Rays win marathon on Longoria’s homer

by Gary Shelton on May 29, 2017 · 1 comment

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Longoria knocked in the winning run the 15th./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Longoria knocked in the winning run the 15th./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Monday, 2 a.m.

It was the game that wouldn't end.

Not when the Rays took an early lead and blew it. Not when the Rays came from behind in the ninth. Not when Tampa Bay went ahead in the 14th. Not when Minnesota came back. Not with 18 hits. Not with three errors.

It wasn't until back-to-back home runs by Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison could the Rays walk away with a keeper of a win in an 8-6 decision over the Minnesota Twins.

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"We're all kind of just swinging at that point, hoping that the guy

Logan Morrison hit his 14th home run./CARMEN MANDATO

Morrisons season in stark contrast to last year./CARMEN MANDATO

makes a mistake," Longoria said. "He's usually around the plate so the plan was just to go up there and be aggressive."

The victory was one of the best for the Rays this season, and it allowed Tampa Bay to win another series. The Rays overcame three errors, including two by outfielders Steven Souza and Kevin Kiermaier.

“It's satisfying,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “I was really impressed with the guys, the way they hung in there. Longo, he's done it for a long time. He's had those types of at bats to extend an inning or get the big hit. Corey prides himself on being in those spots.”

Tampa Bay took a 3-1 lead, a lead that seemed safe enough when starting pitcher Alex Cobb struck out two batters with the bases loaded in the fifth. But Minnesota came back to take 5-3 going into the ninth.

Dickerson had four hits to lead the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Dickerson had four hits to lead the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Evan Longoria drove home one run with a double, then forced extra innings when his slide eluded Twins' catcher Jason Castro.

In the 14th, Corey Dickerson's fourth hit of the night drove home Michael Martinez with the go-ahead run. But Minnesota tied the game on a single by pinch-hitter Robbie Grossman to keep the game going.

 "Everyone emptied their clip today,” said Souza. “It took 18 of our 25 guys to win."

Longoria hit his seventh homer of the year, and Morrison hit his 14th, as the Rays closed out the game. This time a year ago, Morrison still didn't have a home run or an RBI.

Dickerson had his 22nd multi-hit game.

Erasmo Ramirez got the save, which is interesting because Cash said he intends to start Ramirez today.

Souza knocked in the tying run in the ninth./STEVEN MUNCIE

Souza knocked in the tying run in the ninth./STEVEN MUNCIE

“We didn't do the best things early on,” Cash said. “They were able to overcome that. We talk about close games and finding a way to win. Tonight, we found a way.”After Ryan Garton allowed three runs out of the bullpen, the Rays got good efforts from Ryan Stanek, Tommy Hunter, Alex Colome and Rameriz. Of the bunch, only Colome gave up a run, and he was the winner.

The team now travels to Texas. Ramirez, who threw only 12 pitches, will start against Martin Perez of Texas.

Erasmo got the save Sunday, the start Monday./CARMEN MANDATO

Erasmo got the save Sunday, the start Monday./CARMEN MANDATO

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Larry Beller May 29, 2017 at 7:29 am

What a clutch performance by Evan Longoria. He gets a huge, got to have it double in the ninth and makes a great slide to score the tying run. Then he wins it with a homer in the 15th all while playing stellar defense on a bad foot. You can see the exhaustion in his face on the picture above. The Rays win in spite of their manager who resembles a tone deaf orchestra conductor. He just has no feel for the ebb and flow of the game. He doesn’t pinch hit at the right time and leaves in pitchers when they need to be pulled. I thought he would be better by this point but I’m not seeing it. But great job by the Rays.

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