Tips ? Suggestions? Praise? Death Threats?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Those Pesky Rays Do It Again

In 2008, when you look up resilient in the dictionary, you should find a picture of the Tampa Bay Rays. Every time the Red Sox appear ready to finally retake the top spot in the AL East, the Rays come through with a clutch win.

Last night was more of the same as Tampa Bay (89-60) had a walk-off 2-1 win against the Red Sox (89-62), giving the Rays a one-game lead in the division.

What started as an old fashioned pitchers duel between Josh Beckett and Andy Sonnanstine was decided by the bullpens as Dioner Navarro hit a single to deep center off Justin Masterson (6-5) with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth.

It was scoreless until the sixth when Kevin Youkilis drove in Jacoby Ellsbury (2 hits, run) with a sacrifice fly. Carlos Pena-who can officially be dubbed a Red Sox killer-cranked an opposite field homer off Beckett in the seventh to tie it at 1.

Beckett looked great, going eight innings and allowing just the one run on three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Sonnanstine went six innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

The difference on this night was that although Beckett gave Boston a slightly better start than Sonnanstine, Tampa's trio of relievers were more effective than Masterson.

Grant Balfour recorded four outs, J.P. Howell retired four batters and Dan Wheeler (5-5) struck out the one man he faced, to earn the win.

Tonight is the series (and regular season) finale for Tampa Bay and Boston. The next time the two teams could meet would be in the ALCS. Don't be surprised if that happens.

Matt Garza starts for the Rays tonight with Tim Wakefield taking the mound for the Red Sox.

No comments: