Most experts don't believe it's possible in sports to "hit a switch" and suddenly start performing at a higher level, but something happened in the 6th inning yesterday at Arlington. For starters, the Rays broke a streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings when B.J. Upton doubled to score Dan Johnson, finally pushing a run across the plate to tie the game at the time. After that, the Rays scored five more runs to get the win and force a fourth game in the best-of-five series.
Huge credit for the Rays being in position to come back late in the game goes to starter Matt Garza who pitched six innings of 1-run ball, keeping the game close until the Rays slumbering bats suddenly woke up.
The end result: The Rays still face elimination today but have reason to be hopeful. The key simply comes down to the Rays offense. More of what came after the 6th inning yesterday gives them a very realistic chance to bring the series back to Tropicana Field for a winner-take-all game 5. More of what came before does not. Most importantly, they're still alive.
Today, it's Wade Davis's turn to be the big-game guy. He'll be opposed by rookie Tommy Hunter, who will be trying to close out a playoff series for the first time in Rangers history.