They could have wilted in the steamy night air. They could have given into the demands of this long road trip and the fatigue that has set in by now after crossing the country twice. They could have packed it in after the Orioles rallied for the lead once against David Price, then took the lead again on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth. Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays kept playing, and because they kept playing, they played another extra-inning ballgame before finally dealing Baltimore a 7-5 loss in 11 innings. "The story," Ben Zobrist said, "was the way our team battled back there." And that's coming from a guy who was a story himself, delivering an extra-base hit in each of his last four at-bats and scoring the tying run in the ninth and the winning run in the 11th. "He really set the table for us," Longoria said. There were a lot of table-setters and busboys Saturday, from Johnny Damon, who singled and scored the game's first run in the first inning, to Casey Kotchman, who drove in the tying run in the ninth and an insurance run in the 11th, to Longoria, who drove home Damon in the first inning and Zobrist in the ninth. There were sparkling defensive plays by B.J. Upton, who did his Willie Mays impersonation and ran down a line drive by Adam Jones with an over-the-shoulder catch at the center field wall in the first inning, and Justin Ruggiano, who leaped above the left field wall in the seventh to rob J.J. Hardy of a home run. And Reid Brignac saved two runs in the eighth inning when he was spun around and knocked to the dirt while fielding a hard grounder by Hardy before turning it into the final out of the inning, leaving the bases loaded and the Orioles' lead at 5-4. "Just go around the field," Joe Maddon said. "Somebody contributed." The Rays improved to 5-4 on this 11-game, four-city, coast-to-coast road trip that ends Monday with a makeup game in Detroit.
Zobrist leads Rays to 11-inning win
Tampa Tribune | Jun 12