The Tampa Bay Rays had an exciting Thursday, as they beat the Boston Red Sox in both games of a doubleheader. But, they couldn’t be excited for too long, as they had to travel to New York to take on the Yankees in yet another all-important divisional series. They won another key game in this contest by a score of 10-5, but it took fourteen innings and five hours, 49 minutes to finish this one.
David Price started the game for the Rays, and while his stuff was not as crisp as he probably would have liked, he still did a great job. What Price lacked in stuff he made up for by throwing strikes, as 79 of his 118 pitches went for strikes, and he walked no batters while punching out eight. The curious part of his appearance was the Rays allowing Price to go back out for the seventh inning after he departed the sixth already having thrown 107 pitches. But he responded with a quick seventh inning in an attempt to give the bullpen some rest, which proved to be key with this game going so long. Overall, a nice day for Price, who went 7.0 innings while giving up just two runs. This is the kind of performance we are used to seeing out of him.
Joel Peralta came on to relieve Price in the eighth and quickly got the first two hitters out, but then he gave up back to back home runs to Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano to tie the game up 4-4. The Rays tried to get him to come back on for the ninth, but he gave up a leadoff single and was pulled in favor of Juan Carlos Oviedo. Oviedo then allowed the inherited runner to score to tie the game, though that should have been avoided, as a rare Evan Longoria mistake that cost the Rays an out on a Brian Roberts stolen base, and Roberts ended up scoring the tying run. Brandon Gomes then came on, and he picked off Jacoby Ellsbury to end the inning, though Ellsbury was originally ruled safe and it took a Joe Maddon challenge to get the call right. Gomes stayed on for the 10th to throw a 1-2-3 inning. He got the first two outs of the eleventh inning as well, but then Heath Bell entered the ballgame to finish off the inning. Bell also threw a scoreless twelfth and thirteenth, throwing 43 pitches in total, but he made things interesting in both frames. Josh Lueke finished things off in the fourteenth inning. The bullpen gave up a pair of leads, but they held on just enough until the offense broke out in the fourteenth. This was not the night the Rays needed after Thursday’s double header tired the bullpen, and a minor league call-up is likely in the cards prior to Saturday’s game to give the bullpen a fresh arm.
The offense got to Yankees’ starter Vidal Nuno quickly, plating a run in the second when a James Loney infield single drove in Sean Rodriguez. The Rays scored again in the fourth, when they took advantage of a Jacoby Ellsbury mistake to plate two. Desmond Jennings added a solo home run in the top of the fifth, his third dinger of the season. The Yankees tied things up in the bottom of the 8th, but the Rays were able to answer in the 9th when Evan Longoria drove in Ben Zobrist. But, the Yankees re-tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, and the Rays offense would go stagnant until they decided to heat back up in the fourteenth. Desmond Jennings singled and was driven in by Wil Myers to take the lead. But, they wouldn’t stop there, as they scored four more runs in the fourteenth to ensure that the Yankees couldn’t mount another comeback.
The Rays offense was more than potent today even when considering the extra five innings, as they put together an outstanding 20 hits while also drawing six walks. Sean Rodriguez stayed hot with a 3-6 performance and a pair of extra base hits. Wil Myers added a nice 3-7 performance, and Evan Longoria had a strong 3-4 night. The offense went from hot to cold to hot again in this extended contest, but in the end they got the job done so that the Rays could pull out with the win.
A couple of other miscellaneous things of note in the game- Joe Maddon was ejected in the twelfth for arguing an overturned replay on a play that Matt Joyce was clearly out on. The Rays and acting manager Dave Martinez made an interesting move in the thirteenth inning, when they brought in Wil Myers to be the fifth infielder with Brett Gardner at the plate. It worked out, as they got him to ground out and then went back to a normal fielding alignment.
The Rays and Yankees will be back in action tomorrow at 1:05 ET for a quick turnaround. Jake Odorizzi will be taking on Yankees’ prize offseason acquisition Masahiro Tanaka, who will be making his first of many starts against the Rays. As always, be sure to come back to Rays Colored Glasses for all the analysis of the game that you need.