Tampa Bay Rays have a little mojo going down at Tropicana Field. For the third straight day, the Rays won in walkoff fashion, this time defeating the Boston Red Sox 6-5 in 15 innings thanks to a throwing error by relief pitcher Andrew Miller.Don't look now, but the
The victory capped an impressive comeback for Tampa Bay. Ace David Price was rocked for five runs in the first inning, but rebounded to toss seven straight scoreless innings to finish what became a very gutsy performance. His effort gave the Rays offense an opportunity to come back, which they were able to do by the fifth inning on Brandon Guyer's game-tying double.
Then things went into the deep freeze for awhile as both bullpens traded zeroes. The next run didn't come until 10 innings later, when Miller's force attempt at second base sailed into center field allowing Cole Figueroa to score from second base.
The third straight walkoff victory is a new record for the Rays. On the flip side, Boston has now lost nine straight games for the first time since 2001. They have some pretty big problems, too. Shane Victorino was placed on the disabled list Saturday with reoccurring hamstring problems. Xander Bogaerts left this game with a hamstring cramp. And the offense is in shambles. Despite the five-run first, they've been shut out in 30 of their last 31 innings.
These look like two teams going in opposite directions right now, which means Boston could soon find themselves buried behind four teams instead of three.
BLUE JAYS WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT: Speaking of the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays extended their league best winning streak to five with a workmanlike 5-2 victory over the Oakland A's. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was at his best, throwing eight and one-third innings of one-run ball. In doing so, he lowered his ERA to 3.95 this season, marking the first time his ERA has fallen under 4.00 since joining Toronto last winter.
''He was dealing, he was strong, he was very efficient,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Oakland's Craig Gentry, who went hitless in three at bats, found it a frustrating afternoon against Dickey's dancing pitch.
''It was moving all over the place and we just couldn't get anything going against him,'' Gentry said.
Toronto, on the other hand, was able to break through for three runs off Oakland starter Jessie Chavez in the fifth. Brett Lawrie started the inning with a solo homer. Two more unearned runs scored later on Brandon Moss' fielding error. The Blue Jays have won 10 of 12 overall and now own a two game lead over the Yankees in the division. It's the latest in the season they've been in first place since July 6, 2000.
YANKEES FLIP THE SCRIPT: New York Yankees mounted their own ninth inning rally on Saturday. New York scored three times off closer Ronald Belisario to break the shutout and force extra innings. Brian McCann's two-out RBI bloop single being the biggest hit of the frame. Then, in the tenth, Jacoby Ellsbury connected on a two-out, solo home run that proved to be the difference in the Yankees 4-3 win.Less than 24 hours after blowing a ninth inning lead and falling to the Chicago White Sox on Adam Dunn's walkoff home run, the
The comeback spoiled eight scoreless innings for White Sox starter John Danks. The previously scuffling left-hander allowed three hits and struck out four in his deepest outing dating back to last Aug. 20. Danks even lobbied to start the ninth at 104 pitches, but Robin Ventura turned to his new closer instead. The move didn't pay off, and it certainly leaves more questions than answers with regular closer Matt Lindstrom shelved due to ankle surgery.
SPRINGER ARRIVES IN SEATTLE: Wearing their throwback color banded uniforms from years gone by, the Houston Astros caught a nice glimpse of their future in a 9-4 triumph over the Seattle Mariners. 24-year-old George Springer, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a right hip flexor, delivered his first career multi-homer game and knocked in a career-high five runs to pace the attack.
Springer started the scoring with a two-run homer off Brandon Maurer in the first inning and then added a second two-run shot off Maurer in the fifth. He finished his night off with an RBI groundout. That helped make a winner of Brett Oberholtzler, who entered the game 0-6.
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