September 28, 2011
Things didn't look good for the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. With the team trailing the New York Yankees by a run and the Red Sox leading the Orioles up in Boston, it appeared as if Tampa Bay's run might soon be put in severe jeopardy. The Yankees had loaded the bases in the fifth inning and there were no outs.
But as we've learned the last month, some Rays have all the luck. Watch what happens as third baseman Evan Longoria(notes) fields a Russell Martin(notes) chopper that couldn't have been thrown to him any better:
Ah. There are few things in baseball that scream "planetary alignment" than a triple play and even more so considering the Rays were playing in such a big game. It was only the third triple play in Tampa Bay's history and first since Sept. 2, 2006.
Matt Joyce's(notes) three-run homer in the seventh lifted the Rays to a 5-3 win that kept them tied with Boston for the AL wild-card lead. But the day's hero said he may have not had the chance were it not for the defensive brilliance of the infield.
"You're kind of in the 'uh-oh' mind frame," Joyce told the St. Pete Times. "That just changed everything."
My favorite part of the play was Sean Rodriguez(notes) doing the splits at first to get the job done. That's a pretty killer move for the Rays' utility man, who was playing first for just the fourth time all season.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Rays' trip to postseason is 'beyond fiction'
• Playoff-bound MLB manager tweets his thanks to foe
• Baseball's regular-season finales simply wild