Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rays Outlast Redsox to Even the ALCS

By JC De La Torre

The Tampa Bay Rays won a wild shoot out at Tropicana Field over the Boston Red Sox 9-8 to even the American League Championship Series at 1. It was a rough night for pitchers, as both starters Scott Kazmir for Tampa Bay and Josh Beckett of Boston, were touched for 2 runs in the first inning.

In the top half, it was Jason Bay doubling home David Ortiz and Kevin Youklis to give Boston a 2-0 lead. In the bottom half, the Rays would answer with Evan Longoria's two run blast to tie it at 2. After a scoreless 2nd inning, Dustin Pedroia homered at the top of the third to give Boston the lead. In the bottom half of the third, BJ Upton homered, then Evan Longoria doubled. Carl Crawford would single, bringing home Longoria to give the Rays their first lead of the series 4-3.

After a scoreless fourth for Boston, Cliff Floyd homered for the Rays to give them a 5-3 advantage. That's when all hell broke loose in the 5th inning. In the top half of the 5th, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youklis, and Jason Bay each hit solo home runs to give the Red Sox a 6-5 advantage. Head to the bottom of the 5th, Upton doubled, then was singled home by Pena to tie it at 6. Longoria doubled to left to score Pena, and advanced to third on the throw to the plate.

Carl Crawford singled again scoring Longoria to give the Rays an 8-6 advantage after 5. Both Beckett and Kazmir were out in this inning. In the 6th, Pedroia would double and then be singled home by Bay to close the Red Sox within 1, but the Red Sox would leave two on. The 7th would go scoreless, but the Red Sox would tie the game again in the top of the 8th, with the amazing Pedroia, who had an unbelievable game, scored on Dan Wheeler's wild pitch. In the top of 9th, a two-out double by Coco Crisp, Wheeler struck up Jacoby Ellsbury to send it to the bottom of the 9th.

In the Rays half, 2 down and Aki Iwamurra on first, Red Sox Manager brought in closer Jonathan Papelbon to face Carlos Pena. Papelbon got Pena to strike out and off to extra innings we went. A game this good couldn't be decided in 9.

Wheeler, working his 3rd inning, went 1-2-3 against the meat of the Red Sox order in the top of the 10th. Papelbon matched in the bottom of the 10th.

Wheeler stayed in for the 11th, struck out Jason Bay, then walked Lowrie. Rays manager Joe Maddon called on the rookie, David Price to face JD Drew. Price walked Drew, then struck out Kotsay, then got Coco Crisp to ground out.

Timlin replaced Papelbon in the bottom of the 11th, and walked Navarro. Fernando Perez came in to pinch run for Dioner. Timlin then walked Ben Zobrist to put the winning run on 2nd with nobody out. Barlett advanced both runners with a well timed hit-and-run. 2nd and 3rd, no one out for Iwamurra. Iwamurra was intenionally walked and BJ Upton had the shot at the winning hit. Upton hit a short pop fly, but it was enough to score Perez, who beat the throw.

RAYS WIN! RAYS WIN! RAYS WIN! What a game, what a win for Tampa Bay!

So now the Rays head to Boston, needing to win a game in Fenway Park to take back home field in this series.

No comments: