The Tampa Bay Rays (79-66) finally had something fall their way on Thursday night battling the Boston Red Sox (89-59). The Rays won 4-3 with a clutch double by Wil Myers in the 8th inning to bring in Evan Longoria. Tampa Bay just has not been able to do anything right the last few weeks as they are on a huge slide so it was critical to get this win. This offense has been in a ridiculous slump for weeks now and just hoping they eventually just get out of it is not the way to go. Joe Maddon has to take control of this situation and switch things up dramatically with the lineup. Maddon has made some real bad decisions this year and the offense which had been steady all year went into a huge slump at the wrong time but the Rays are still alive and a game up in the wild card spot.
The Rays needed a win on Thursday from Jeremy Hellickson as the New York Yankees (79-68) could steal their playoff spot from them as they were only one game back and Baltimore is one and a half games back as of Thursday night. The Rays took a 2-0 lead with a Wil Myers RBI single and James Loney double. Jamey Wright gave up the 3-2 lead in the sixth as it was tied 3-3 in the 8th until doubles by Longoria and Myers were able to bring in the winning run.
Alex Cobb was on the mound on Wednesday giving up three runs. The Rays hung in there though as James Loney hit a solo shot to tie the game in the 8th inning 3-3. Unfortunately that's all they could mustard and Roberto Hernandez came in and ruined it big time giving up a pinch hit grand slam in the 10th inning and Tampa Bay fell 7-3 to the Sox.
Tuesday they welcomed in the Boston Red Sox for a three-game set. David Price looked great only giving up two runs but the offense did not help as they fell 2-0. It seems like every time a Rays' batter gets two strikes on them they mine as well go sit back in the dugout. Nobody on this team is a good two strike hitter and nobody can seem to have productive outs and move the runners over. The team is hitting about .160 with runners in scoring position on that last road trip and it continued at home on Tuesday.
After losing another game on Saturday night to the Seattle Mariners (65-81) the Rays won a game on Sunday in Seattle 4-1; hoping this would bring some momentum back home but that idea failed as they dropped the first two games to Boston. The horrible play out west has killed them and the only good thing is that the Rays still play the Yankees and Orioles (77-69) this season and could sweep them and gain some ground between them and the final wild card spot.
There is now only 17 games left in the season and the Rays' second wild card spot has dropped to a one game lead after being in first place in the AL East on August 25th. The Yankees could take it from the Rays on Friday if they do not win against the Twins. This season could come to an absolutely heart breaking end for Rays' fans if Tampa Bay doesn't get it together like right now. This was a huge must win victory Thursday against the Red Sox and they need to carry this momentum into Minnesota. Tampa Bay will now head to Minnesota take on the Twins this weekend for a three-game series this weekend. Each and every game now is critical to win with everything this close as this is going to be a ridiculous ride for baseball fans coming down the final stretch.