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
David Price was good. Clay Buchholz was better. But B.J. Upton was the best Thursday night
Upton's three-run homer capped a six-run ninth inning that saw the Tampa Bay Rays snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, beating the Boston Red Sox 7-4.
Both teams traded scoreless frames until the top of the sixth inning, when Jose Iglesias led off with a single against Tampa Bay starter David Price. After Jacoby Ellsbury struck out and Dustin Pedroia flew out, Iglesias moved to second on a wild pitch, and Cody Ross brought him home with a double off the wall in left-centerfield. Ryan Lavarnway added to the lead with an RBI single to plate Ross for a 2-0 lead.
The Rays had their chances to get into the game early, but stranded runners in scoring position in the second, third, fifth, and seventh innings.
Boston added to the lead in the eighth, as Lavarnway doubled with one out to end Price's night, and his relief, Wade Davis, gave up a triple to Mauro Gomez to make the deficit 3-0.
Buchholz left after seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits.
The Rays finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth, as Desmond Jennings doubled off Junichi Tazawa to start the inning, moved to third on a flyout by B.J. Upton, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ben Zobrist.
Iglesias made it 4-1 in the top of the ninth with his first career home run, a solo shot off J.P. Howell.
Boston turned to Andrew Bailey for the ninth, who gave up back-to-back singles to Matt Joyce and Jeff Keppinger to start the inning. Luke Scott grounded out to move the runners up a base, and Carlos Pena's single brought in Joyce to make it 4-2. Rich Thompson, pinch-running for Pena, stole second base, and pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt drew a walk to load the bases. Jennings then laced a single to center to bring in Keppinger and Thompson to tie the game, and after Bobby Valentine lifted Bailey for Vincente Padilla, Upton finished the game by blasting a 2-1 fastball over the centerfield wall.
The win is Tampa Bay's second straight, but they remain six and a half games out of the American League East lead, and five and a half games out of the Wild Card.
Tampa Bay welcomes Toronto for three games starting Friday.