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 need a lot to go right in ninth inning

ST. PETERSBURG — Dioner Navarro was looking for a pitch to put into play. Jason Bartlett was looking down the third base line as the potential winning run. Carlos Pena was just happy to be on second base and Cliff Floyd just wanted it over so he could ice the lump on his shin.

Justin Masterson wanted a ground ball double play to end the threat. He was the only one who didn't get what he wanted.

Navarro's game-winning single to center over a shortened outfield finished a bizarre bottom of the ninth in a 2-1 win over Boston that helped the Rays retain first place in the AL East on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

"A lot of things happen that lead to the run," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Bartlett led off, fisting an 0-and-2 fastball into right, and Pena walked. But it wasn't as simple as all that. Pena had swung through a pitch for an apparent 1-and-2 count, but time had been called because a ball rolled into the infield from the Red Sox bullpen.

"I was like, 'Thank the Looooord,' " Pena grinned. "It was cool. I was really happy with that. They got it right."

Francona knew it too.

"I hoped they didn't (see time being called)," he said.

Pena eventually walked. The inning stalled momentarily when Evan Longoria first attempted to bunt, then struck out looking. Things seemed to stall further when Floyd fell behind 0-and-2. But Masterson's third pitch knifed inside, hitting Floyd on the shin and sending him staggering down to first base.

"That's the big moment, getting hit there with two strikes," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Did Floyd's right leg feel any better after he moved the winning run to third base?

"No," he quipped. "It felt better when (Navarro) hit the ball over (centerfielder Coco Crisp's) head and the game was over."

Navarro made that happen methodically, working ahead 2-and-0, taking a strike and swinging through another before getting defensive. His hit marked the fourth time in the inning a Ray reached with two strikes.

"It was to my advantage that the first four pitches of the at-bat I saw almost everything he had," he said. "I got a ball I could put up the middle deep enough."

But it wasn't as simple as all that.

Rays need a lot to go right in ninth inning 09/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 5:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 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.
  2. 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]
  3. 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.
  4. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  5. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American

    Blogs

    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.