Longoria Powers Rays to Eighth Straight Victory
Cellular Field featured a great pitching matchup Thursday night, as Jake Peavy took the mound for Chicago against James Shields.
The ballgame was scoreless until the fourth, when the Rays jumped on the scoreboard via a Carlos Pena sac fly.
The Sox would get that run back quickly in the bottom half of the inning, when Dayan Viciedo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Shields' control had been spotty all night, as his four walks (and two HBP) prevented him from going too deep in to the game.
The Rays would immediately get back the lead when Luke Scott led off the top of the fifth with a solo blast to right field.
Chicago then again tied it back up in the bottom half of the inning, an inning where the Rays and Shields were lucky to have escaped with just a single run allowed. The White Sox loaded the bases with the meat of the order due up, but a double play groundball by Paul Konerko would plate the only run to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
The game would remain deadlocked until the the ninth inning, when Evan Longoria delivered the game's big hit, belting a game-winning solo home run over the right-centerfield fence.
Fernando Rodney then successfully closed out the ballgame for his franchise record-breaking 46th save of the season. Rodney broke the team record that was set by Rafael Soriano in 2010.
The Rays are now 86-70 on the season. With Oakland losing Thursday, this win puts the Rays within two games of the second Wild Card spot with six games to go.
Notable Stat Lines:
- J. Shields: 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K through 6.2 IP (117 pitches, 69 strikes)
- B. Zobrist: 1-4, R
- E. Longoria: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
- L. Scott: 2-3, HR, R, RBI
Rays News and Notes
- Sam Fuld (hamstring) came in to pinch-hit and then stayed in to run when he reached base.
- Jose Molina (quad) remains out but says he feels some improvement.
- The Rays go for their ninth straight win tonight as Jeremy Hellickson (9-10, 3.20) takes on Gavin Floyd (10-11, 4.56); first pitch at 8:10 ET.