Take what they give you, is how Matt Joyce described his rather interesting night at the plate Wednesday. Nobody covering third because of the over-shift? Bunt for a hit up the third base line. A fastball right over the heart of the plate? Crush it. Joyce did both in span of two at-bats – his only two at-bats – and both were huge moments in the Tampa Bay Rays first victory of the season. The bunt started a rally and the home run ended the game, as the Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 on Joyce's walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in front of 15,599 thoroughly entertained fans at Tropicana Field. “It's crazy,” Joyce said. “I guess they say everything happens for a reason. To get the first win out of the way, to have it in dramatic fashion kind of seems to be the Rays Way of doing things.” The Rays trailed 3-0 after the first inning, 4-0 in the middle of the sixth inning and 5-4 in the middle of the seventh inning. They took a 7-5 lead into the eighth inning only to see Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney give it away. Rodney, making his first appearance of the season, blew his first save since Aug. 18 of last year. He allowed his first run since that night, too, snapping a streak of 19 straight scoreless appearances.
Joyce walk-off homer sends Rays by Orioles
Tampa Tribune | Apr 4