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)

Tampa Bay Rays rally to beat Cliff Lee, Texas Rangers 6-4

ST. PETERSBURG — There was so much that came out of Monday's wild 6-4 win over the Rangers, not the least of which was the game the Rays gained in the AL East standings to move back into a first-place tie with the Yankees.

But it was how the Rays did it, running and hustling and making dazzling plays then rallying for four runs in the eighth off the typically untouchable Cliff Lee — Cliff Lee! — that could mean the most.

Especially if they were to meet again in October.

"When you beat the best pitcher in baseball in the eighth inning when he's up, that to me is impactful among your group," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That's the part I like. … He's got it pretty much. That's a game he normally puts away right there. We were able to come back and do some good things. So you beat a guy that good that late, that's got to do something for your confidence."

"We try not to put too much emphasis on one game or the other," Evan Longoria said, "but (Monday) was a huge moral victory I think for us."

"That was huge," David Price said. "I guess that's Rays baseball."

The Rays (72-46) made it interesting and entertaining, with a pretty solid pitching performance from their own ace, Price, along with some dazzling defense and some weird plays, topped by the old ball-down-the-shirt trick by second baseman Sean Rodriguez. They led 2-0, fell behind 4-2 then rallied for the victory, though only 18,319 were at Tropicana Field to see it.

"Kind of a nice win, wasn't it?" Maddon said.

Eventful, too, as the Rays beat Lee for the third time this season, leaving him 0-3, 4.56 against them, 10-3, 2.48 against everyone else. (Plus, they got their first run after he walked Carlos Peña to open the fifth — the first walk Lee allowed to a lefty hitter all season and just the second to lead off an inning.)

By the end of the night, Lee wasn't sure exactly what hit him as the Rays, trailing 4-2 with one out in the eighth, strung together five hits and took advantage of some shaky defense by second baseman Joaquin Arias to score four runs.

B.J. Upton's popup that eluded Arias in shallow right for a bloop double got them started, then Jason Bartlett got them going, first with an infield single then with tremendous hustle — "the biggest event (Monday night) for us to win," Maddon said — to second as Arias, for some reason, went for the out there rather than first on Carl Crawford's grounder, all as Upton scored.

Longoria singled in the tying run, then Peña the one that put them ahead. Ben Zobrist added an insurance run.

"Things kind of fell apart right there," Lee said. "I don't know why; I don't know. It was kind of a blur of an inning. It was a strange inning.

"I threw strikes; they got hits. I could remember two balls they hit hard. … It's not like they were driving the ball all over the ballpark. It was infield hits and little bloopers. They were just fighting, and that's why they're a good team. They never give up.

"You've got to give credit to those guys for battling back. They earned it."

Well, there's that, too.

"If you put your head down and you've got Cliff Lee pitching and you stop pushing, game's over," Maddon said. "So composure and perseverance, I mean if we could just remember that on a daily basis, I'd be really pleased."

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays rally to beat Cliff Lee, Texas Rangers 6-4 08/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …