Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays rally in ninth, beat Mariners

RECOMMENDED READING


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."

 
Comments
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Published: 11/21/17
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17