seam fastball.

  4. Jameis Winston could set Bucs' career TD record in 2017


    How often can a player reset an NFL franchise's career passing record before his 24th birthday? Jameis Winston has a shot to do that with the Bucs this fall.

    Bucs QB Jameis Winston, shown last season, could set Tampa Bay's career record for touchdown passes in just his third NFL season.
  5. Dan Girardi the latest defenseman on Lightning radar


    Veteran Dan Girardi is the latest pending free agent defenseman to draw interest from the Lightning, the Times has confirmed.

    Dan Girardi, 33, spent the last 11 seasons with the Rangers, who bought him out this summer.