Jennings Walk Off Single Leads Rays Over Rangers 4-3

The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Rangers by a final score of 4-3 in 12 innings  The Rays move 1-game ahead of the Rangers for the top wild card. They extend their lead over the Cleveland Indians to 1.5 games who lost to the Kansas City Royals 7-2.

The Rays used pinch runner Freddy Guzman, who hadn’t appeared in a major league game since 2009, to steal a base with 2-out in the bottom of the 11th trailing 3-2. David DeJesus delivered a 2-out 2-strike RBI single to tie the game  off Rangers closer Joe Nathan.

The Rangers got a leadoff double in the top of the 12th and were unable to push the run across. The inning ending as Brandon Gomes came in and struck out Ian Kinsler on 3-pitches with runners at 2nd and 3rd.

The Rays manufactured the winning run in the bottom of the 12th as Jose Lobaton led off with a single. Sam Fuld came in to pinch hit and he moved into scoring position on a 2-strike sacrifice bunt by Yunel Escobar. Desmond Jennings who had already reached base 3 times on the night (2 hits and a hit by pitch) delivered the game winning walk off single to score Sam Fuld.

The victory goes to Brandon Gomes (2-1, 6.61 ERA) and Joseph Ortiz (2-2, 4.26 ERA) took the loss.

Archer_TEX_SEPTArcher’s Line

Chris Archer worked 5 innings allowing 2R/ER on 4 hits striking out 5 and walking 1.

Defense Lets Archer Down 

With runners at 1st and 2nd and 2-outs in the top of the 2nd inning Leonys Martin sent a line drive to center field that Desmond Jennings initially broke in on and he was unable to recover as the ball sailed over his head resulting in a 2-RBI triple.

Sean Rodriguez Delivers

The Rays tied it up and received a much needed 2-run homer to drive in Delmon Young from 1st to tie the score at 2-2. It was Rodriguez 5th home run of the season.

Struggling Peralta Regains Form

Joel Peralta has struggled in September allowing 8R/6ER on 7 hits and 7 walks in just 6.1 innings of work. His last outing came against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon in which he took the loss. He allowed 4 earned runs on 3 hits including 2 home runs to allow the Twins to come back from 4-2 deficit.

With a few days rest he appeared to have better movement on his breaking pitches. He retired the side in order by striking out Mitch Moreland, retiring  Jim Adduci on a soft line drive to Sean Rodriguez and getting Jurickson Profar to foul out to Evan Longoria.

He came out to begin the 8th inning and retired Leonys Martin on a fly ball to center field before departing for Jake McGee.

Jake McGee 

After McGee retired Ian Kinsler on a soft fly out for the 2nd out of the inning Elvis Andrus singled. McGee kept close tabs on Andrus and kept him from stealing and retired Alex Rios on a infield pop fly to James Loney.

Fernando Rodney

Entered the game with the score tied 2-2 in the 9th inning. Retired Adrian Beltre on a pop out to 3rd, A.J. Pierzynski flew out to Sean Rodriguez who made a diving catch on the soft line drive, and Mitch Moreland grounded out harmlessly to second.

Jamey Wright 

Came in to work the 9th and retired Jim Adduci on a ground out to 2nd, Jurickson Profar grounded out to James Loney, and struck out Leonys Martin to end the inning.

Roberto Hernandez

Ian Kinsler sent a fly ball that sent David DeJesus back to the wall for the first out.  He hit Elvis Andrus to put  the go-ahead run on base.

Alex Torres

Came in with Elvis Andrus at first, 1-out, and Alex Rios due up. He retired Rios on a foul out to catcher Jose Lobaton.  Adrian Beltre ran the count full which enabled Andrus to get a running start and Wil Myers appeared to make a lackluster effort to get to the ball and deliver it back to the infield. Andrus did not stop at 3rd base and kept coming all the way around from first to score the go ahead run.

Pinch Hitting Woes

The Rays pinch hitters entered the night hitting a combined .199 (29 for 146) which is below the league average of .208.

8th inning (2-out) – Matt Joyce pinch hit for Delmon Young and popped out to 3rd base to end the inning to drop his pinch hitting average to .185 (5 for 27).

9th inning (lead off) -David DeJesus pinch hit for Sean Rodriguez and Ron Washington brought in lefty Neal Cotts. DeJesus flew out to center to drop his pinch hitting average to .045 (1 for 22) which includes an 0 for 5 with the Rays.

9th inning (2-out) – Luke Scott pinch hit for Jose Molina and struck out to drop his pinch hitting average to .250 (5 for 20).

Designated Runner Comes Through:

Freddy Guzman who was just added to the team specifically for the purpose of being a designated runner made his Rays debut pinch running for Matt Joyce who drew a 2-out walk.

His last game in the major leagues came with the Yankees at Tropicana Field in 2009 and he stole a base.

He managed to get into scoring position by stealing 2nd base and David DeJesus singled to drive him in.

Rangers Rally In Twelfth:

After the Rays tied the game in the 11th the Rangers put the pressure back on the Rays thanks to a pinch hit leadoff double by Jeff Baker. Adam Rosales came in to pinch run for Baker and Craig Gentry walked.

Jurickson Profar laid a sacrifice bunt to Evan Longoria who fired to second base to retire Gentry to put runners on the corner with 1-out.

With Leonys Martin batting Profar stole second base to eliminate the double play.  Martin hit a soft line drive to Yunel Escobar for the second out of the inning.  With right hander Ian Kinsler due up Torres was lifted from the game for Brandon Gomes.

Brandon Gomes

With runners at 2nd and 3rd and 2-out Gomes came in to face Ian Kinsler and struck him out on 3 pitches.

Jose Lobaton Starts Rally:

Jose Lobaton singled to lead off the bottom of the 12th inning. Sam Fuld came in to pinch run and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Yunel Escobar (on a 1-2 count!). Desmond Jennings made amends for his earlier fielding miscue by delivering a walk off single to drive in Fuld.

Failures With Runners In Scoring Position

The Rays were 2 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

Bottom of 3rd – (2-outs) Yunel Escobar moves to 2nd base after Desmond Jennings hit by pitch but Ben Zobirst grounds out to Derek Holland to end the inning.

Bottom of 4th – (2-outs) Delmon Young moves to 3rd on a double by Sean Rodriguez but James Loney grounded out to Mitch Moreland to end the inning.

Bottom of the 5th – (2-outs) Desmond Jennings doubles past a diving Jim Adduci but Ben Zobrist lines out to 3rd to end the inning.

Bottom of 11th – (2-outs) David DeJesus stole second base but James Loney struck out.

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Tomorrow’s Finale:

The Rays will send Matt Moore (15-3, 3.11 ERA) up against Yu Darvish (12-9, 2.79 ERA) at 7:10 p.m.

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.