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Rays stave off elimination with late rally

Oct 9, 2010, 8:47 PM EDT

Things appeared bleak when Ian Kinsler homered in the top of the seventh to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead and knock Matt Garza out of the game, but the Rays came back Saturday night and won Game 3 in Texas on the strength of some timely hitting and a fine performance from their bullpen.
Tampa Bay went on top in the eighth with a rally that started on a one-out double from Dan Johnson. Carlos Pena singled in pinch-runner Desmond Jennings to tie the game off Darren Oliver. The Rangers then went to Darren O’Day, who struck out B.J. Upton for the second out of the inning. Oddly, that was it for O’Day. Even though manager Ron Washington was already deep into his pen, he decided to go to Neftali Feliz in the tie game. Feliz, who was also shaky in Game 1, walked Jason Bartlett and then gave up a go-ahead single to John Jaso before getting out of the inning.
After that, there was more stellar work from the Tampa Bay bullpen and finally some power from the Rays. Joaquin Benoit, pitching against his former club, worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena homered in the top of the ninth to make it a 6-2 contest and sap the drama from the bottom of the ninth. The Rangers though did get a solo homer for Nelson Cruz before the game ended at 6-3.
The Rangers will again try to finish off the Rays on Sunday, when they’ll throw right-hander Tommy Hunter. The Rays are set to counter with rookie Wade Davis.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 9, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Doesn’t matter because the Rays will NOT beat Cliff Lee. So this was just delaying the inevitable.

  2. Ick McWang - Oct 9, 2010 at 9:50 PM

    the rays have beaten lee before, this year and years past. he’s not unhittable. he just doesn’t walk anyone, thats it.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 9, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    Not in the postseason. Dude is unbeatable in the postseason. Just like the Yankers beating on the Twinkies, I’ll believe Lee can be beaten when I see it.

  4. Giant Space Ants - Oct 9, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Ugh…twas a great experience, but so disappointing. I like Ron Washington, I really do…but he messed that game up through his over-managing. He may be the only one who thinks O’Day can’t go more than one batter- but if that’s what he thinks, then he shouldn’t be on the roster (ideally, Ron would use him longer). Frankly he did that with every reliever tonight, except for Oliver, who he used too long. Aargh…let’s just get to Davis early, and let the first home playoff victory in franchise history be a series clincher.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 9, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Don’t worry bout it GSA…Lee will win game five no matter what happens. Problem is that he can’t pitch 4 games in the ALCS, so the Yankers will win that series in 6.

  6. Giant Space Ants - Oct 9, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    Yeah, I do feel confident about Lee (who wouldn’t). Just can’t look at the franchise history and feel that there’s no way at all the Rangers won’t blow it- though it’s still unlikely. As for the potential Yankee series, I don’t think Lee would be needed to win all 4 games, but it would be a tough series, one in which the Yankees would absolutely deserve to be favorites.

  7. SirSuperDank - Oct 10, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    Tampa rays!!! World series championship 2010!!!! Wooooooooo

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