St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Jason Bartlett scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning on Brandon Wood’s throwing error on a ball hit by Willy Aybar, as the Rays came back to edge the Angels, 4-3, in the middle installment of a three-game series.
Tampa Bay trailed 3-2 in the ninth and was down to its final out before recording three consecutive singles off Fernando Rodney, the last a base hit by Carlos Pena to score pinch-runner Desmond Jennings.
Rafael Soriano (3-2) hurled a 1-2-3 top of the 10th, and Reid Brignac doubled to open the bottom half off Bobby Cassevah (0-2). After a pair of outs and two walks, Aybar worked a full count as a pinch-hitter and hit a ball that Wood fielded at short and threw away.
Bartlett, serving as a pinch-runner for Brignac, scored the game-winner and kept the AL wild card-leading Rays, who have alternated wins and losses for the past week, a half-game behind the East Division front-running Yankees.
The comeback took David Price off the hook after the Cy Young candidate gave up three runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings.
Joel Pineiro, in his first start since July, held Tampa to two runs on six hits in six innings for the Angels, won had won six of eight coming in.
The Rays were hitless through three innings and stranded two in the fourth. In the fifth, however, the hosts were able to break the scoreless tie when B.J. Upton singled in front of Brignac’s eighth home run of the season.
Price had allowed just one hit before the Angels finally got to him in the seventh. Mike Napoli worked a seven-pitch walk and Howie Kendrick followed with an infield single.
Juan Rivera then stepped in and took the first pitch he saw over the wall in right-center to give the Angels a 3-2 edge.
Rodney came on to close it out in the ninth and retired Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria before Dan Johnson kept the hosts alive with a base hit. Jennings entered as a pinch-runner, moved to third on Matt Joyce’s base hit and scored on Pena’s single to right.
Pineiro was sidelined with a strained left oblique…The Rays have played six straight games decided by one run, winning three…Crawford and Longoria each had two hits…Rivera had two hits and walk.
09/18 22:50:17 ET