Rays
Orioles
11 - 6 Final
  for this game

Iwamura, Rays one step closer to division title

Sep 25, 2008 - 3:57 AM By Sean Burns PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Not content with simply inching closer to their first American League East title, the Tampa Bay Rays are doing things with flair.

Down six runs after two innings on Wednesday, the Rays scored five in the fourth and took the lead with two more in the sixth before widening the margin en route to an 11-6 victory, their 12th straight over the Baltimore Orioles.

The win kept Tampa Bay's (96-62) lead at three games over the Boston Red Sox (93-65) with four remaining for each. The Rays need one more win or a Red Sox loss to clinch the division title.

"There were so many good things tonight," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "People contributed up and down the lineup.

"I tell you, when you start believing in yourself that strongly, a lot of weird things happen for you, in a positive way. You have to believe it can happen for you, and our guys do."

Tampa Bay, which swept Baltimore in the four-game series, closes out its regular season with four games at Detroit. Boston, the defending division and World Series champions and a 5-4 winner over Cleveland on Wednesday, has one game left against the Indians before hosting the New York Yankees for three games to close out its regular season.

In lowering its magic number to one, Tampa Bay had to first overcome a rough first inning from starter Edwin Jackson (13-11), as the righty gave up six straight hits to open the contest, the last being a base-clearing double from Luke Scott that made it 5-0.

Scott was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a triple, though, and the clean slate seemed to do Jackson good, as he gave up one more run - a second-inning RBI single by Nick Markakis - before departing in the sixth having allowed 10 hits and walking two while striking out three.

"It wasn't a matter of throwing harder, I was just trying to keep it under control," Jackson said. "For me to hold them there, everyone did their share. It could have snowballed on us, but everybody kept digging."

Despite the rough start, Maddon was pleased with his starter's effort.

"We've got to give (Jackson) a lot of credit," Maddon said. "He had a tough inning, but he settled and gave us a chance to win and our guys responded."

Much like the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader, when the Rays rallied for six runs in the eighth inning to change a four-run deficit into a 7-5 win, it took a while for Tampa Bay's bats to show up.

But in the fourth, Baltimore starter Radhames Liz gave them the opening they needed, walking two and hitting another batter in addition to giving up a pair of singles. Liz also made a crucial throwing error to allow another run to score as Tampa Bay closed within 5-4.

"It wasn't the way we planned it, but that's the way it worked for us tonight," said Gabe Gross, who drew the first of three bases-loaded walks for the Rays. "We have a lot of patient hitters, so we drew walks when we could and that was big for us tonight."

Two innings later, Akinori Iwamura gave Tampa the lead for good, lacing a triple down the first base line off reliever Brian Burres (7-10) to score Fernando Perez and Jason Bartlett.

A four-run seventh put the game away as the Rays capitalized on two bases-loaded walks - giving them three in the game - and a two-run single by Dioner Navarro.

Markakis had three hits for Baltimore, but was cut down at home plate trying to add an insurance run on a double steal in the sixth.

The loss was the Orioles' ninth straight as the club dropped to 4-18 in the month of September.

"It's disappointing (to lose the lead), but it's not the first time I've seen it," Orioles manager David Trembley said. "I thought you saw the resiliency of our club in the first when we came out and banged the heck out of it and put five on the board. But you could imagine what it's like when you're standing out there and you're walking people and you're hitting people and giving the lead right back."

The win keeps the Rays in the race for the American League's best record. They entered the day two back of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (97-60), who are playing the Seattle Mariners.

"I love the situation we're in," Maddon said. "The guys are going to find the energy to come after it tomorrow, because when you're in that kind of moment, you find it within yourselves."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 5 0 2 0 4 0 11 8 0
    BALTIMORE 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 12 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - EDWIN JACKSON, CHAD BRADFORD (6TH), TREVER MILLER (7TH) AND
    DIONER NAVARRO
    BAL - RADHAMES LIZ, BRIAN BURRES (6TH), BOB MCCRORY
    (6TH), ROCKY CHERRY (8TH), ALB

    Sep 24 10:49 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DIONER NAVARRO SCORED B.J. UPTON AND EVAN
    LONGORIA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 11
    BALTIMORE 6 END TOP, 8TH

    Rays 11, Orioles 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 24 10:22 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO CLIFF FLOYD SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C FLOYD ON FIRST, E LONGORIA ON SECOND, B
    UPTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 9
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D NAVARRO (.293, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Rays 9, Orioles 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 24 10:18 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO EVAN LONGORIA SCORED FERNANDO PEREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E LONGORIA ON FIRST, B UPTON ON SECOND, J
    BARTLETT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 8
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C FLOYD (.272, 0-FOR-4)

    Rays 8, Orioles 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 24 10:15 PM
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    Rays 8, Orioles 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 24 10:15 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 7, Orioles 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 24 9:43 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED FERNANDO PEREZ AND JASON
    BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A IWAMURA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays 7, Orioles 6  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 24 9:13 PM
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    Rays 5, Orioles 6  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 24 8:48 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY AKINORI IWAMURA SCORED ERIC HINSKE.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.273, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays 5, Orioles 6  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 24 8:31 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BARTLETT SCORED DIONER NAVARRO. ERROR BY
    RADHAMES LIZ ALLOWED GABE GROSS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, E HINSKE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.274, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays 4, Orioles 6  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 24 8:28 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERIC HINSKE SCORED EVAN LONGORIA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E HINSKE ON FIRST, G GROSS ON SECOND, D
    NAVARRO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J BARTLETT (.288, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 2, Orioles 6  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 24 8:27 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO GABE GROSS SCORED CARLOS PENA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G GROSS ON FIRST, D NAVARRO ON SECOND, E
    LONGORIA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    BALTIMORE 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E HINSKE (.244, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Orioles 6  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 24 8:26 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK MARKAKIS SCORED BRIAN ROBERTS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MARKAKIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BALTIMORE 6 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: A JONES (.273, 1-FOR-1)

    Rays 0, Orioles 6  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 24 7:55 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LUKE SCOTT SCORED ADAM JONES, AUBREY HUFF AND
    OSCAR SALAZAR.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BALTIMORE 5 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: R HERNANDEZ (.257, 15 HR, 65 RBI)

    Rays 0, Orioles 5  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 24 7:30 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY OSCAR SALAZAR SCORED NICK MARKAKIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, O SALAZAR ON FIRST, A HUFF ON SECOND, A
    JONES ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BALTIMORE 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: L SCOTT (.258, 23 HR, 62 RBI)

    Rays 0, Orioles 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 24 7:27 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUBREY HUFF SCORED BRIAN ROBERTS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HUFF ON FIRST, A JONES ON SECOND, N
    MARKAKIS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BALTIMORE 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: O SALAZAR (.282, 5 HR, 14 RBI)

    Rays 0, Orioles 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 24 7:24 PM
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    Rays vs. OriolesSep 24 6:00 PM
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    Rays vs. OriolesSep 24 9:21 AM