The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a final score of 5-4 thanks to an exciting walk off triple by Jose Lobaton. The victory pulls the Rays to within 1-game of the division leading Boston Red Sox who fell to the New York Yankees by a final score of 10-3. The victory was the Rays 17 out of 21 games at home and their record improves to 69-51.
It was a special moment for Lobaton who had his family in the stands to watch him play including his father Tomas and his mother Maria who during this home stand are watching their son play for the first time in the United States.
Lobaton’s unlikely triple won the game but it would have only tied the game had it not been for what Joe Maddon called a “run blocking out” on a ball in the dirt with a runner at 3rd in the top of the 9th.
First Lobaton got an RBO in the top of the 9th & then when was the last time a catcher hit a walk-off triple? I don’t know. Incredible.
Jeremy Hellickson worked the first six innings allowing 3R/ER on 9 hits striking out 3 walking 1 and hitting a batter. He gave up a trio of 2-out RBI singles to Adam Lind in the 1st, Edwin Encarnacion in the 5th, and Anthony Gose in the 6th.
The Rays fell behind 1-0 in the first but tied it at 1-1 on a Jose Lobaton RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd.
They had to comeback again after they fell behind 3-1 and they cut the lead to 3-2 on a Matt Joyce solo home run in the bottom of the 6th. It was Joyce’s first home run since June 15th a career high span of 123 at-bats.
After Jake McGee worked a scoreless 7th the Rays came back to take the lead back from the Blue Jays in the bottom of the inning. Yunel Escobar drove in James Loney on a fielders choice to tie the game at 3-3 and then Sam Fuld drove in Kelly Johnson with a 2-out RBI single.
Joel Peralta came in to work the 8th inning and was unable to hold the bottom of the Blue Jays order off the board. After the first two hitters reached base they were advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a sacrifice bunt. Anthony Gose delivered the game tying run on a ground ball to Yunel Escobar who fired home but not in time to retire Brett Lawrie.
Fernando Rodney (5-3, 4.07 ERA) came in to work the top of the 9th and like Peralta the first two hitters reached base but good fortune smiled on Rodney as Edwin Encarnacion sent a line drive directly at Evan Longoria for the first out. Adam Lind grounded into a force out to put runners at the corner with 2-out. After being saved the costly run scoring wild pitch Rodney retired Brett Lawrie on a force out to end the game.