This Date in Rays History: August 6th

On this date in Rays history, the team had 3 dramatic walk-off victories.

2008 - In the Rays 2008 season, every win seemed to have some sorta of improbable thing happen that made you know, this season was going to be special. This was evident on August 6th, against the Cleveland Indians. It was Scott Kazmir (8-5) going against Cleveland's Jeremy Sowers (1-6). The game started off badly for Kazmir when he allowed a leadoff homerun to Franklin Gutierrez. Things turn around immediatly though for the Rays, in the bottom of the 1st, with one out, Ben Zobrist singled to center and Carlos Pena walked to bring up Evan Longoria. With Longoria batting, Pena was caught stealing 2nd while Zobrist moved to third. Longoria with a 2-2 count, lined a fastball into center field that skipped by Gutierrez and allowed Longoria to motor all the way around to third. The next batter up, Dioneer Navarro, deposited a 0-2 fast ball into the left field stands to make it 3-1 Rays. In the top of the 5th, with the score 3-2, Kazmir ran into trouble. He walked Jamey Caroll to lead off the inning, struck out Ben Francisco, but then allowed a ground-rule double to Johnny Peralta and a single to Shin-Soo Choo to tie the game at 3 and put runners on the corners. Andy Marte then lined a ball down the left field line, scoring both Peralta and Choo, Marte advanced to 3rd, when Longoria skipped the ball past Navarro. Kazmir would walk the next batter, then was relieved by J.P. Howell who came on and closed out the inning flawlessly. The Rays would score once in the bottom half of the inning to put the game at 5-4 Indians. The Indians would add on another run in the top of the 9th to make the game 7-4 heading into the bottom of the 9th. Cleveland would call upon Edward Mujica to close he game out and was set up to face Jason Bartlett, Eric Hinske, and Gabe Gross. Mujica's first pitch was a called strike, the next pitch was sent to the left field wall and Bartlett was at 2nd with a double. On the very next pitch, Hinske grounded a ball up the right field line to give the Rays back to back doubles and put the game at 7-5. Gabe Gross was a tad more patient but more effective when on the 6th pitch of his at-bet, he sent a monster shot that almost hit against the wall of the Trop to tie the game at 7. After giving up the lead, Mujica was replaced by Masa Kobayashi. Akinori Iwamura greeted Kobayashi with an infield single, then Zobrist walked to bring up Carlos Pena. Pena on the first pitch made (:% skyrocket as he sent Kobayashi's fist pitch, on a line of the center field wall for a walk-off 3-run home run to win the game 10-7.

On a side note, B.J. Upton was benched for this game for his lack of hustle in the previous game by Joe Maddon. This is the first incident in which Upton had shown lack of hustle and started the forever old hazing of lazyness.

6-Run Ninth

Longo's RBI single

2006 - On this date in 2006, the Devil Rays were going up against the Boston Red Sox. J.P. Howell (0-1) was on the hill for Tampa and Jason Johnson (3-11) for the Redsox. The D-Rays were behind 6-2 heading into the bottom of the 7th, Johnson's day was done and he was relieved by Manny Del Carmen. Del Carmen was greeted by Greg Norton who hit a ground ball into right field for a base hit. Del Carmen got Dioneer Navarro to strike out, but then B.J. Upton hit a grounder up the middle for another base hit. Del Carmen got another strike out with Russel Branyon. With 2 outs, and runners on 1st and 2nd, Ben Zobrist hit his first career double on a line drive to right field scoring both Norton and Upton and put the game at 6-4 (Zobrist had his first career homerun earlier in the game). In the bottom of the 8th, score is still 6-4, with 1 out, Travis Lee came to the plate to face Mike Timlin. on a 2-2 count, Lee lined a homerun down the right field line halfway up the seats to put the D-Rays within a run. Jonathan Papelbon came on in relief and struck out the first batter he faced, Norton. Next up was Navaro. With an o-2 count, Navarro jumped on a 95mph fastball and hit it a little further then Lee's homerun to tie the game at 6. After a scoreless and 9th, the Sox failed to plate a run in the top of the 10th, so going into the bottom half of the inning, Lee, Norton, and Navarro were due up to face Julian Tavarez. Tavarez retired Lee, then Norton came up. With a 2-0 Norton hit an opposite field walk-off homerun just barely clearing the left field wall, but it still counts and the D-Rays win in extras by the score 7-6.

Norton's walk-off

Navarro's game tying shot

2004 - On this date in 2004, the Devil Rays were going against the Seattle Mariners. Tampa Bay sent right hander, Dewon Brazleton (3-4) up against Ryan Franklin (3-10). This game was a pitcher's duel with each pitcher allowing a run, Brazleton's was unearned. So the game went into extras, tied at 1-1. Travis Harper came on to relieve Brazleton in 9th had an easy 1-2-3 inning in the top of the tenth, which sent the game into the bottom half of the inning. Carl Crawford led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, Julio Lugo followed with a sacrifice bunt that sent Crawford to 2nd with one away. The Mariners' pitcher, Clint Nageotte, intentionally walked Aubrey Huff to bring up Rocco Baldelli. Rocco walked on 4 straight pitches to load the bases with one out for Tino Martinez. With a 2-2 count, Martinez popped a shallow fly ball to the left fielder, Rual Ibanez. Ibanez made the catch and fired the ball into the the catcher, Miguel Olivo. Crawford had made a fake start but decided to not to go and went back to 3rd. That's when 3rd base umpire Paul Emmel told Crawford to advance home. What happened was, when Ibanez caught the ball, Crawford's line of sight to the ball was cut off by Seattle short stop, Jose Lopez and therefore, he couldn't tell when the ball was caught. The umpire crew chief, Joe West is the one who called obstruction and told Emmel to score Crawford. It was a walk off sacrifice fly/obstruction, the D-Rays win, 2-1.

Crawford had this to say on the play, "I had to move to the side to see the catch, I've never been in a situation where that call was called. If that's a rule, then it's a good time for that rule to go into effect.''

and that's what happen on this date in Rays history, thank you for reading.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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