Game 92: Ben Zobrist Provides Extra Inning Heroics In Rays Victory

By David Hill

The Rays kept rolling as they approach the All-Star Break last night. It just took a bit longer than normal.

After Yunel Escobar gave the Rays an early 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly, the Twins came back against starter Jeremy Hellickson. After a walk to lead off the top of the third, Pedro Florimon homered to put Minnesota ahead 2-1. Clete Thomas added an RBI single in the fifth, and the Twins held a 3-1 lead.

The Rays had difficulties against Minnesota starter Kevin Correia until they finally broke through again in the sixth. James Loney led off the inning with a base hit. With one out, Kelly Johnson homered to right to tie the game and end Correia’s night. Hellickson also left after the sixth, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out eight. The game now turned into a battle of the bullpens.

Tampa had a chance to take the lead in the very next inning. Desmond Jennings singled, moved to second on a ground out, and stole third. However, Caleb Thielbar struck out Ben Zobrist and James Loney to end the threat. The Twins had a chance in the top of the ninth against Fernando Rodney, putting runners on first and second with no outs, but he was able to escape unscathed.

The game headed into extra innings, setting the stage for Ben Zobrist in the thirteenth. Escobar singled with one out, and moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt with two outs. After Luke Scott coaxed a walk, Zobrist singled on a 1-2 pitch to right, plating Escobar for the walkoff victory. Cesar Ramos got the win, giving up two hits while recording the final two outs of the game.

Scott was 2-4 with three walks. Johnson was 2-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.