NEW YORK (AP)—Forget about the hip-hop and hard rock that reverberates through most big league clubhouses after an important win. The Tampa Bay Rays opted for something a little more fitting of a soggy Sunday.
“I can see clearly now,” Johnny Nash’s voice blared through a small stereo stuffed inside a locker, “the rain is gone.”
B.J. Upton(notes) homered and matched a career high with four RBIs, Carl Crawford(notes) drove in a pair of runs and the Rays awoke from an offensive slumber with a 10-6 victory over the New York Mets, taking a road series twice interrupted by rain.
The highest-scoring team in the majors managed only three runs in each of its last four games, but got four in the fifth inning and four more in the seventh, when Upton’s two-run shot off Bobby Parnell(notes) (2-3) helped the Rays regain a lead they’d squandered an inning earlier.
“That ball was properly struck,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said, adding an “Uff!” for emphasis.
“I felt that offensively we could still score on their bullpen,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “I was obviously wrong about that.”
To make matters worse for Mets fans, a light sprinkle turned into a deluge that halted play for 34 minutes and sent them scurrying for the concourses—and in many cases the exits. That came after a 73-minute delay during a 3-1 Rays win the night before.
The Mets led 2-0 before Upton’s two-run double in the fifth, and Crawford followed with a two-run single for the fifth consecutive hit off ineffective Mets starter Mike Pelfrey(notes). He escaped the inning before getting pulled for a pinch hitter.
“If you don’t execute your pitches, they’re going to hurt you,” Pelfrey said.
Maddon also turned to his bullpen early, yanking Jeff Niemann(notes) after four innings and 78 pitches—and with good reason. Tampa Bay relievers had allowed only two runs in their last 33 1-3 innings.
So much for that statistic.
Wright doubled into the gap in right-center leading off the sixth, and Ryan Church(notes) drew a one-out walk. Schneider followed with his second three-run homer of the series, a liner off the overhang in right that gave New York a short-lived 5-4 lead.
“It was good to get a little redemption for myself,” Schneider said. “But what I’m really trying to do is just have a good at-bat.”
The Rays know about hitting long balls too, getting homers from Carlos Pena(notes) and Ben Zobrist(notes) in Saturday’s win. Upton provided the power this time, driving a 2-1 pitch from Parnell out to left in the seventh inning, and Longoria and Kapler drove in two more runs after that to make it 8-5.
“I just happened to put the barrel out quick enough,” said Upton, whose homer was only the second to land in the second deck in left at expansive Citi Field, according to hittracker.com. Carlos Beltran(notes) also did it May 9 against Pittsburgh.
“B.J.’s home run was magnificent,” Maddon said. “Again, you get that momentum coming back your way and we just worked our way through it after that.”
NOTES: Plate umpire Jerry Crawford left in the second inning with lower back pain. First base umpire Scott Barry finished behind the plate. … Mets catchers have 48 RBIs, tops among NL catchers. … Rays LHP Scott Kazmir(notes) (right quad strain) plans to throw 85 pitches in a rehab start for Triple-A Durham on Monday. … Mets starters John Maine(notes) (right shoulder weakness) and Oliver Perez(notes) (patella tendinitis) each plan to start in a doubleheader Monday for Class A St. Lucie.