Rays Win 2-1: Loney Belts Fifth Homer, Price Fans Nine
With each win the math becomes a little more friendly for the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Rays were sitting at 24-39 Manager Joe Maddon said that he had set the Rays short term goal at reaching .500 by the 100th game (50-50).
“I don’t think its impossible and it’s not unreachable to think about getting to 50-50 if we play our typical baseball.” Maddon said. “That would be my short term goal to get to 50-50. ‘That would be what 26-11?’ We’ve done that standing on our heads in the past. Once you get to that particular junction you can play it from there” – Read More Here
The Rays will probably fall short of reaching 50-50 but last night they won for the sixth time in their last seven games to improve to 37-49 on the year as they continue to march back toward the .500 mark and a possible playoff push.
David Price (7-7, 3.50) continued to dominate the opposition tossing an impressive 7 innings of work allowing one run (earned) on just four hist striking out nine and walking three.
His nine strikeouts left him just one short of reaching double digits for the sixth consecutive game a feat which hasn’t been accomplished in the major leagues since Randy Johnson did it with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002.
The margin for error for Price was very thin as the offense provided just two runs against Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 4.08 ERA) who worked 8 innings allowing the two runs (earned) on nine hits striking out seven and walking two.
The Rays scored their first run on a fourth inning RBI single off the bat of the scorching hot Logan Forsythe.
The Yankees countered the Rays with a single run in the bottom of the frame. With Derek Jeter at 3rd base and Jacoby Ellsbury at first David Price picked off Ellsbury and had him in a rundown. Ben Zobrist‘s throw hit Ellsbury in the back allowing Jeter to scamper in form third with the tying run.
James Loney regained the lead for the Rays by blasting a solo homer to lead off the top of the sixth inning. The soft-spoken Loney gave an entertaining post-game interview with Todd Kalas.
He made things interesting by walking Carlos Beltran to lead off the inning and then walked Kelly Johnson with 2-out to push pinch runner Ichiro Suzuki into scoring position but got Yangervis Solarte to ground out to James Loney to end the game. It was Balfour’s 11th save on the season.