The Tampa Bay Rays have finally won a baseball game, defeating the Seattle Mariners 5-4 and ending a frustrating six game losing streak. It wasn't easy, in fact, at times is was as frustrating and difficult to watch as the past week has been, but an incredible ninth inning rally lead the Rays to a walk off victory and back into the win column.
Seattle starter Aaron Harang managed out to out duel David Price, surrendering no runs over the first three frames and flashing a no-hitter alert with his junk-ball stuff. However, Matt Joyce got the Rays first hit in the fourth inning with a lead off single and came around to score after a Evan Longoria walk and a James Loney line drive, RBI single.
Price was not as sharp as he has been recently but still managed to work deep into the game, throwing 117 pitches in seven innings of ball. He surrendered a run in the first inning after drilling Kyle Seager with two outs. Seager stole second base and then moved to third on a passed ball in front of a Kendrys Morales single. Price bounced back and shut down the next 12 hitters before issuing just his third walk since coming back from the DL to Dustin Ackley with two outs in the fifth. Unfortunately for the Rays, the Mariners would again cash in as the Ackley walk triggered a three run, two out rally for Seattle.
With the good guys now trailing 4-1 in the sixth, it was starting to look like another disaster game.
Thankfully, Evan Longoria and Wil Myers decided it was time to come alive and cut the crap.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth inning, Longoria blasted a double off the left field wall infront of a slumping Wil Myers. Myers, who had missed a couple of very hittable pitches earlier in the game, didn't make the same mistake thrice, and blasted a home run to left field to end a 0-15 skid. James Loney followed with a walk and Yunel Escobar singled to right to get another rally going against Harang. The Mariners then turned to Charlie Furbush to put out the flames and much to the dismay of the Rays fans he was up to the task, retiring pinch hitter Sean Rodriguez on strikes, Jose Molina on a flyball to right, and a second pinch hitter, Ryan Roberts, swinging.
The Rays continued inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position was threatening to haunt them once again.
After Jake McGee and Joel Peralta pitched scoreless frames the Rays came into the ninth inning with their final chance against Lord Danny Farquhar. Ben Zobrist wasted little time inspiring the Tropicana Faithful as he flashed his recent power surge, hammering a Farquhar fastball into right field and just missing a game-tying homerun. The umpires reviewed the play but ruled that Zobrist's ball hit the top of the fence and awarded him with a lead off triple. Matt Joyce quickly took two strikes but managed to fight off a tough third strike pitch and slap a bouncing ground ball up the middle, sending Zobrist home with the tying run.
The suddenly hot Longoria came up next and slashed a line drive to left field for a double, putting the winning run on third base with still nobody out. Farquhar intentionally walked Wil Myers to load the bases and set up the force at the plate for James Loney's spot in the lineup. However, Loney had left the game for pinch runner Jason Bourgeois in the seventh inning. Apparently, all the Rays needed to do to snap their seven game skid was give some at bats to the scrappy Texan. Bourgeois got a pitch to drive and lined a drive to right that sailed over the head of Michael Morse and sent Matt Joyce scampering home for the walk off win.
Rays win, Rays win!
It's about time time.