Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays rally in ninth, beat Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG — Whether it was the extreme elation he felt on the field, being mobbed by his Rays teammates after knocking in the winner in a 5-4 skid-stopping victory, or the absolute confusion in the clubhouse as the wildest celebration he had ever seen unfolded around him, Jason Bourgeois will always have Wednesday night.

His future with the Rays looks to be short term with several roster moves pending. Out of options, he could be cut loose — designated for assignment — as soon as today, as they add Alex Cobb to the roster, and if not today then next week when Desmond Jennings comes off the disabled list.

"That's all I can take is this moment, and see what happens tomorrow," Bourgeois said. "It's been a great situation already just being here. I'll take 'em as they come."

He was part of one of the biggest Wednesday as the Rays, down 4-3 in the ninth with a scoresheet full of wasted opportunities, got one more chance to avoid their first seven-game losing streak since 2008.

Instead, after a solid start from David Price, they got what Evan Longoria said was the kind of win "to get guys believing again," improving to 67-51 and moving back within three games of the American League East lead.

And, in a way, it was somewhat reminiscent of that 2008 World Series season, which was a compilation of all kinds of unexpected contributors.

"You kind of have that majestic feel of '08 and the guy coming off the bench that nobody's really heard of … coming through with the big hit," Longoria said. "Those are the kind of things that we'll need, and those are the kind of things that will propel us forward."

Ben Zobrist, who hit two homers Tuesday but not a thing off Seattle closer Danny Farquhar, set them in motion Wednesday with a blast off the top of the rightfield fence for a triple. "That was the kicker right there," manager Joe Maddon said. "I would almost bet if he does not get on, that game ends differently."

Matt Joyce delivered what was actually the biggest hit, singling on an 0-and-2 pitch — his first 0-and-2 hit since mid June — to score Zobrist and tie it.

Longoria, trying to put his extended slump behind him, followed with a double that looked, as Maddon said, very Longoria-esque.

The Mariners walked Wil Myers to load the bases. Maddon, who had only Jose Lobaton left on the bench, had no qualms about letting Bourgeois hit, impressed with how calm Bourgeois had been in the dugout when Maddon asked if he knew all the signs.

Bourgeois delivered, lashing the 0-and-1 pitch over rightfielder Endy Chavez's head.

The celebration on the field was pretty good. "These guys know how to do it, hands down they know how to let you know they care about you and they love you for what you did out there," he said. "It was a moment I'll never forget, I'll tell you that."

Even more memorable, the postgame clubhouse dance party,. "Never seen anything like it," Bourgeois said.

Asked about a pending transaction, Maddon declined: "I refuse to announce the roster move."

 
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