The Tampa Bay Rays played The Texas Rangers on October 4, 2011. The Rays ended their AL wild-card streak, losing 4-3.
The Tampa Bay Rays play the Texas Rangers for Game 2 in Texas! Final score: 6-8 (Texas)
The Rays beat the New York Yankees to clinch a playoff spot in the 2011 playoffs!
by Steve Carney
Jeff Niemann left his first start in over three months early with arm issues, but Matt Joyce homered and drove in three runs as the Tampa Bay Rays snapped their two game skid with a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring with one out in the third, when Ryan Roberts lifted a solo home run off Henderson Alvarez. Jose Lobaton then drew a walk, and moved to second on a single by Desmond Jennings. After B.J. Upton grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out, Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 with a double to right, scoring Lobaton. Evan Longoria then walked, and Matt Joyce doubled to center to bring in Upton and Zobrist for a 4-0 lead.
Niemann started strong, but by the end of the third inning, his fastball had lost velocity, and manager Joe Maddon opted to go to the bullpen, bringing in J.P. Howell with one out in the fourth. Howell walked Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion launched one of the longest home runs in the history of Rogers Centre, ending the left-hander's 27 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak, and tightening the lead to 4-2.
Wade Davis came in to finish the inning, and threw two more hitless frames to earn his second win.
Joyce's solo homer in the eighth off Brad Lincoln extended the lead back to 5-2.
Toronto crept back into the game in the bottom of the eighth, as Joel Peralta allowed a leadoff double to Adeiny Hechaverria. Rajai Davis walked, and after Rasmus struck out, Encarnacion walked to load the bases, and Adam Lind singled up the middle to bring in Hechaverria and Davis to make it 5-4.
Maddon then had to go to Fernando Rodney, who walked Yorvit Torrealba to re-load the bases, but struck out Kelly Johnson and Moises Sierra to end the threat.
Rodney allowed a leadoff walk to Omar Vizquel to start the ninth. Hechavarria bunted him up a base, and after Rajai Davis flew out for the second out of the inning, Colby Rasmus singled into center. However, B.J. Upton came up throwing and gunned Vizquel down at the plate to end the game, and give Tampa Bay their first one-run win since August 8th.
The Rays can salvage a split Sunday with David Price taking on Ricky Romero. Coverage begins at 11:30 Sunday morning with This Week In Rays Baseball. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07.