|Tampa Bay (96-62) «||0||0||0||5||0||2||0||4||0||11||8||0|
BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays spent the night running around the bases and keeping their eyes fixed on the scoreboard.
Tampa Bay beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-6 Wednesday, but Boston's win over Cleveland means the Rays will have to wait at least another day to celebrate their first AL East title and pop open the 200 bottles of champagne waiting in the visitors clubhouse.
One more win by Tampa Bay or a loss by Boston will provide the Rays their first division crown.
"We weren't really talking about it, but you could definitely tell the guys were looking at the scoreboard and trying to see what was going on," Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton said. "It didn't happen tonight, but the only thing we can do is go out and try and win a ballgame tomorrow."
The champagne was packed up to be sent to Detroit, where the Rays open a four-game series Thursday afternoon.
"It's hard to be disappointed any time you get a win," starter Edwin Jackson said. "We just have to keep on trucking in this next series against Detroit."
The night began miserably for the Rays. Tampa Bay trailed 5-0 in the first inning, about the same time Boston took a 4-0 lead over the Indians. But after Cleveland came back to tie it and the Rays overtook the woeful Orioles, it appeared that Tampa Bay was destined to salute the most successful season in franchise history with a bubbly toast.
But the scoreboard told them otherwise: Boston 5, Cleveland 4. Final.
"It was right in front of my face," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Akinori Iwamura had two hits and three RBI for the Rays, who completed a four-game sweep. It was the major league-leading ninth time this season the Orioles blew a four-run lead, most in the majors, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"The disappointing thing is, it's not the first time I've seen it," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Baltimore has lost nine straight and 28 of 34. The Orioles went 3-15 against Tampa Bay this season, losing the last 12.
Jackson (13-11) gave up six runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Trever Miller pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief to earn his second save.
"So many good things. A lot of people contributed to the win tonight up and down the board," Maddon said. "Tough beginning, wonderful ending, and that was attributable to our pitching."
Down 6-0, the Rays rebounded with a five-run fourth. After Gabe Gross drew a bases-loaded walk and Eric Hinske hit an RBI single, two runs scored when Jason Bartlett's comebacker bounced off pitcher Radhames Liz, who threw wildly to the plate. Iwamura followed with a run-scoring grounder.
The Rays added four runs in the eighth. Randor Bierd issued two straight bases-loaded walks before Dioner Navarro hit a two-run single. In the midst of that inning, however, the scoreboard flashed the final from Boston.
The first six Orioles to face Jackson got hits in a five-run first inning. Three singles loaded the bases for Aubrey Huff, who picked up his 108th RBI with a single. Oscar Salazar followed with a run-scoring single before Luke Scott drove in three runs with a double to left-center.
Scott was out at third trying for a triple, blunting Baltimore's most productive first inning since a seven-run outburst May 20 at Yankee Stadium.
Undaunted, Tampa Bay closed the game with an 11-0 run.
"Our guys really felt they were fine. I know the game started badly, but the guys in our dugout were good," Maddon said. "I truly thought they had a chance to come back and do that. We're just at that point. We have to believe, and I know our guys do."
|Nick Markakis is tagged out by Tampa Bay's Dioner Navarro while trying to steal home in the fifth. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Akinori Iwamura, 2B||5||0||2||3||0||1||1||.274|
|B.J. Upton, CF||3||1||0||0||2||1||2||.273|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||4||1||1||0||1||3||5||.247|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||3||2||0||1||1||1||4||.274|
|Cliff Floyd, DH||4||0||0||1||1||2||3||.272|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||1||2||2||1||0||1||.294|
|Gabe Gross, RF||4||1||0||1||1||0||1||.241|
|Eric Hinske, LF||2||1||1||1||0||1||1||.246|
|a- Fernando Perez, PH-LF||2||2||1||0||1||1||1||.273|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||3||2||1||1||0||0||1||.289|
|a-singled for Hinske in the 6th|
|2B - Carlos Pena (24, Liz)|
|3B - Akinori Iwamura (9, Burres)|
|SH - Akinori Iwamura (3)|
|RBI - Akinori Iwamura 3 (48), Evan Longoria (84), Cliff Floyd (39), Dioner Navarro 2 (54), Gabe Gross (40), Eric Hinske (57), Jason Bartlett (37)|
|2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria (30), Cliff Floyd (19), Dioner Navarro 2 (35)|
|SB - Akinori Iwamura (8, 2nd base off Liz/Hernandez), B.J. Upton (43, 2nd base off Burres/Hernandez), Fernando Perez 2 (5, 2nd base off Burres/Hernandez, 2nd base off Cherry/Hernandez)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - B.J. Upton 1|
|DP - Bartlett-Iwamura-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Edwin Jackson (W,13-11)||5.1||10||6||6||2||3||0||4.37|
|Chad Bradford (H,21)||1.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.01|
|Trever Miller (S,2)||2.1||1||0||0||0||5||0||4.25|
|HBP - Hernandez (by Trever Miller)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 111-67, Chad Bradford 15-12, Trever Miller 36-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 5-5, Chad Bradford 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 25, Chad Bradford 5, Trever Miller 9|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||1||1||.297|
|a- Alex Cintron, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.279|
|Nick Markakis, RF||4||1||3||1||0||0||0||.303|
|b- Guillermo Quiroz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.188|
|Adam Jones, CF||5||1||2||0||0||0||3||.273|
|Aubrey Huff, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||1||1||.306|
|Oscar Salazar, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||.280|
|Luke Scott, DH||4||0||1||3||0||1||0||.258|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.258|
|Omir Santos, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Luis Montanez, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.299|
|Juan Castro, SS||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.193|
|a-struck out for B. Roberts in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Markakis in the 9th|
|2B - Nick Markakis (48, Jackson), Luke Scott (29, Jackson), Juan Castro (6, Miller)|
|RBI - Nick Markakis (87), Aubrey Huff (108), Oscar Salazar (15), Luke Scott 3 (65)|
|SB - Brian Roberts (40, 2nd base off Jackson/Navarro)|
|CS - Nick Markakis (7, Home by Jackson/Navarro)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Nick Markakis 1|
|E - Juan Castro (5, Misplayed grounder), Radhames Liz (3, Throwing)|
|Brian Burres (L,7-10)||0.2||2||2||2||1||1||0||6.09|
|HBP - Longoria (by Radhames Liz), Bartlett (by Brian Burres), Bartlett (by Rocky Cherry)|
|WP - Kam Mickolio (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Radhames Liz 95-57, Brian Burres 29-16, Rob McCrory 18-11, Rocky Cherry 19-6, Alberto Castillo 3-3, Randor Bierd 14-4, Kam Mickolio 17-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Radhames Liz 3-7, Brian Burres 1-0, Rob McCrory 1-1, Rocky Cherry 1-0, Kam Mickolio 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Radhames Liz 24, Brian Burres 6, Rob McCrory 4, Rocky Cherry 4, Alberto Castillo 1, Randor Bierd 3, Kam Mickolio 4|
|Attendance - 13632|
|Game Time - 3:43|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Jim Reynolds|