ST. PETERSBURG (CBS) A late rally in the eighth inning was all it took for the Rays to regain the lead and go on to win a 3-2 thriller against the Seattle Mariners Friday night.
With Seattle ace Felix Hernandez on the mound with a 2-1 lead heading in to the eighth inning, Tampa Bay had seemingly given up against “The King” as he continued to sit down Rays’ batters the entire night.
The bottom of the eight inning would be a completely different story. Tampa Bay figured out Hernandez and got a rally going, which would later result in one of the best come-from-behind wins the Rays have had all season long.
Victory is sweet, and even sweeter when you can do it against the 2010 Cy Young Award winner and one of the best hurlers in baseball.
The Rays (67-56) are now eleven games over .500 and are riding a three-game win streak heading into tonight’s game. With wins for Boston and New York last night Tampa Bay still remains 8 1/2 games back in the AL Wild Card race.
The rally in the eighth began with a single by Sam Fuld, then Johnny Damon followed with an infield single and beat the throw out at first because of some hard base running. The inning was still alive, and with two runners on base Evan Longoria slapped a single to drive in Fuld to tie the game at 2-2.
Ben Zobrist came to the plate next and blooped a shallow single to center to drive in Damon for the go ahead run and a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth.
Kyle Farnsworth came in to close it out in the ninth and did just that, picking up his 22nd save of the year and shutting the door on another big win for the Rays.
This kind of win can do a lot for a ball club that knows the season is far from over. The Rays will start Jeremy Hellickson on the mound in tonight’s game; the first pitch is thrown at 7:10 ET.