ST. PETERSBURG (CBS) After a 4-3 loss Monday night, the Rays find themselves facing elimination in game four of the American League Division Series. Today’s game at Tropicana Field is a must win for Tampa Bay, and a win for the Rays tonight would shift the series to Texas for the final game of the ALDS.
Playing as an underdog is nothing new for Tampa Bay, but the Rangers will put them to the test ina pivotal game four this afternoon.
David Price got the start yesterday in game three at Tropicana Field, but a four-run seventh for Texas crushed the Rays’ hopes of taking a 2-1 series lead.
Price threw six shutout innings and ran into no trouble until the top half of the seventh, when Mike Napoli blasted a tw0-run homer to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The Rays had already posted one run in the fourth on a solo homer by Desmond Jennings. Price gave up another single before he was pulled and replaced by Brandon Gomes.
He made a short appearance then was yanked because he allowed two costly walks, which prompted Joe Maddon to dig deeper into his bullpen and give J.P Howell a shot at the Rangers’ lineup. He faced Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded and gave up a single, a crushing blow that brought in two runs to give Texas a 4-1 lead.
The Rays rallied to score two runs in the seventh and eighth innings from a sacrifice hit from Shaun Rodriguez and and a solo home run by Desmond Jennings, but the effort was stalled in the ninth and Texas grabbed a big win on the road.
The Rays’ need to play like it’s their last game, because it very well could be. Their season rests on this game, and their fate will be decided before the sun goes down in St. Petersburg tonight.