Cubs
Rays
2 - 3 Final
  for this game

Rays hold off Cubs

Jun 18, 2008 - 5:50 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- First, rookie Evan Longoria delivered at the plate. Then, with the game on the line, he came through on defense.

Cliff Floyd and Longoria hit solo home runs and five Tampa Bay Rays pitchers combined to shut down the Chicago Cubs in a 3-2 interleague victory Tuesday.

Floyd homered in the second inning and Longoria in the sixth while four relievers allowed only two hits in 4 1/3 scoreless innings as the Rays improved to 23-4 in their last 27 home games.

Longoria also provided the defensive play of the game. With the Cubs trailing, 3-1, and one out in the ninth, Mark DeRosa singled and pinch hitter Kosuke Fukudome doubled. DeRosa scored on a passed ball.

After Troy Percival struck out pinch hitter Micah Hoffpauir and walked Ronny Cedeno, Reed Johnson laid down a bunt to third, but Longoria made a barehanded play and threw out Johnson to end the game.

"He (Johnson) put it in a good spot," Longoria said. "It was do-or-die. (First baseman) Willy (Aybar) deserves as much credit. He made a great pick."

When Johnson came to bat, Rays assistants Tom Foley and Dave Martinez tried to get Longoria to move in closer, but he didn't hear them.

"The play was like you see in the movies," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Everything is in slow motion. 'Noooooo.'"

But Longoria picked the ball off the turf and fired a one-hop throw to Aybar.

"That's probably the best bunt (fielding) play I've ever seen," Percival said. "It was unbelievable.

"And then a great play by Aybar. So many times you see that play bobbled and the runner is safe."

The loss was only the fifth in the past 21 games for the Cubs, who were making their first appearance at Tropicana Field.

Grant Balfour (1-0) escaped a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth to pick up his first victory. Balfour left after 1 1/3 innings. J.P. Howell, Dan Wheeler and Troy Percival each pitched an inning to close the game.

Percival allowed two hits and one run in the ninth, but still recorded his 16th save.

"I was down just looking for the ball because I knew it was going to be a close play," Aybar said. "Longo (Longoria) just made a (heck) of a play."

"Johnson probably thought he could get the third baseman napping a little bit," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "As it was, the kid came in barehanded and the first baseman made a real nice catch."

Tied at 1, Longoria homered on the first pitch from reliever Neal Cotts (0-1) to gave the Rays a 2-1 lead. The home run ended an 0-for-14 streak for the rookie.

In the seventh, Eric Hinske's RBI single gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead.

Both club's starters entered among the majors' best in ERAs, but neither got past the fifth inning.

Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir left after throwing 110 pitches in only 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three hits, one run, walked four and struck out seven. It was Kazmir's second-shortest outing this year.

Chicago's Ryan Dempster threw 107 pitches in five innings. He allowed six hits, one run, walked two and struck out six. It was Dempster's shortest effort of the season.

"Both pitchers threw a lot of pitches," Piniella said. "Dempster was at (107) pitches so we got him out of there. He was OK. He pitched one-run ball for five innings. You've got to be pleased."

After Floyd's second-inning home run put Tampa Bay up 1-0, the Cubs pulled even in the fifth.

Held hitless by Kazmir through four innings, Henry Blanco singled with one out off the glove of second baseman Akinori Iwamura. With two out, Johnson reached on an infield single to third. Ryan Theriot then followed with an RBI single off the glove of Aybar, making it 1-1.

After Kazmir walked Derrek Lee to load the bases, Balfour struck out Aramis Ramirez to end the inning.

Tampa Bay also left the bases loaded in the third. Three consecutive singles loaded with bases, but Dempster got B.J. Upton to hit a dribbler back to him for a force at home. Dempster then struck out Hinske.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 6 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 x 3 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - RYAN DEMPSTER, NEAL COTTS (6TH), MICHAEL WUERTZ (7TH), SCOTT
    EYRE (7TH), BOBBY HOWRY (8TH) AND HENRY BLANCO
    TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, GRANT BALFOUR (5TH), J.P. HOWE

    Jun 17 10:40 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY DIONER NAVARRO ALLOWED MARK DEROSA TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K FUKUDOME ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2
    TAMPA BAY 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M HOFFPAUIR (.385, 0-FOR-0)

    Cubs 2, Rays 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 17 10:36 PM
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    Cubs 2, Rays 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 17 10:36 PM


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    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERIC HINSKE SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E HINSKE ON FIRST, B UPTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    TAMPA BAY 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.250, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Cubs 1, Rays 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 17 9:53 PM
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    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY EVAN LONGORIA (11) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF NEAL COTTS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, TAMPA BAY 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C FLOYD (.274, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Cubs 1, Rays 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 17 9:20 PM


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    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED HENRY BLANCO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R THERIOT ON FIRST, R JOHNSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.288, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs 1, Rays 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 17 8:44 PM
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    Cubs 0, Rays 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 17 8:30 PM


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    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CLIFF FLOYD (6) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF RYAN DEMPSTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D NAVARRO (.327, 3 HR, 27 RBI)

    Cubs 0, Rays 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 17 7:47 PM
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