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Rays 7, Orioles 6 - Walk Off Win!

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KEVIN KIERMAIER IS EVERYTHING.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

WOOOOOO!!!!! Oh man. How fun are walk off wins, you guys? And how fun is Kevin freaking Kiermaier?!? That 9th inning was a blast.

Our Rays were a loss away from falling into last place in the AL East coming into this game, but they're not about that life, and they battled hard to make sure that didn't go down.

The Rays got to work early, with a run in the first. Josh Jaso led off the game with a double, and advanced to third on a Grady Sizemore ground out. With Evan Longoria at the plate, Kevin Gausman bounced a wild pitch that got away from Caleb Joseph. As he tried to track it down, Jaso charged home to put the Rays up 1-0.

The O's fired back in the third. Paul Janish led off with a double to right field, and was sent home soon after, courtesy of a Manny Machado single to tie the game 1-1. Two pitches later, Chris Davis launched Jake Odorizzi's offering well into the left centerfield seats with a towering fly ball to put the O's up 3-1.

Tampa Bay wrestled the lead back in the bottom of the fifth. After a Sizemore walk and a Longoria single, Logan Forsythe launched Gausman's 1-1 pitch way out into the left field bleachers for a three run homer. Frosty really crushed it. 4-3 Rays.

Baltimore tied it up again in the sixth, after a Steve Clevenger single and Steve Pearce walk put two on with two out for Paul Janish. The O's shortstop hit a little blooper to right that sent Clevenger home well ahead of an offline throw from Mike Mahtook. 4-4.

The Orioles took the lead back in the 8th on an Evan Longoria error. With Steve Pearce on first, Janish hit a grounder to Longo that he completely Buckner'd, hand and glove way above where they should have been, that felt like it rolled forever once it went between his legs. Pearce hustled home and it was 5-4 O's. Gerardo Parra twisted the knife even further with a bloop to center that sent Janish charging home just ahead of Kiermaier's throw. 6-4 Baltimore.

Tampa Bay chopped the lead down to one in the 8th on an Asdrubal Cabrera near-warning track sac fly to capitalize on Forsythe walking, and advancing to third base on a James Loney single. 6-5 Baltimore.

Things got fun in the bottom of the 9th. While Jameis Winston was putting the finishing touches on a Tampa Bay Buccaneers win in New Orleans, Brandon Guyer was tying the game back home with a pinch hit solo homer to center field on the first pitch of the bottom of the 9th inning. 6-6. Eager to make up for his cringe-worthy error earlier, Evan Longoria legged out a triple to right field that bounced off the wall. Parra had some trouble with it, and our fearless leader was standing on third base representing the potential winning run. Zach Britton walked Logan Forsythe and Richie Shaffer to load the bases for Joey Butler. Butler struck out on three pitches in what felt like an incredibly deflating at bat.

Have no fear, though, Rays fans. Kevin Kiermaier exists for all of our pleasure. Kevin stepped into the box with the bases loaded, two outs, and a chance to send us all home happy. He did exactly that, and in the most satisfying way. See, we all love stats here. We like to analyze, no question, but what we LOVE in these parts is heart and hustle. Just like we did it in our own glory days. Kevin Kiermaier is all of us out there, only with bluer eyes and far superior athletic ability. He put that athleticism and hustle to use today, as he bounced a grounder to second that Schoop fielded and fired to first, but it was too late. KK legged it out, hustling down the first base line to beat out the throw by half a step to secure the Rays win. Longoria was safe at home, and Kiermaier was safe at first, and ready for his Gatorade shower.

Rays win 7-6 in what was one of the more exciting games I've seen all year. At this point, we're just watching for the memories, the milestones and the wow moments like this one. Kevin Kiermaier and his Rays squad wowed me today. Here's to hoping they've got a few more of those up their sleeve before this thing is over.

Next, our boys are shipping up to Boston for a four game series in the armpit of America. Chris Archer toes the rubber against the bad guys tomorrow, to kick off a series that may determine who resides in the AL East cellar for the 2015 campaign.

Go Rays!

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<th colspan=2>Roll Call Info</th>

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<tr><td width=150>Total comments</td><td>110</tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Total commenters</td><td>14</tr>

<tr><td>Commenter list</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/ChrisAdragna">ChrisAdragna</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/EvenLongoria">EvenLongoria</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/JRTW612">JRTW612</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Ray4452">Ray4452</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays1118">Rays1118</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/RazeTheRoof">RazeTheRoof</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/kapaafire">kapaafire</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/kfharlock">kfharlock</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampa_edski">tampa_edski</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/the%20dobber">the dobber</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/turntwo21">turntwo21</a></tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Story URLs</td><td><div><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs">http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs</a></div>

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<th width=60># Recs</th><th>Commenter</th><th>Comment Link</th>

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<td>8</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/RazeTheRoof">RazeTheRoof</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328226882">He has Swing and Hit Stuff</a></td>

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<td>4</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328235208">We have seen plenty walkoffs this year!</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328196624">Well it was nice knowing you Cabby</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328250266">It's almost like Joey Butler is a career minor leaguer who had a really good month</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays1118">Rays1118</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328196908">that has to be the first go ahead home run of the year that's not a solo homerun</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328275194">But since the national media covers nothing Rays-related, all those quotations now seem fresh to the rest of the baseball world.</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/the%20dobber">the dobber</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328226736">it's almost like he's a AAA pitcher</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328248910">Probably thinks this thread is about him</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/ChrisAdragna">ChrisAdragna</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328267950">Zero</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampa_edski">tampa_edski</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328250306">Remember when Butler could hit?</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampa_edski">tampa_edski</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328238656">Meh</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays1118">Rays1118</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328196764">FROOOOSSTTYYYYYY! WHAT A FUCKING LEGEND</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328238346">Who was the one calling for his extension after one good game?</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/RazeTheRoof">RazeTheRoof</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328239966">Is that a rhetorical question?</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays1118">Rays1118</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/20/9360283/gdt-rays-gt-bucs#328247872">would be cool to see shaffer walk it off. LET'S GO RICHIE RICH</a></td>

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