Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rays avenge loss to Red Sox, win 4-3

Two of three ain't bad (but Boston's record is).

Posted By on Sun, May 27, 2012 at 6:00 PM

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Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or right in your face on a sunny day in Boston. That's what the Tampa Bay Rays did Sunday afternoon, taking game three against the Redsox before heading home to Tropicana Field with a share of the lead in the American League East.

Jeremy Hellickson, 2011 Rookie of the Year, took the hill for Tampa Bay and put on an impressive performance. Given a two-run lead to work with after the seventh inning stretch, Hellickson hit a speed bump, walking David Ortiz on four pitches and giving up a base hit to Kevin Youkilis. Well, that speed bump turned into 10-car pile up when Adrian Gonzalez stepped to the plate and took the 1-0 pitch over the Green Monster to give the home team a one-run edge with a three-run homer.

Hmm, that's not what Rays fans wanted to see... Sean Rodriguez decided to see what he could do about it. In the top of the ninth, with Ben Zobrist aboard with a walk, Rodriguez went yard over the Monster to give Tampa Bay the lead again.

Closer Fernando Rodney took the mound in the bottom of the ninth less than 24 hours ago, also with a lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia played the spoiler role last night with a walk-off two-run shot, so it's only natural he would be the first hitter Rodney faced in Sunday's matinee. Whereas Saltalamacchia knew to look for the fastball last night, Rodney got the leadoff man out with a couple of changeups. See what happens when you give a guy his first blown save of the year? He messes with you, smartass! Two outs later and the Rays head home tied for first, as the Baltimore Orioles had already lost to the Kansas City Royals.

Will Rhymes had an impressive day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI in the seventh. That's what you get for making the man faint, Boston.

"It was a nice day for him. Some really big hits, the last one, of course, really big," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.

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