St. Petersburg, Fla. • Evan Longoria savored another win-or-go-home victory for the Tampa Bay Rays.
"I think we all understand the stakes. We all understand that we have our backs to the wall. And it seems like those moments have been fueling us," the three-time All-Star said Monday night after Jose Lobaton’s two-out, ninth-inning homer gave the Rays a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox and renewed hope in the AL division series.
"These are the game that we’ve really played well in. Although you’d like to be on the other side, maybe we need that now."
Tampa Bay won when facing elimination for the fourth time in nine days, trimming Boston’s lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five matchup. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, with Jake Peavy starting for the Red Sox against Jeremy Hellickson.
"They have a great team. They never quit. We’ve seen that ... everyone knows that. We’ve just got to be one run better than them (Tuesday)," Boston’s Dustin Pedroia said. "We’ll be all right. We’ll be fine."
As he’s done so often in his career, Longoria provided the spark that turned a potentially bleak night into a special moment in Rays history.
The only player who’s appeared in every postseason game Tampa Bay has ever played homered off Clay Buchholz in the fifth inning. The three-run shot erased a 3-0 deficit and boosted sagging hopes.
We needed that badly, there’s no denying," manager Joe Maddon said.
"After we saw that ... it’s kind of like the energy came back," Lobaton added. "Everybody was kind of like, we’ve got a chance now."
Lobaton’s solo homer off Koji Uehara landed into the giant fish tank beyond the center-field wall. The Red Sox closer didn’t allow a home run in his last 37 regular-season appearances.Next Page >
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.